The groundbreaking first stop of the REnextop Asian Surfing Tour (RAST) wrapped up yesterday afternoon at Canggu, Bali after four exciting days of competition to crown winners in four divisions and celebrate their victory at nearby Premier Surf Camp.
In the final final of the day, the Men’s Shortboard Division saw Indonesia’s Rio Waida claim victory over fellow Indonesian Darmaputra in a closely contested 25 minute final. Rio jumped into the lead with an almost perfect score of 9 points (out of a possible 10 points), but soon Darmaputra took the lead with two waves in the high 7 point range. It took Rio a few tries to answer back but eventually he gained back the lead with an 8.33 score, leaving Darmaputra needing an almost perfect 9.5 score to win. After finding another wave and posting an 8.27 to narrow the gap to needing a 9.1, with less than two minutes to go Darmaputra took off on a nice set wave and after a few searing turns boosted an air reverse and finished the wave with a couple more turns, to post an excellent 8.8 score, but falling just a hairs breadth short.
“I had so much fun in that final with Tonjo (Darmaputra), the waves were firing. I’m so stoked to win this event,” said Rio at the awarding party. “Tonjo almost got that score at the last minute, and I was just out the back sitting there nervous, as I could only watch and hope, and luckily for me he didn’t,” he added.
Rio goes home with a new Chilli surfboard, $1,000 cash, a nice REnextop trophy and some FU Wax to make sure his feet stay stuck to his board in the next competition.
In the Men’s Longboard Division it was two-time World Longboard Champion Harley Ingleby from Australia taking out fellow Australian Jack Entwistle in the glassy 3-4 foot righthanders. Ingleby’s power, poise, and the variety of maneuvers he executed with unshakable precision had the audience on the beach wowed, and the judges giving him first a 9 and then a 7.8 for his top two scoring waves, putting Entwistle in a combination situation for much of the heat, needing a combined score of 16.83.
After the awards presentation, Harley said, “I’m super honored to be invited to compete in this event, and that we got so surf in such world class waves. To surf Canggu in such a great variety of conditions and with only couple other guys and to hang out with all the surfers from the other countries was just fantastic, so a big thanks and congratulations to REnextop and the ASC for putting this together, and also to the locals for sharing their beach with us for the last four days.”
Ingleby receives $1,000 cash as well as FU Wax and a hand made REnextop trophy.
The Women’s Shortboard Division was won by one of the youngest competitors in the event, 14 year old Summa Longbottom. Summa is Australian but lives in Bali, the daughter of shaper and big wave charger Dylan Longbottom. Dylan was also in the competition and finished equal third in the Men’s Shortboard Division.
Summa started the final strong with the first wave, posting first a 6.7 and then later adding a 6.9 score to put her opponent Giada Legati on the ropes. Summa’s smooth style and aggressive attack of the wave sections impressed the judges, while Giada struggled to find her rhythm and good scoring waves. Final scores were Summa with 13.60 over Giada who had 10.27.
“The waves were really good going in to the final, and being out there with my best friend and at my home break and getting to surf it with only one other person out was a dream. It was like a once in a lifetime opportunity! This is the first contest of this level that I’ve ever won, so couldn’t be more happy today,” said Summa after receiving her trophy, cash, FU Wax, and a brand new Chilli surfboard.
In the Women’s Longboard Division it was a surprise victory for Korea’s Jina Kim over Daisy Valdez from the Philippines. While Daisy waited outside for the larger waves, Jina picked of the smaller runners on the inside that offered more noseriding opportunities, which the judges were scoring higher. The larger waves on the outside were less predictable and so didn’t present easy scoring opportunities, and Daisy was aggressively chasing big scores, but in the end she lost by just over 1 point…12.93 to 11.60.
“I’m so happy, so supper happy!” exclaimed Jina after receiving her trophy, cash, and FU wax. “I never thought I would win the contest, I was just happy to in the semifinals and then surprised when I got into the final. I couldn’t even believe it really! This is the first contest I ever won and I’m just so happy right now…I can’t believe it!”
There were a total of 64 surfers competing in the event, from countries including Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
Lillian Chen, the CEO of REnextop, was extremely delighted at the conclusion of event, saying “It was beyond our expectations in every way, from the number of surfers from all over Asia than joined, to the level of surfing by the competitors, and the awesome waves we had, it was all absolutely perfect. And considering it was our very first event, we’re just so happy! Taking our Chinese surfers outside of China and giving them the experience of surfing with pro surfers from other countries is our goal, and we certainly accomplished that here. And through one of our media partners in China we broadcast the event live every day to our Chinese audience, and had over 5,000 views per day, so we’re able to share this experience with the larger audience and encourage them to participate in the future. I’m already looking forward to the next event in Japan, and I hope we get lots of surfers coming there as well. A big thanks to the ASC, the PSC, and all the sponsors for making this event such as success!”
RAST #2 will be held in Japan, tentatively in September, so look for an announcement in early July for details.