Bali’s Darmaputra Tonjo claimed victory today over fellow Bali competitor Pepen Hendrik in an exciting 30 minute finale to the Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017.
After three days of competition in the scenic and unspoiled paradise of Simeulue Island, it was down to a man-on-man battle between team mates Darmaputra Tonjo (age 27) and Pepen Hendrik (age 38), both sponsored by the surf brand Rip Curl and both from Bali.
A total of 31 competitors from Simeulue, other parts of Indonesia, Australia and Japan joined this competition that began 2 days ago, all with high hopes of being the victor going home with the winner’s check of Rp. 25 million ($1,800 USD), but in the end it was Darmaputra Tonjo that will take home the big paycheck.
“I’m happy I could win this contest,” said Tonjo, “And really hope I can come back here again next year!”
When asked about his experience in the final, he explained, “I was really nervous in the final, because Pepen is such a good surfer and more experienced than me, so I’m just lucky I got a couple really good waves. I was so stoked when I got that one big wave…I just looked at the wall and made some turns and a floater on the end section…I think it was the best wave in the final, and I got my highest score of 9 points. I’m so stoked to be the winner…thank you Simeulue!”
Runner up Pepen Hendrik was not at all disappointed with his result, saying, “I’m happy to get second to Tonjo…we’re on the same team, we travel together and stay together on the road, so being together in the final here was great. So I’m happy with my result here, especially because this is such a nice place to come and surf.”
“In the final I sat outside with priority for along time because Tonjo had already gotten an 8 point wave on the inside, so I knew I had to have a good set wave to score more than 8 points. And because many of the waves were small I just had to wait for a bigger one. Eventually I did get a good wave and scored an 8.5, but by then Tonjo had already scored a 9.33 on the best wave of the final, so I still need a 9-point wave at the end. But I’m happy because it’s been a long time since I was in a final, so thanks Simeulue!” he added.
In his closing words, Simeulue Tourism Minister Mr. Abdul Karim thanked everybody here for their support of the event…the surfers for coming, the ASC for running the competition, and the event organizer team, then he expressed his hope that the local surfers would keep training and getting better so they could compete again next year and get even better results.
After the awarding and the speeches were over, winner Tonjo presented young 11 year old local Apis with one of his surfboards, and told him to keep practicing and surfing so he could be the winner next time.
Almost at a loss for words, Apis could only say “I’m so happy, I’m so lucky. I hope I can compete again and do better next year.”
The Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 was a 3-day event that run from 26-28 October and sponsored primarily by the Simeulue government and the province of Aceh, offering up a total prize purse of IDR 75,000,000 (approximately $5,700 USD).
Simeulue Island is just off the west coast of Sumatra, a one-hour plane flight from the city of Medan. It is an island of untouched beauty and has a population of around 85,000 people; hosting a multitude of surf spots, warm water, and amazing scenery.
Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 Contest Results
1. Darmayasa Tonjo (Bali)
2. Pepen Hendrik (Bali)
3. Rio Waida (Japan/Bali)
3. Mega Artana (Bali)
5. Rahel Wau (Nias)
5. Herbert Jackson (Nias)
5. Ivan (Pangandaran/Simeulue)
5. Putra Hermawan (Bali)