The Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships, Indonesia’s only professional surfing organization, celebrated its 9th year by crowning Indonesia’s top surfers on Friday night November 2nd at the posh W Retreat & Spa in Seminyak with a gala dinner and awards presentation. The awards presentation was then followed by a raging after party at the nearby Mantra Restaurant and Bar that lasted well into the wee hours.
Highlighting the evening and earning his first ever Indonesian Surfing Championship Open title was 23-year-old Raditya Rondi from Bali, who accepted his trophy and a check for Rp 100 million (almost $10,000 USD) for his stellar performance in 2012. Rondi is one of Indonesia’s best up and coming young talents, growing up in Kuta in an extended family boasting some of Bali’s best surfers including Wayan Gantiyasa, Garut Widiarta, and Made “Bol” Adi Putra.
Last year Rondi narrowly missed out on the number one spot taken by fellow Kuta resident Marlon Gerber, so this year’s victory was extra sweet for the young man. From the podium after accepting his trophy and winner’s check, Rondi said, “Wow, I’m feeling great tonight. Taking this trophy is one of my dreams in surfing, to be the Indonesian champion. It’s my first time and I hope its not going to be the last time! I want to thank my family, my friends, my sponsors, the ISC crew and Coca Cola for making it all happen. I hope you guys enjoy the night, thank you!”
In addition to his Indonesian title, Rondi also has two consecutive Asian Surfing Championship trophies on his shelf, recently having been crowned the 2012 Asian Surfing Champion in Phuket, Thailand this last September.
The Ballroom at the W started filling up with surfers, leaders and management from the surfing industry, government officials, media and event sponsor representatives at about 7:30 pm, all joining in to celebrate another epic year and to congratulate the 2012 champions, while enjoying a delectable four-course dinner with drinks from Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and Ketel One.
Everybody enjoyed dinner, drinks, and the camaraderie with friends as a slide show with photos taken during the 2012 season clicked along on the big screen, and then MC Tai Graham got up and announced it was time for the night’s formalities to begin. He took the audience through a recap of the primary events that had the tour first in Canggu in Bali for the Oakley Pro, then traveling up to the Mentawai Islands for the Rip Curl Pro at Macaronis, down to West Java for the Quiksilver Open, then over to West Sumbawa for the O’Neill Freak of the Reef event, before jetting up to Phuket Thailand for the first-ever dual sanctioned CC-ISC and ASC Quiksilver Open Phuket.
The season wrapped up on Kuta Beach at the Rip Curl Surf & Music Festival with an intense race for two championship titles on the line. Yasnyiar Gea was the first to seal a championship bid in the Women’s Division, grabbing her 5th consecutive title over runner up Salini Rengganis, and then it was 2 time CC-ISC champ (2007 and 2010) Lee Wilson attempting to hold of the charging “Cabul” Raditya Rondi. Wilson failed to advance past the 4th round so was relegated to the beach to watch Rondi down competitor after competitor to win the event and the Open Championship. It was truly an exciting finale to an epic year of surfing competition.
A special Sean Gilhooley produced video followed that gave an up close and personal look at the surfers and the events that made the 2012 so great, which had had everybody cheering and clapping.
A series of speeches followed, led off by Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia representative S. A. Rara speaking on behalf of CCIA Business Director Bruce Waterfield. “I’ve been here in Bali and involved with the ISC for the last three years,” she said, “and I would like to say thank you to the ISC for such a great partnership, and we hope that there are many more great things to come in the future. It’s always been our commitment to support surfers and surfing in Indonesia, to help the ISC and surfers like Tipi, Dede, and Mus, making their dreams come true, and we’re so glad to be a part of it. I would also like to give a big congratulations to all our champions here tonight, to Raditya, Bonne, Gazali, Raju, Ketut and Arip. You guys did a great job this year and we are very proud of you.”
CC ISC President Director Tipi Jabrik was next to take to the podium. He first thanked Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and specifically Business Director Bruce Waterfield, without whose continual support the ISC would not have been able to grow into what is known as “The Real Dream Tour of Surfing”. He next thanked all the event sponsors Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Oakley, O’Neill and Billabong, then followed by thanking Mr. Dadang from West Java, Mrs. Desti from the Mentawais, and Mr Zulkifli from West Sumbawa, whose support is an example of how the government is getting more involved in surfing.
“For us surfing is our passion,” said Jabrik. “But for them it’s something new. It a way for them to grow and develop the potential of their area for their benefit, and it also benefits us. Surfing is about having fun for sure, but at the end of the day it has its serious side as well. So we (private industry and government) need to all work together and support each other for the future of our sport. Look at the young kids like Rio and Komo, they want to become champions like Raditya Rondi and Lee Wilson, to have a career in surfing. And that’s what we want to give them.”
Jabrik also took a moment to reflect on the recent passing of two surfing greats, first Andy Irons who died two years ago, and local legend Dave Wylie. Regarding Wylie, Jabrik said, “I would like especially to remember and thank Dave Wylie, who was a big part of surfing in Indonesia and in Bali. He passed away a couple of days ago, and leaves us with a lot of great memories. He showed us that surfing is about having adventures, having fun, and sharing, so to Dave Wylie, thanks for sharing!”
Before the surfers received their trophies and winner’s checks, the Event of the Year was announced, the Quiksilver Open West Java. Quiksilver SEA CEO Paul Hutson took to the stage with Mr. Dadang from the West Java Government to accept the award. He began his speech saying, “Thanks to Tipi Jabrik and Tim Hain at the ISC, and everyone involved in the ISC. We wouldn’t be able to have an event and a circuit like this here in Indonesia and around South East Asia if it weren’t for guys like Tipi and Tim who are so passionate about what they do. So give them a big round of applause. And thanks also to the other brands like Rip Curl, Oakley, and the other. Let’s focus on working together to keep this dream alive, and we’ll all be here for a lot more years to come!”
Mr. Dadang added, “Thanks to the ISC and to Tipi…to Quiksilver and Coca-Cola for working together to make such a tour and a great event. We’ll see you again next year in West Java.”
The criteria for winning the event of the year includes such things as wave quality, event set up, variety and number of participants and spectators, environmental programs, and community involvement to name the major ones.
Receiving first time CC-ISC Championships were Gazali Hamzah in the Pro Junior (Under 21 years of age) Division and Raju Sena in the Junior (Under 16) Division, while Ketut Juliarta received his second Masters title and Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat his second Longboard Division title. Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea has been the long-reigning Women’s Division Champion, receiving her 5th consecutive title this year.
At the conclusion of the awards, most of the crew excited the W and took over the nearby Mantra Restaurant and Bar, where they were treated to more drinks from Ketel One and some great live music by the Ballian Band and Andy 6-String, and then finishing off with DJ Major.
Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Champions for 2012
OPEN DIVISION – RADITYA RONDI (Bali)
WOMEN’S DIVISION – YASNYIAR GEA (Sumatra)
MASTER’S DIVISION – KETUT JULIARTA (Bali)
PRO JUNIOR DIVISION – GAZALI HAMZAH (Sumbawa)
JUNIOR DIVISION – RAJU SENA (Bali)
LONGBOARD DIVISION – ARIP “MENCOS” NURHIDAYAT (Java)
The Coca-Cola ISC 2012 Championship Awards Presentation was sponsored by the W Retreat & Spa, Ketel One Vodka, Nixon and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, with media partners Alam TV Bali, Bali & Beyond, Baliwaves.com, Balibelly.tv, The Beat, IMag, Lines Magazine, Life Without Andy, Magic Wave, My Life On Board, NowBali, Outdoor Channel, Pro Motion Events, RVM, Surfersvillage.com, SurfTime, and We-Like.org.
Text and Image Credits - Tim Hain