Last week an army of Indonesian surfers invaded Phuket, Thailand for four days of ‘surf, sun, and fun’ at holiday hotspot Patong Beach, home of the ASC-sanctioned ‘Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition’.
The final was an all-Indonesian affair with Marlon Gerber, Pepen Hendrik, Mega Samadhi, and eventual winner Raditya Rondi facing off in the tiny waves (by Indo standards).
Master’s champ Wayan Gantiyasa likened Patong Beach to his home town of Kuta Beach, Bali, except it was cleaner and much more organized with better traffic and great nightlife.
By all accounts the event organizers were very accomodating, generously taking the boys to the sample the ‘best’ local food, which they all raved about. Watch the video to see all the action from the final day in Phuket:
Read the full press release below:
Raditya Rondi Wins Men’s Open Final at Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition
Smiles for miles! Raditya wins. Photo: Tim Hain
24 September 2011, Phuket-Thailand: In an exciting end to four full days of great surfing and fun at Patong Beach at the Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition, Bali’s Raditya Rondi gave the crowded beach a clinical demonstration on smashing out big moves on even the smallest waves to claim victory in the Men’s Open Shortboard Division, winning a cash prize of 30,000 Baht ($1,000 USD) plus accommodations from Ibis Hotel and airlines tickets from Nok Air.
Rondi’s fellow finalists Mega Semadhi, Pepen Hendrik, and Marlon Gerber are also from Bali, giving him not only a challenge from the small wave conditions but also against his competitors, as they are all top surfers on the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour and the new Asian Surfing Championship Tour. In their last competition together, it was Marlon Gerber that scored a last minute victory against Rondi, so this win was especially sweet for him.
Raditya on the set of the day. Photo: Tim Hain
“Wow, I’m so stoked to be the winner today, finally! I’ve been so close and almost won several times this year, but now I’ve done it. And in such a great place, I’m so happy I came here to Phuket. For me and all the boys from Bali, it’s been a super fun and amazing experience with the food, the beach, the nightlife, and the locals have been so cool to us too. I really thank them for sharing their beach and waves with us and they are welcome in Bali anytime!” said Rondi.
The top spots on the podium in all divisions were taken by Indonesian surfers, with Arif “Mencos” Hidayat from West Java winning the Longboard Division, Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea from Sumatra taking the Women’s Division victory, and Bali legend Wayan Gantiyasa winning the Masters Division.
Marlon was looking flash in the early rounds. Photo: Tim Hain
Indonesia has the most experienced surf community in South East Asia, dating back to the 1930’s, and their own professional surfing tour, but with the creation of the new Asian Surfing Championship tour it is hoped that the other surfing destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines will benefit from these surfing events and develop more world class professional surfers as well.
Phuket’s own teenage phenom Annissa Flynn was the top Thai surfer in the Women’s Division, nailing the 1st runner up spot just behind Yasnyiar Gea, and besting Indonesia’s Gamala Hanafiah and Australia’s Charmaine Gale. Flynn at 13 years of age has already traveled and competed outside of Thailand, going to Bali last year to compete in the Quiksilver King of the Groms. She was satisfied with her result today saying, “I had lots of fun out there and I didn’t lose by much, only by half a point, and so I feel good about today.”
European breakfast, a la carte. Two slices of white bread please, toasted. Photo: Tim Hain
In the Men’s Longboard Division it was Indonesia’s Arif “Mencos” Hidayat who wowed the crowd with his exciting new school maneuvers combined with classic “toes on the nose” rides to best fellow West Java longboard ace Husni Ridwan. Thailand’s Weerawat Kuru placed third and Teiki Ballian from France took fourth spot.
In the Master’s Division it was Bali’s Wayan Gantiyasa from Kuta Beach who fought off the last minute charge by local Thai master Chalong Thongsook to take the win. Gantiyasa was all smiles back on the beach after the final saying, “This is my first time to Phuket and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a bit like back home at Kuta Beach, but cleaner and much more organized with better traffic, hotels, restaurants, and great night life. Winning the comp was great, but the whole experience here was the best thing. The local surfers have a great spirit and I’m happy to be able to surf with them.”
Beach games. Photo: Tim Hain
Today’s finals were the culmination of four days of surfing, games, music and entertainment at Patong Beach in Phuket, one of the most popular beaches in arguably Thailand’s best beach tourism destination. The Quiksilver Thailand Surf 2011 Competition has become an annual event, this being the third year running, and is growing in popularity, drawing almost 100 surfers from Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, France, Burma, and America for the event this year.
Quiksilver SEA CEO Paul Hutson was delighted with this year’s event, saying, “This was another example of the outstanding execution of professional event organizing by Surached and his team at Quiksilver Thailand, and I couldn’t be more pleased. A big shout out also to the media and celebrities that came down for the weekend for a fabulous weekend of surf, sun and fun here at Patong Beach, and to the Patong locals for being such great hosts. We’ll see you back here next year!”
Lee’s good form ended in the Semi’s. Photo: Tim Hain
The winners in each division each received cash prizes in addition to vouchers from hotel sponsor Ibis Hotels and airline sponsor Nok Air.
After the beachside awards presentation that was accompanied by food, free flow Chang beer and water, the crowd was treated to live music by the Teddy Ska Band, a fashion show of Quiksilver and Roxy’s latest apparel, and rounded out by one of Bangkok’s hottest bands, Big Ass.
And as if that wasn’t enough, everybody was invited down the street to the Jungceylon mall to Famous nightclub for the after party, where copious amounts of Chang beer and Jim Beam greeted the thirsty crowd and had them partying until the small hours of the morning.
She’s hooked! Photo: Tim Hain
Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition Results
Men’s Open Shortboard Division
1. Raditya Rondi (IND) – 30,000 THB
2. Mega Semadhi (IND) – 20,000 THB
3. Pepen Hendrik (IND) – 10,000 THB
4. Marlon Gerber (IND) – 7,000 THB
Open Longboard Division
1. Arif Nur Hidayat (IND) – 10,000 THB
2. Husni Ridwan (IND) – 7,000 THB
3. Weerawat Kuru (THA) – 5,000 THB
4. Teiki Ballian (FRA) – 2,000 THB
1. Yasnyiar Gea (IND) – 7,000 THB
2. Annissa Flynn (THA) – 5,000 THB
3. Gemala Hanafiah (IND) – 2,500 THB
4. Charmaine Gale (AUS) – 1,000 THB
1. Wayan Gantiyasa (IND) – 5,000 THB
2. Chalong Thongsook (THA) – 3,000 THB
3. Devin Long (THA) – 2,000 THB
4. Tatsuya (JAP) – 1,000 THB
The Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition was sponsored by Quiksilver Thailand, Citroen, Nok Air, Chang Water, ibis Hotel, Virgin Hitz, Power Balance, Travel Channel, Amazing Thailand, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Phuket Province, Patong Municipality, Phuket Jungceylon, Phuket Best Group, Phuket Gazette, Famous Night Club, supported by Surfing Thailand and the Phuket Boardriders, and sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships.