14 June 2012, Cimaja-West Java: Cimaja Beach delivered non-stop action in the form of perfectly pumping 3-4 foot waves, with the lucky competitors tearing into them with gusto to start off the Quiksilver Open West Java 2012 today.
Competitors from the Women’s, Longboard, and Open Division all saw action today at the scenic cobblestone point break of Cimaja on the West Coast of the island of Java, with the 15 women from countries including Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, the USA, and Indonesia taking to the water at 8 am to start things off.
The undisputed favorite in the Women’s Division was Nilve Blancada from the Philippines. Nilve hails from Siargao Island and her home break is the world class wave of Cloud 9, and her experience showed as she impressed the judges and the crowd who clapped and cheered as she proceeded to aggressively attack the Cimaja waves and post the Women’s Division highest single wave score of an 8.0 (out of a possible 10) in her semifinal heat, and also the highest combined heat score of 14.75 out of 20.
This was her first time surfing at Cimaja, and her first trip to Indonesia for that matter, so she was delighted to have made into the final, which will be held on Sunday. “It was a little bit hard because I didn’t know what to expect with this wave, but I just tried to surf as good as I could,” explained Nilbie. “The wave were a little bit tricky, you have to learn how to surf it, and I’m happy I did ok today,” she added.
Last year’s event winner Indonesian Iis Trisnawati put together an impressive backside attack to clearly signal her intention to once again hoist the winners check and trophy come Sunday, scoring the second highest single wave score of 7.0 out of 10.
The finalist that will battle it out on Sunday are a great international mix, with Iis Trisnawati from Indonesia, Nilbie Blancada from the Philippines, Jessie Hong from Taiwan, and Australian expat Aysia Doig from Bali.
In Longboard action today, last year’s event winner and 2011 Coca-Cola ISC Longboard Division champion Arif “Mencos” Hidayat put on a stellar performance for the fans on the beach, wowing and the judges with a 9.20 point wave that included a switchfoot Hang 5 to Hang 10, a switchfoot drop knee cutback, and a 360 spinner.
The Philippines Luke Landrigan also earned his place in the finals with consistent and critical traditional longboarding combined with progressive maneuvers, thus setting up the final four that includes Landrigan, Hidayat (Java), Gilang (Java) and Teiki Balian (France).
With the Women’s and Longboarding finalists decided, the Open Division Round 1 contestants were let loose on their chase for a first heat win and a ticket to advance to surf again in Round 2 tomorrow.
Bali’s Wayan Suprayitna and Nusa Lembongan’s Angga Mardiana nabbed highest score honors in Round 1, with Suprayitna posting a 6.75 and Mardiana a 6.5.
Judge Made “Sachan” Sudiarta liked what he saw during Round 1, picking out Mardiana, fellow Lembongan boy Agus Frimanto, and Dylan Amar as surfers to watch out for in Round 2, saying “With these kinds of waves it was great to see those boys really committing to big powerful turns on the open face, which I think will see them scoring well tomorrow. I’m excited for tomorrow already, as the swell is expected to pick up a foot or so overnight, which will make for another epic day at Cimaja Beach.”
Cimaja is always a favorite stop on the Coca-Cola ISC tour, as its wave quality and consistency is legendary. After a free surf session before the contest began, last year’s winner Lee was asked about how the waves were. He replied, “The waves were really fun this morning, and they are shaping up to be pretty much the same this year as last year, which were pretty damn good. But you have to know which waves are going to be the best ones, and hopefully I’ll be able to do that.” Does he fancy his chances to be the winner again? “I never count my chickens man, never. Just go out there and surf,” he replied with a grin.
The Quiksilver Open West Java was officially opened with a mid morning opening ceremony beachside, while the contest was in progress. Vice Regent Drs. Ahmad Jajuli and the Head of the West Java Tourism Department Drs. Nunumg Sobari MM both gave speeches and wished the contestants good luck, while promising to continue to support surfing in West Java, which was well received by the audience.
Quiksilver Indonesia had their own opening party on Friday June 8 at the Rolling Stone Café in Jakarta, which started with a press conference and then continued with the launching of Cimaja’s hometown hero and Quiksilver team rider Dede Suryana’s new line of signature boardshorts and T-shirts. Product giveaways of Quiksilver and Roxy watches, sunglasses and a Freedom Dolly skateboard and boardshorts, coupled with rockin’ live reggae music by Steven Jam had the party going off until midnight.
The swell is expected to increase in size tomorrow for Round 2 of the Men’s Open Division, and the competitors were told to stand by and be ready for action at 8 am.
It promises to be another epic day of non-stop action, so please follow along with us here at the Quiksilver Open West Java 2012 on-line at www.isctour.com/events/quikwestjava and on Facebook at both ISC and Quiksilver Indonesia, and there will be all the up-to-the-minute heat scores and results during the day, then press releases, photos, and video highlights after the day’s competition has ended.
The Quiksilver Open West Java 2012 is sponsored by Quiksilver Indonesia and the Government of West Java, supported by Jim Beam, Planet Surf, BII, Augusta Hotel, Desa Resort, Rolling Stone Café, and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, with media support from Juice, Trax, FHM, Fitness For Men, Surfersvillage.com, Alam TV Bali, SurfTime, Magic Wave, Baliwaves.com, Balibelly.tv, Lines, RVM, and the Outdoor Channel, and assisted in the Coca-Cola ISC “Go Green” program by GUS, the ROLE Foundation, and Climate Wave.
Words and photos by Coca-Cola ISC Tour