Jelenga Beach, West Sumbawa: Quarterfinalists were decided today on Day 3 of the O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge at West Sumbawa, after a morning of non-stop action at Yoyos in pumping 3-4 foot surf for the remainder of Round 3 and half of Round 4 and then a change of venue to Scar Reef to finish off Round 4.
The swell had increased significantly overnight as predicted, so Yoyos was on fire with solid and consistent sets rolling in for most of the morning, giving the contestants some near perfect conditions to work with. But when the strong winds came up and reports of sets starting to appear in the 4-foot range at Scar Reef came in, the crew got packing and in record time was set up in the boat for an afternoon session at Scars.
The four remaining heats of Round 4 were completed, and although Scars did fling a few nice barrels across the reef during the afternoon, due to the long waits between waves the decision was made to stop the competition for the day.
“I’m stoked that the boys got to surf both venues today, with Yoyos firing in the morning and Lady Scar making an appearance this afternoon for us. We’d have liked to get a bit more of her of course, but we’ll take it,” said O’Neill’s Tai Graham at the conclusion of the day. “It’s looking like tomorrow we’ll be doing the final at Yoyos as the swell has been down-graded from what we were expecting, so we’re looking to finish by mid morning with very early start to take advantage of the best tides and winds.”
The quarterfinal lineup for today will be:
Quarterfinal 1: Josh Haye vs Sandi Selamet
Quarterfinal 2: Putra Hermawan vs Raditya Rondi
Quarterfinal 3: Made Widiarta vs Soma Warsoma
Quarterfinal 4: Rahtu Suargita vs Pepen Hendrik
Highlights of the morning’s session included Bali’s Soma Warsoma taking the high score honors with a lofty aerial, for which he received the highest score of the competition so far, 9.0 points out of a possible 10, a near perfect score.
17 year old Aussie Josh Haye first eliminated 2011 Coca-Cola ISC champion Marlon Gerber in Heat 5 of Round 3, and then narrowly bested current number 2 seeded Mustofa Jeksen in Heat 1 of Round 4, to get himself a place in the Quarterfinals, where he will be up against Sandi Selamet from West Java.
Selamat got the better of his mentor Dede Suryana Heat 2 of Round 4, keeping himself busy racking up points on the smaller inside waves while Suryana waited outside with priority in anticipation of the larger set waves. Unfortunately for him most of the set waves swung wide and closed out, leaving him chasing around on the inside only needing a wave score of 3.9 to advance, but failing to find it.
Made Widiarta got a walk through in his Round 4 Heat 5 with Gazali Hamzah, because as Hamzah was walking out into the water to catch the boat for his heat he cut his heel quite deeply on a shell and had to return to the beach.
The two previous Scar Reef competition winners, Raditya Rondi (2008) and Rahtu Suargita (2009) are still in the running, looking to be hoisting the famed Scar Reef trophy sword after tomorrow’s final, both putting in great performances today to nab quarterfinal berths.
Today’s quarterfinals are planned to start at 6 am, so all the competitors and crew were informed that they should be at the contest site at 5:30 am, ready for the exciting conclusion of the O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge.
The O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge is sponsored by the Government of West Sumbawa, PT Newmont, and O’Neill Indonesia, with media coverage by Coca-Cola ISC partners Surfersvillage.com, Lines Magazine, Alam TV Bali, SurfTime Magazine, BaliBelly.tv, Baliwaves.com, RVM, the Outdoor Channel, MyLifeOnBoard.net, and assisted in the Coca-Cola ISC’s “Keepin? It Green” program by the ROLE Foundation, GUS, and Climate Wave.