27 May 2012, Macaronis-Mentawai Islands: On Day Three of the Rip Curl Pro Mentawai 2012 at Macaronis Point in the epic wave playground of the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia, two-time Coca-Cola ISC Champion Lee Wilson took out the Men’s Open Final over Garut Widiarta, and Michaela Partin narrowly defeated Brenda Lee in the Women’s Division.
Both Wilson and Widiarta were in form surfers during the entire event, with Wilson posting the event’s only perfect 10 point wave as well the events highest heat score of 19.40 (out of a possible 20), and Widiarta close behind with his highest single wave score a 9.5 (out of 10) and his highest heat score an 18.70.
Unfortunately the Men’s Final was somewhat of a lopsided affair, with the normally active Macaronis point electing to take a long 21 minute break from offering up the world’s most fun waves after the first 14 minutes. Wilson jumped out in front early, racking up scores of 7.5 and 8.0 while Widiarta managed only a couple of small scores. Widiarta gained and held the priority position, waiting for the bigger sets, but the ocean went quiet for the remainder of the 35-minute final.
“Garut was laughing out there during that lull, we both couldn’t believe it,” said Wilson after the final. “He started to congratulate me after no waves came in for like 10 minutes. I felt so bad and told him no way, he still could do it. Remember this is Garut, and Garut at Maccas no less, so for him to come from behind and take me out was possible up until that horn blew. Though I’m very stoked to win, and stoked I was out in the final with Garut, I do kinda wish he would’ve gotten a few more waves so it would have been a bit closer! ”
And sure enough, like a scripted plot, less than a minute after the horn blew the end of the final a set rolled in and Garut took the first wave and blasted the biggest air of the event and landed it perfectly. But he had no trouble smiling and laughing about it together with Wilson back on the boat, with no sign of anger or frustration evident. “Hey, this was my first final in like 3 years, and I got to surf this awesome wave with lots of my friends and mostly with only one other guy out. This is my favorite wave in the world, it’s the perfect wave for my style of surfing and so much fun. I’m so happy we got to come here, so big thanks to Ibu Desti, Rip Curl, and the ISC!”
In the Women’s Division Final it was a truly international cast, as the four women all from different countries paddled out into a picture perfect Macaronis lineup to start of the final day of competition.
In the tightly contested 30 minute final, it was the Coca-Cola ISC and ASC Tour Manager Micheala Partin from the USA who narrowly defeated Malaysia’s Brenda Lee, just edging her out by a mere half a point, ending the final with a score of 14.00 to 13.95 (out of a possible 20).
Lee had scored the final’s highest single wave score of 7.5 with her first wave, but then struggled to come up with up with the 6.60 wave score that she needed to best Partin’s combination of a 6.9 and a 7.1.
Partin was nothing if not ecstatic with her victory, saying, “This is my first contest win ever, so I’m so happy! To be able to surf in such a perfect wave like Macaronis and to have such a great crew of girls to compete with, it’s truly the best experience ever. I surf at Uluwatu in Bali a lot and I think that is what gave me the advantage here. “ Recalling the last few minutes of the final she said. “It was fun and all but it was still a competition, so I was really worried near the end because I knew that Brenda and I were so close and she had already scored some good waves. I was so nervous and then so relieved when there were no more sets in that last minute!”
Lee hails from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and doesn’t have a chance to surf consistently, so being able to surf a wave like this was a dream come true. “Due to my work schedule and the fact that there are only waves in Malaysia during the monsoon season for 2 or 3 months, I couldn’t miss the chance to come here to Macaronis,” she said. “Coming here to hang out with the top surfers in Asia and surfing this great wave with only 3 other girls in the water is the highlight of my surfing life so far. Sure I would have liked to win, but getting second is pretty darn good and I’m happy with that!”, she said.
The Rip Curl Pro Mentawai 2012 was officially opened on the 23rd of May at the Macaronis Resort, with various government officials including the Bupati (Regent) of the Mentawai Islands Mr. Yudus Sabbagalet giving speeches and the locals staging traditional dance performances, and then closed with an awards presentation on the 26th.
From the podium during the awards presentation at the first class Macaronis Resort, event winner Lee Wilson was generous in his praise for the event, saying, “Thanks to everyone who made this great event happen…to Ibu Desti, the Mentawai government, to Rip Curl, to the ISC and everyone involved. Without you guys it wouldn’t have happened and thanks for all your hard work. Thanks also to all the boys who came so far to come and compete,, its been so much fun! And being able to surf in such great waves and be in a final with my best friend,…thanks to all!”
Preceding the awards were speeches by Coca-Cola ISC and ASC President Tipi Jabrik, Ibu Desti Seminora from the Head Office of Tourism and Sports, Rip Curl SEA CEO Jeff Anderson, Coca-Cola ISC Judge Arya Subyakto, and SurfTime Editor Matt George, and after the awards presentation was music, free flowing beer, and good times far into the night to conclude an epic three days of arguably the best surf competition ever in South East Asia.
In addition to the exciting surfing competition and consistent with the Coca-Cola ISC’s mission to “Go Green” and help educate the locals about caring for their environment wherever they go. Dozens of specially painted trash bins were donated by Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and placed around the Macaronis Resort during the event, and will be moved to the nearby town of Silabu on North Pagai Island after the contestants have gone home.
Thanks to the Bali-Based ROLE Foundation and Yasasan GUS, the local children have received educational materials and instructions on how to care for their environment and their personal health from Curtis of the ROLE Foundation who visited their school, and headed up a team that included Tipi Jabrik, Dede Suryana, Mustofa Jeksen, Lee Wilson, Oney Anwar, Darmaputra Tonyo, and James Hendy to plant mangrove shoots in one of the area’s devastated by the October 2010 tsunami.
“We hope that with a bit of education and leading by example, we can make a difference in these peoples lives as well as help to ensure that our oceans, beaches and waterways don’t get more polluted so we can all enjoy these places we love to spend our time at,” said Curtis.
The Rip Curl Pro Mentawai was fully supported by the Government Regency of the Mentawai Islands and sponsored by Rip Curl Indonesia, Macaronis Resort, Garuda Indonesia, Andalas Media, the Indies Explorer, and the ROLE Foundation, with media support by Waves Magazine, Magicseaweed.com, Surfervillage.com, BaliBelly.tv, Indosurflife.com, Alam TV Bali, SurfTime Magazine, Maxim, Juice, and Lines Magazine.
Open Division Results
1st – Lee Wilson (Australia/Indonesia) Rp. 15,000,000 (approx. $1,600 USD)
2nd – Garut Widiarta (Indonesia) Rp. 8,000,000 (approx. $850 USD)
Equal 3rd – Raditya Rondi (Indonesia)/Pepen Hendrik Indonesia) Rp 4,500,000 (approx. $480 USD)
Women’s Division Results
1st – Michaela Partin (USA) Rp 5,000,000 (approx. $550 USD)
2nd – Brenda Lee (Malaysia) Rp 3,000,000 (approx. $325 USD)
3rd – Annissa Flynn (Thailand) Rp 1,500,000 (approx. $160 USD)
4th – Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea (Indonesia) Rp 500,000 (approx. $55 USD)
Check out all the heat scores, photos, and videos of the event at http://www.isctour.com/events/
and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/
The Rip Curl Pro Mentawai 2012 was a dual sanctioned Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships and the Asian Surfing Championships 6 star rated event, with media support by Surfersvillage.com, Baliwaves.com, Balibelly.com, Lines Magazine, SurfTime Magazine, Magic Wave, Alam TV Bali, MyLifeOnBoard.net, the Outdoor Channel, and RVM, and environmental support in our Keepin’ it Green program from the ROLE Foundation, GUS, and Climate Dave. Words and photos by Tim Hain