Exciting First Day Action and Opening Ceremony Starts Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 on Simeulue Island, Indonesia


26 October 2017, Matanurung Beach, Simeulue Island-Aceh:  Day 1 of the Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 got off to an exciting start this morning in glassy 2-3 foot waves at Dylans, with Round 1 of competition taking to the water at 7:30 am, followed by the Opening Ceremony at 10:30, and then resuming competition at 3:30 pm to complete Round 2 just as the sun went down.

Rio Waida. Photo by Tim Hain

This is the 3rd year of the Aceh International Surfing competition, the first being held in 2013 and the second in 2015.

14 local surfers competed in Round 1, with 8 of them advancing into the international Round 2, where the total of 17 Indonesian and International surfers were waiting to challenge them in the race for the overall victory.

In the local contingent’s highlight reel was 16 year old Rambo, who showed amazing talent in the water, easily winning his Round 1 heat and getting second in his Round 2 heat to advance into Round 3.

Another impressive performer was 11-year-old Apis who had great wave selection and threw some nice turns on a board that’s a bit big for him, winning his Round 1 heat.  Unfortunately he placed 3rdin his Round 2 heat, so is out of the completion, but he’s destined for a podium finish in his next competition you can be sure.

During his speech during the Opening Ceremony, the Tourism Minister of Simeulue Mr. Abdul Karim pointed out that in the first Aceh International Surfing Championship in 2013 only one local joined in the competition, and now just 4 years later there were 14, showing the local surf community was progressing nicely with the support from the government, for which he thanked Vice Regent Afridawati, and then asked her for continued support.

In her speech that followed, Vice Regent Afriwadati thanked all the contestants for coming to the event and all involved in organizing it, then vowed to keep supporting the event and surfing in Simeulue.

Then the crowd was treated to dancing and a unique group of men who amazed them with their bravery and skill in doing all manner of shocking acts with knives, electric drills, chains, and other metal implements.

After a 3 hour break the competition continued with Round 2, as the waves continued to roll in with enough consistency to allow for 20 minute heats.

Surfers from Bali, West Java, the Mentawais, Nias, and Banda Aceh, joined with surfers from Australia and Japan to complete the heat draw, and by the time the sun went down Round 2 had been completed.

Highlights of Round 2 started with the very first heat, when current WSL Asia’s current rankings leader Rio Waida (JPN/IDN) got started early and never relinquished his lead with critical turns and smooth surfing, posting a heat high single wave score of 7.5 points (out of a possible 10).

Later in Heat 5 Bali’s Pepen Hendrix posted the day’s highest single waves score of 8.5 for a long wave with great combinations of maneuvers including floaters, hacks and cutbacks.  Other heat winners of note included Rahel Wau from Nias, Mega Artana from Bali, and Putra Hermawan from Nusa Lembongan.

Tomorrow’s wave forecast is calling for a similar day as today if not a touch smaller, so the plan is to standby early for the premium high tide window between 7 and 10 am to run the 4 heats of Round 3, which will be four-man heats.  This will set up the final day of quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final for Saturday, which will be in man-on-man format (meaning only two surfers per heat)

The Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 is an 3 day event that runs from 26-28 October and sponsored primarily by the Simeulue government and the province of Aceh, which is offering up a total prize of IDR 75,000,000 for the Men’s International Division (approximately $5,700 USD), with IDR 20,000,000 ($1,500) going to the winner.

Simeulue Island is just off the west coast of Sumatra, a one-hour plane flight from the city of Medan. It is an island of untouched beauty and has a population of around 85,000 people; hosting a multitude of surf spots, warm water, and amazing scenery.

The Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 is sponsored by the Government Regency of Simeulue and the Aceh Department of Tourism.

For more information about the Aceh International Surfing Championship 2017 please contact Ranu at [email protected]