Canggu Beach was undoubtedly the perfect place to celebrate International Surfing Day today at the start Quiksilver Canggu Challenge...
...as a massive 44 of the 66 heats of the competition were run in a double bank format on Day One, to give the overfull crowd of 100 plus amping competitors their shot at surfing Bali’s most popular break on the best day in recent history.
After two Open Division trial heats were run starting at just after 7:30 am, both the Sand Bar and the Rivermouth righthander were used in a double bank format, with two sets of judges taking on the challenging job of judging the frothing male and female competitors from Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines that were waiting their turn to get some of the 3-5 foot perfection that Canggu is famous for.
Living up to its name the event was certainly challenging, as much for the judging crew as it was for the competitors, as it was non-stop action from 7:30am until 4:00 pm, the end of Round 2 of the Open Men’s and the Quarterfinals of the Junior boys divisions. A total of 44 heats were run; 18 Men’s Open, 4 Women’s Open, 16 Junior Boys, and 4 Junior Girls, plus the two trial heats.
ASC Head Judge Wayan Pica was tired but smiling at the end of the day, saying, “This is the first time we’ve done a double-bank format here in Bali, and although it was hard work it was a great experience and the crew all worked together very well. Using only the left at the Sand Bar and the righthand Pererenan rivermouth break, we could see everything and I think we got it right. The waves were really good and allowed a real variety of maneuvers, so all the surfers had a good opportunity.” When asked about the level of surfing on display today, he replied, “I’m really impressed especially by the Junior’s and the Women’s division performances today…they have progressed very fast just over the past year!”
It was the best conditions the ASC Women’s Open Division has been put out in at a comp in Bali in recent history, and they took full advantage of the glassy and lined up conditions to really show off their skills, with standouts like local sisters Kailani and Pua Johnson, Sophie Johnson, and the Philippine’s Nilbie Blancada all in top form, winning their heats in convincing fashion and earning seminfinal berths.
In the highly competitive Junior Boys Division, several of the super groms including Raju Sena Rio Waida, and Tommy Sobry competed in both the Open and Junior Divisions and earned spots in the Junior Seminfinals. Other top performers included Brazil’s Samuel Pupo and locals Ketut Agus and Ivan Sudena, who will all meet up tomorrow in the semis.
The Junior Girl’s Division also had several girls competing in both the Juniors and the Women’s Open including Hayanna Iguchi, Kailani Johnson, Taina Hinkle, Taina Izquierdo, and Sophie Fletcher. Taina Hinkle, Kailani Johnson, and Hayanna Iguchi were all heat winners today, so with Dhea Natasha, Sophie Fletcher, Cinta Hansel, and Summa Longbottom will round out tomorrow’s semifinals.
The Men’s Open Division saw buckets of spray thrown everywhere, along with a few barrels, airs, and may rails buried deep on big bottom turns. Getting the highest single wave score of a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) as well as the highest heat score of 16.40 (out of a possible 20) in the first two rounds was 2014 ASC Champion Dede Suryana, who after finding his rythem mid way through his Round 2 heat put together a great combination of maneuvers to earn his well deserved 9 points high score and heat win. In the same heat, fellow Quiksilver team rider Rio Waida nabbed second spot to advance into Round 3.
Padma Boy Nyoman “Blacky” Satria from Legian got the next highest single wave score of a 7.83 from the judges for a blistering series of hacks, so will meet up with the top 16 seeded ASC surfers in Round 3 tomorrow.
Competition will resume tomorrow morning at 7:00 pm, with a single bank format to complete the remaining 24 heats of the event. Wave conditions are expected to be slightly smaller than today, and the afternoon winds milder, setting up for a great finale.