August 11th, 2013 – After being pipped at the buzzer by American Chris Ward in the final seconds of last year’s Rip Curl Cup, Bali’s Mega Semadhi finally reaped the rewards of a Rip Curl Cup victory today, locking into a classic late afternoon Padang-Padang barrel with one minute and 40 seconds remaining to leapfrog from third place into the lead and win the 10th annual Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang Invitational.
Semadhi, a Pecatu (Bukit Peninsula) local, was absolutely ecstatic with his win in his 10th Rip Curl Cup appearance, as he was so close to tasting victory last year just to have it snatched away from him in the final seconds by California’s Chris Ward.
“This win means so much to me, here at my home and in front of my family, and because of last year too”, said Semadhi. “In those final minutes I was trying to be patient, thinking that if I could lose in the final minutes like last year, I could also be the one to win in the last minute too. When that last set came in I said not this one, not this one, I gotta pick the right one. And then it was like a fairly tale come true when I heard the score and that I won.”
Semahdi is currently studying to be a Hindu priest, and perhaps part of his studies is about patience as today it certainly paid off for the young man. Just a couple of weeks ago he was runner up in another ASC competition at Balangan Beach, and was bested by fellow Balinese goofyfooter Raditya Rondi, who held the lead in the final today until the final minutes.
Putting on a very impressive performance today in his first trip to Bali and his first ever surf at Padang-Padang was runner-up, 16-year old Jacob Willcox from Margaret River in West Australia. Willcox looked very comfortable in the often intimidating lineup, winning his first round heat by taking down locals Garut Widiarta and Marlon Gerber, besting Rizal Tandjung and Dede Suryana in the quarterfinals, and then Laurie Towner and Sean Peggs in the semifinals to get his Finals berth.
“This is my first time in Bali and first time to surf Padang-Padang, so I’m super stoked to come in second and happy for Mega, because he really deserved the win,” said Willcox.
When asked what he thought of the wave at Padang Padang, he replied, “It’s a great wave, similar to some of our barreling waves back home, so I felt at home out there. It was great to be out there with the Bali boys, they were all ripping, and it was such a close final and they were all chatting with each other and stuff. This is definitely one of my best experiences ever at a contest!”
Rip Curl SEA CEO Jeff Anderson was all smiles after the trophy presentation, saying, “We had to get tough some heats during round one, but from there it just got better and better. Mega has been in every contest…every single contest we’ve had at Padang-Padang. I talked to him after he won his semifinal heat and told him ‘Mega, this is your year, you’re going to win it this year,’ I just had the feeling he could do it. He did have a bit of a struggle in the final, but that last wave came and it was magic. The whole crowd was behind him, it was just perfect! I couldn’t be happier!”
The Rip Curl Cup has a longstanding tradition of running in only the best waves with the best tuberiders in the world, which at a wave like Padang Padang requires a lot of patience. Today was day 42 of the 45-day waiting period, and though there were lots of nay-sayers at the start of today’s event, by the end of the day Padang Padang proved on again that it could deliver the goods and retain its stature as Bali’s most sought after barrel riding experience.
A quality field of 32 barrel-riding specialist invitees from Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, USA, Hawaii, Brazil and Indonesia arrived at Padang Padang beach this morning at daybreak to vie for the honor and privilege of hoisting the coveted Rip Curl Cup and having their name inscribed on it with the previous event champions.
2013 Rip Curl Cup Championship Final Results
1. Mega Semadhi (IND) 16.45 points
2. Jacob Willcox (AUS) 14.90 points
3. Raditya Rondi (IND) 14.90 points
4. Alik Rudiarta (IND) 11.90 points