REnextop Asian Surfing Tour (RAST) Stop #1 in Bali Survives Torrential Downpour on Day 1 and is Rewarded with Excellent Waves
The start of the REnextop Asian Surfing Tour surfing competition today was delayed for several hours due to an unseasonal and extended torrential downpour, which though it caused the cancellation of the planned opening festivities including a Balinese Kecak dance, but luckily resulted in the competitors being treated to glassy 4-6 foot waves at Canggu’s famed rivermouth righthander.
The 12 Women’s Shortboard Division competitors saw first action as the rain poured down and the waves provided them a perfect setup to carve big turns on the caramel colored waves.
Sisters Kailani and Puanani Johnson (Bali) both won their heats in the glassy often overhead sets, using their local knowledge to blast big backside turns and advance onto Round 2, which is scheduled for Saturday. “Even though I won my heat I still felt like I left a lot out there, said Puanani. “The waves were so perfect it was kind of hard to chose the most perfect one…I kept overthinking things I think. But I’m so happy I got through and am looking forward to getting another chance in Round 2.”
Summa Longbottom (AUS), daughter of big wave surfer and shaper Dylan Longbottom, posted the highest single wave score of the round, an 8.17, adding to a 6.43 to also give her the highest combined heat score as well.
Next up were the Women’s Longboard division, which saw 8 competitors from the Philippines, Korea, and Indonesia taking on the often overhead set waves.
In the end it was Korea’s Jina Kim that won bragging rights to the round’s highest scores, nailing a 6.33 to jump into the lead from her second place spot and win the heat in the dying minutes. “I was really nervous even before I paddled out, as I’ve never competed in waves that big before, said Jina. “I played it safe for most of the heat as I was scared that some big sets would come through, but luckily near the end I got that midsized wave that gave me the score I needed to get through. I’m so happy I made it!”
Rounding out the day was the Men’s Longboard Division, which saw two time World Longboard Champion Harley Ingleby displaying a dominating performance and enjoying very minute of it.
Ingleby was all grins back on the beach after winning his heat, saying, “To surf Canggu with only three guys out in overhead waves, I’m so stoked. The heat started out with lots of waves, but then we had a bit of a lull at the end. It would have been nice to get another one to finish up on, but its all good!"
When asked about his experience in Bali so far, he explained, “I’ve been here in Bali for about a week now, and surfed Padang-Padang on the big day last Monday, and now I’m super stoked to be able to surf in this REnextop Asian tour event. I’ve met some of the other surfers from my trips to Hainan (China) and Taiwan, and of course from here in Indonesia, so it’s great to be able to surf and hang out with them here in Bali. I’m really looking forward to getting more waves here in Canggu and having a great time!”
Ingleby posted an excellent score of an 8.3 on his second wave and then backed it up with a 7.9 to post the highest single waves scores and also the highest combined heat score of 16.23 in the Men’s Longboard first round.
Also putting on impressive performances in the Men’s Longboard Division were West Java’s Deni Firdaus and Mencos Cosomen, as well as the Philippines Jefferson De La Torre and Australia’s Jack Entwistle.
Tomorrow will see the 32 Men’s Shortboard Division competitors tackling Canggu starting at 7:30 am. The swell forecast is calling for an increase in swell size to 7.5 feet over today’s 5 feet swell, so it will no doubt be both exciting for the spectators and challenging for the competitors tomorrow as some of Asia’s best surfers including Rizal Tandjung, Marlon Gerber, Pepen Hendrik, Rio Waida, paddle out into the lineup to get through Round 1 and chase the winners trophy.