Lee Wilson Wins The Rip Curl Cup At Padang-Padang In Epic Final
In an amazing display of strategic tube-riding prowess, Bali's Lee Wilson used his years of local knowledge to barrel his way to victory in the Rip Curl Cup today at Bali's Banzai Pipeline over a field of the world's best tube riding specialists, including runner up and previous Rip Curl Cup winner Made "Bol" Adi Putra, Australia's Anthony Walsh, and first time finalist Mustofa Jeksen in a gripping 45 minute final.
After receiving his winner's check for Rp 50 million (almost $6,000 USD) on the podium as the sun was setting over a still pumping Indian Ocean, Wilson said, "This is the best win I have ever had, hands down. I truthfully didn't give myself much of a chance to win today. It's a left, and there were some of the best tube riders in the world out there, guys I have seen take down WCT surfers, so I was just out there thinking that I would relax and just go for some big barrels and have fun."
It worked to perfection. With three, (well two and a half to be precise as Wilson is half Australian and half Indonesian) Indonesian surfers and one Australian out in epic 4-6 foot mid-tide Padang-Padang, Wilson posted first a 9.5 point barrel ride then added 6.5 more points to end up with a total of 16.00 points out of a possible 20 to best runner up Made "Bol" Adi Putra. Adi Putra, who arguably owns Padang-Padang having scored a perfect 10-point wave in semifinal one as well as the highest heat score of 18.85.
The 45-minute grand final was the culmination of a day filled with the kind of drama that couldn't possibly have been scripted. Sunrise saw solid 6-foot sets blasting into the razor sharp Padang-Padang reef, prompting the long-awaited "ON" call just into the fourth week of the five-week waiting period. Heat 1 was extremely slow, with Irelands Fergal Smith only managing one short takeoff, before the ocean awakened again to start pumping again.
A bizarre situation in Round 3 had Makua Rothman paddling up the inside and dropping in from behind on Mega Semadhi, then both of them slotting into the barrel together before it spit them out into the channel. Rothman got the penalty and Mega advanced, but none-the-less a very amazing display.
Then just after Round One was completed, the clouds that had gathered began to drizzle and the onshore winds began to make a mess of the lineup, so a break was called to see what the weather would do next. After about an hour, the sun began to burn out the clouds and the Indian Ocean wave machine began once again to pump out some of its world famous Padang-Padang barrels, which continued non-stop until long after the sun went down.
Rip Curl's James Hendy was all smiles during the awards presentation at the end of the day, saying, "I'm relieved and thrilled at the same time. This was such an amazing conclusion to an incredible day of competition. There were some ups and downs during the day, which just added to the drama and excitement, but the final was better than we ever could have imagined. After waiting for 24 months, and basically 4 weeks now in this 5-week waiting period, it's such a great feeling to end up with such a memorable final. "
In addition to having his name inscribed on the perpetual Rip Curl Cup Trophy and getting his Rp 50 million in cash, Lee Wilson also received a brand new Kawasaki 150 D-Tracker motorcycle from Kawasaki Indonesia for being the top local surfer in the Rip Curl Cup. After receiving the award Wilson said "I just bought a new Kawasaki a few months ago, so now I have two! So I 'm going to give my old one to Bol, because he really deserves something for surfing so good today. "
Rip Curl Cup 2011 Contest Results:
1st. Lee Wilson (Bali)
2nd Made Adi Putra (Bali)
3rd Anthony Walsh (Australia)
4th Mustofa Jeksen (Bali)