Padang Padang, Bali—It was billed as a gathering of the best tuberiders in the world at the best barrel in Bali, and the Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang delivered as advertised.
Jamie O’Brien took home the cup in what will go down as one of the most spectacular displays of high-stakes tuberiding in the history of competitive surfing. The 26-year-old surfing sensation from the North Shore of Oahu battled through a field of 16 of Indonesia’s best surfers and 16 of the world’s top tube riders to meet legendary Balinese surfer and two-time Rip Curl Cup champion Made "Bol" Adi Putra in the final.
To the winner the Bintang! Photo: Dorsey/Stryker
"This is right up there with my Pipe Masters and Teahupo'o trials wins," O’Brien said after being escorted from the beach to the winner’s podium on the shoulders of his friends and soaked with champagne. "I got so barreled today, this was the sickest event ever."
Hundreds of spectators packed the sands of Padang Padang beach to watch the show, as Padang pumped out perfect, smoking six-foot tubes all day long.
"It was as good as it gets today," said two-time champ Adi Putra after the final. "This is the first time I surfed Padang this year. I wish it was always like this."
O’Brien scored an unheard of four perfect 10s during the event, including two in the same heat during Round 2 for a flawless total heat score. He earned $2,000 for the win, but the prize money was secondary to the countless memorable barrels he made during his five rounds of competition. He plans to donate all his prize money to a local Balinese charity.
"Everyone is a winner today," said contest director Pete Matthews. "It was a true tuberiding event."
1st Jamie O’Brien
2nd Made "Bol" Adi Putra
T-3rd Ryan Turner
T-3rd Laurie Towner