In an exciting end to four full days of great surfing and fun at Patong Beach at the Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition, Bali¹s Raditya Rondi gave the crowded beach a clinical demonstration on smashing out big moves on even the smallest waves to claim victory in the Men¹s Open Shortboard Division, winning a cash prize of 30,000 Baht ($1,000 USD) plus accommodations from Ibis Hotel and airlines tickets from Nok Air.
Rondi¹s fellow finalists Mega Semadhi, Pepen Hendrik, and Marlon Gerber are also from Bali, giving him not only a challenge from the small wave conditions but also against his competitors, as they are all top surfers on the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour and the new Asian Surfing Championship Tour. In their last competition together, it was Marlon Gerber that scored a last minute victory against Rondi, so this win was especially sweet for him.
³ Wow, I¹m so stoked to be the winner today, finally! I¹ve been so close and almost won several times this year, but now I¹ve done it. And in such a great place, I¹m so happy I came here to Phuket. For me and all the boys from Bali, it¹s been a super fun and amazing experience with the food, the beach, the nightlife, and the locals have been so cool to us too. I really thank them for sharing their beach and waves with us and they are welcome in Bali anytime!² said Rondi. The top spots on the podium in all divisions were taken by Indonesian surfers, with Arif ³Mencos² Hidayat from West Java winning the Longboard Division, Yasnyiar ³Bonne² Gea from Sumatra taking the Women¹s Division victory, and Bali legend Wayan Gantiyasa winning the Masters Division.
Indonesia has the most experienced surf community in South East Asia, dating back to the 1930¹s, and their own professional surfing tour, but with the creation of the new Asian Surfing Championship tour it is hoped that the other surfing destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines will benefit from these surfing events and develop more world class professional surfers as well.
Phuket¹s own teenage phenom Annissa Flynn was the top Thai surfer in the Women¹s Division, nailing the 1st runner up spot just behind Yasnyiar Gea, and besting Indonesia¹s Gamala Hanafiah and Australia¹s Charmaine Gale. Flynn at 13 years of age has already traveled and competed outside of Thailand, going to Bali last year to compete in the Quiksilver King of the Groms. She was satisfied with her result today saying, ³I had lots of fun out there and I didn¹t lose by much, only by half a point, and so I feel good about today.²
In the Men¹s Longboard Division it was Indonesia¹s Arif ³Mencos² Hidayat who wowed the crowd with his exciting new school maneuvers combined with classic ³toes on the nose² rides to best fellow West Java longboard ace Husni Ridwan. Thailand¹s Weerawat Kuru placed third and Teiki Ballian from France took fourth spot.
In the Master¹s Division it was Bali¹s Wayan Gantiyasa from Kuta Beach who fought off the last minute charge by local Thai master Chalong Thongsook to take the win. Gantiyasa was all smiles back on the beach after the final saying, ³This is my first time to Phuket and I¹m really enjoying it. It¹s a bit like back home at Kuta Beach, but cleaner and much more organized with better traffic, hotels, restaurants, and great night life. Winning the comp was great, but the whole experience here was the best thing. The local surfers have a great spirit and I¹m happy to be able to surf with them.²
Today¹s finals were the culmination of four days of surfing, games, music and entertainment at Patong Beach in Phuket, one of the most popular beaches in arguably Thailand¹s best beach tourism destination. The Quiksilver Thailand Surf 2011 Competition has become an annual event, this being the third year running, and is growing in popularity, drawing almost 100 surfers from Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, France, Burma, and America for the event this year.
Quiksilver SEA CEO Paul Hutson was delighted with this year¹s event, saying, ³This was another example of the outstanding execution of professional event organizing by Surached and his team at Quiksilver Thailand, and I couldn¹t be more pleased. A big shout out also to the media and celebrities that came down for the weekend for a fabulous weekend of surf, sun and fun here at Patong Beach, and to the Patong locals for being such great hosts. We¹ll see you back here next year!² The winners in each division each received cash prizes in addition to vouchers from hotel sponsor Ibis Hotels and airline sponsor Nok Air.
After the beachside awards presentation that was accompanied by food, free flow Chang beer and water, the crowd was treated to live music by the Teddy Ska Band, a fashion show of Quiksilver and Roxy¹s latest apparel, and rounded out by one of Bangkok¹s hottest bands, Big Ass. And as if that wasn¹t enough, everybody was invited down the street to the Jungceylon mall to Famous nightclub for the after party, where copious amounts of Chang beer and Jim Beam greeted the thirsty crowd and had them partying until the small hours of the morning.
Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition Results
Men¹s Open Shortboard Division
- Raditya Rondi (IND) 30,000 THB
- Mega Semadhi (IND) 20,000 THB
- Pepen Hendrik (IND) 10,000 THB
- Marlon Gerber (IND) 7,000 THB
Open Longboard Division
- Arif Nur Hidayat (IND) 10,000 THB
- Husni Ridwan (IND) 7,000 THB
- Weerawat Kuru (THA) 5,000 THB
- Teiki Ballian (FRA) 2,000 THB
- Yasnyiar Gea (IND) 7,000 THB
- Annissa Flynn (THA) 5,000 THB
- Gemala Hanafiah (IND) 2,500 THB
- Charmaine Gale (AUS) 1,000 THB
- Wayan Gantiyasa (IND) 5,000 THB
- Chalong Thongsook (THA) – 3,000 THB
- Devin Long (THA) 2,000 THB
- Tatsuya (JAP) 1,000 THB