Rip Curl Cup Trials
Uluwatu, Bali Indonesia
30 July 2015
Locals run wild at Uluwatu as the quest for the Cup kicks off
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 31 July, 2015 - The 2015 edition of the Rip Curl Cup is underway, with the Rip Curl Cup Trials run and won today at Uluwatu. With the main event field reduced this year, the battle for the one position up for grabs for was as tight as it's ever been between the 32 Indonesian competitors.
At day's end it was Agus Blacky Setiawan who flew the flag for Uluwatu, and secured his spot in the Rip Curl Cup for the first time. Held in tricky three-to-four foot tubes, first at The Peak on high in the morning, then moving to Racetracks as the tide dropped out, competition was fierce, with numerous excellent scores dropped across the rounds for long draining barrels. Raju Sena locked in the highest scoring wave of the day, a 9.5 in the quarter finals, while Setiawan provided the day's only other nine-point ride, scoring an even 9.0 in round one.
Semi final one was a slow affair, with Made Loco Swastika and Koko Mitsua coming out on top at the end of a wave-starved 25-minutes, eliminating the polished Dede Suryana and Sena along the way. Suryana, one of Indonesia's most complete competitors fell desperately short in the dying seconds, his last gasp buzzer-beating wave 0.15 points short of the 8.05 he needed to progress.
In the second semi final Mustofa Jeksen took the honours on the back of the highest scoring wave of the semis, an 8.75 for a double-barrel beauty. A second straight buzzer-beater rounded out the semis, and this time the scoreboard favoured Setiawan who locked in an 8.5 when chasing an 8.0 to advance at the expense of Alik Rudiarta and local legend Made Lana.
The final was a fitting conclusion to a day of heated battle. With the tide bottoming out Racetracks served up the lightning quick walls it is known for, and Jeksen opened up with a 5.5 to take an early lead. He would remain in pole position for the first 22 minutes of the half-hour heat, but as the rest of the finalists sat at the top of the Racetrack Setiawan made the move that would prove decisive, and paddled away from his competitors down the line.
With plenty of room to move and very little to lose he slowly chipped away at Jeksen's lead. With eight minutes remaining Setiawan locked in a 7.1 for two dangerously shallow low tide barrels and moved into first place as his hometown crowd roared. The win felt assured at that point but Jeksen wouldn't concede, and found a draining tube of his own to strike back.
After threading a solid first section he couldn't navigate the second that would have all but evened the ledger, and the crowd roared once more. With a minute left Setiawan took off on the sealer, finding a tube then slamming the door on his opponents as he hammered the end section and rode out elated.
Tomorrow, August 1, sees the traditional spectacular opening celebration to signify the start of the competition waiting period. The local Mangku will meet the surfers on Padang Padang beach for a prayer and ceremonial blessing, before local Kecak dancers take centre stage. A traditional Wayang puppet show will round out the evening's entertainment.
This year the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang event window runs from August 1st to 31st, and the reduced field and smaller waiting period increase the possibility of scoring incredible waves and witnessing the best action the event has ever seen. Keep and eye on live.ripcurl.com for all of the latest updates on conditions thanks to event forecast partner Coastalwatch.
This year sees the introduction of our new Dawn Patrol show, a twice weekly video catch-up with competitors showcasing the best freesurf action from the archipelago, in and around the waiting period. It's going to be awesome so keep your eye on the website for all the latest. The first edition will air on Monday, featuring a wrap of this year's opening ceremony and trials, and an interview with winner Agus Blacky Setiawan. Stay tuned to live.ripcurl.com all of the action.
1. Agus Blacky Setiawan
2. Mustofa Jeksen
3. Koko Mitsua
4. Made Loco Swastika
Semi Final 1
1. Made Loco Swastika
2. Koko Mitsua
3. Dede Suryana
4. Raju Sena
Semi Final 2
1. Mustofa Jeksen
2. Agus Blacky Setiawan
3. Alik Rudiarta
4. Made Lana