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Bali’s Garut Widiarta takes Maldives Open win

Bali’s Garut Widiarta takes Maldives Open win
Hussain Areef & Garut Widiarta © Tim Hain/ASC




Maldives Open 

Lohis Point, Maldives
3 - 7 September, 2014

Second Goes To Local Hussain Areef: Rina Kitazawa Claims Women’s

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 September, 2014 - Adaaran Hudhuran Fushi Resort-Maldives - In an exciting 35 minute finale to three days of riveting competition at the inaugural Maldives Open 2014, Bali’s Garut Widiarta defeated the Maldives number one ranked surfer Hussain Areef in lined up 3-4 foot Lhohis perfection to claim victory.

“ I was nervous going into this final against Iboo for sure,” said Widiarta after the final. “He was surfing really well and a local is always touch to beat at his home place.  I’m super stoked to win of course, but I kinda wish he could have won too you know?  It would have been really great for him in front of all his friends…but there can only be one winner right, so I’m happy it’s me”, said Widiarta with a big smile.  “This wave and the place has become one of my favorite spots…its such a perfect place for a contest and this wave lets you do whatever you want…how good is it?” he added.

Hussain “Iboo” Arref was not at all disappointed with his runner up finish, saying “I’m still kind of in shock about this whole thing, I never expected to get into the final with all these Bali boys in the contest.  I’m really stoked about second place, it was so much fun to be out there in heats with guys like Raditya, Rahtu, and Garut, I learned a lot just competing with them and I can’t wait til next year to do it again!”

Garut Widiarta © Tim Hain/ASC


In the Women’s Division final it was 2013 ASC Women’s Champion Rina Kitazawa from Japan getting the win over local favorite and resort surf guide Amy Kotch (USA), Cloud Nine’s Nilbie Blancada (PHL), and 5-time Indonesian Women’s Champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea (INA).  She admitted that she didn’t expect to win the event, as the wave is a left and she is a naturalfooter. “I didn’t think I would win, as there was Amy and Bonne who were goofyfooters and they are such good and experienced surfers, much older than me.  But the wave is so good here and I got a few nice waves, so in the end I could win,” she explained.

The Bodyboarding Division was taken out by Gavin Botha (South Africa), who works on a neighboring island.  “A friend told me about this contest and told me I should enter….I usually surf alone so I thought it was a good way to meet some other bodyboarders who I could surf with.  I didn’t really expect to win, although when you enter a contest in the back of your mind of course you want to win, right?  So I’m very happy to win and equally happy to have made lots of new friends,” said Botha.  

The three-day event will conclude tomorrow afternoon with the grand closing awards presentation, which is expected to be attended by non other than the President of the Maldives himself!  It will truly be a historic milestone for surfing and bodyboarding in the Maldives, and a diamond in the crown of Asian surfing.

With a perfect location at the Maldives most consistent surfing wave, the Adaaran Huduhuran Fushi Resort has to be the best place in Asia to stage a surfing and bodyboarding competition. Thanks so much to the Maldives Body Boarding Association for making this all happen, and to the Maldives Minister of Tourism and all the event sponsors for their tremendous support!

Women's winners © Tim Hain/ASC


ASC Men’s Open Division
1. Garut Widiarta (INA)
2. Hussain Areef (MAL)
3. Rahtu Suargita (INA)
3. Dede Suryana (INA)

ASC Women’s Division
1.  Rina Kitazawa (JAP)
2.  Nilbie Blancada (PHL)
3.  Amy Kotch (USA)
4.  Yasnyiar Gea (INA)

Body Boarding Division
1. Gavin Botha (ZAF)
2. Ali Khushruwan Ahmed (MAL)
3. Ali Sham Raflu (MAL)
4. Mohamed Ihushan (MAL)

Tim Hain

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