Bali, Indonesia – Monday, 28 May 2018: In Bali, the best waves always go to the locals, even when the WSL is in town. On a day when the world’s best surfers made their highly-anticipated return to Bali for the WCT competition at Keramas, it was Indonesia’s local surfers who scored the best of the swell during an incredible day of tubes at the Rip Curl Cup Trials at Padang-Padang.
While the WSL’s elite battled through tricky conditions at Keramas on Sunday, eventually halting competition before the completion of Round 1 due to deteriorating wave quality as the onshore winds kicked up and the low tide bottomed out, it was a different story at Padang-Padang where 32 of Indonesia’s top surfers dueled it out in all-day barrels for the Rip Curl Cup Trials.
Eighteen-year-old Kuta Beach surfer Mega Artana put on a tuberiding clinic, topping a field of older and more experienced competitors to claim his first-ever trip to the Rip Curl Cup main event.
In the Final, it was Artana who stole the show and first place, threading a pair of deep barrels through the inside double up section before getting spat out into the channel, and earning a combined heat score of 17.33. Nipping at Artana’s heels and finishing runner-up in the Final was Bukit local Agus “Blacky” Setiawan, 30, from Uluwatu (15.37). Rounding out the four-man Final was Mustofa Jeksen, 30, from Kuta (14.00) in third place, and Alik Rudiarta, 30, from Uluwatu (8.27) in fourth.
All four finalists earned wildcard berths into the Rip Curl Cup main event. They will join former Rip Curl Cup Champions Bol Adi Putra, Lee Wilson, Garut Widiarta and Mega Semadhi to represent Indonesia and compete against the world's best tube riders at Padang-Padang on the best day of spitting barrels between July 1 – 31.
“I was nervous surfing in my first heat this morning, but I stayed focused and felt stronger after each round,” said an elated Artana on the winner’s podium. “Padang-Padang is the proving grounds for Balinese surfers and I can’t wait for my chance to show the world what I can do against the best surfers out there.”