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16 of the worlds best tube riders gathered this week in Bali’s Bukit peninsula for the 2018 Rip Curl Padang Padang Cup Final. The invitation-only event was made up of 8 international and 8 Indonesian surfers. 4 of the Indonesian surfers had to battle their way through a local trials competition to get a wild card spot into the event.

After 2 weeks of waiting there was a monster swell on the horizon, it was anticipated to be the swell of the decade. The forecast was predicting the face size to be in the 8-10’ range during the higher tide hours, with more size over the afternoon as the tide drops and the largest sets push up to 12’ faces.

Round 1

Heat 1

Garut Widiarta (IND)

Christian Fletcher (USA)

Agus “Blacky” Setiawan (IND)

Jay Davies (AUS)

Round 2

Heat 1

Garut Widiarta (IND)

Bruno Santos (BRA)

Mustofa Jeksen (IND)

Jacob Willcox (AUS)

Heat 2

Lee Wilson (IND)

Josh Kerr (AUS)

Mustofa Jeksen (IND)

Bruno Santos (BRA)  

Heat 2

Lee Wilson (IND)

Jack Robinson (AUS)

Agus “Blacky” Setiawan (IND)

Gearoid McDaid (IRL)

Heat 3

Mega Semadhi (IND)

Jack Robinson (AUS)

Alik Rudiarta (IND)

Gearoid McDaid (IRL)

Heat 3

Mega Semadhi (IND)

Josh Kerr (AUS)

Mega Artana (IND)

Nic Von Rupp (PRT)

Heat 4

Bol Adi Putra (IND)

Nic Von Rupp (PRT)

Mega Artana (IND)

Jacob Willcox (AUS)  

Heat 4

Made Adi Putra (IND)

Christian Fletcher (USA)

Alik Rudiarta (IND)

Jay Davies (AUS) 

Nature did not disappoint. Padang delivered some of the biggest waves Bali has seen in almost 10 years. After an intense first day of surfing action, only 8 surfers remained. Round 1 and 2 ended with a flurry of surf and now only 8 surfers remain for the final day of competition.

kecak dance performance opening rup curl 2018 padang padang cup
kecak dance opening ceremony

According to the official event forecaster, Surfline, another exceptionally large and intense storm has plowed through the Indian Ocean over the last 24-48 hours creating a new and even more powerful swell for the second day of competition.

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Satellites have measured an area of 40-50 knot wind, with multiple readings confirming seas in the 40-50 foot range, and one pass indicating seas close to 55 feet. At this point, Surfline is calling for Padang Padang to see “solid double overhead surf (10-12 foot faces) through the day Thursday, with max sets of the day possibly pushing 15-foot faces.”

Semifinal 1 Jacob Willcox (AUS) Bruno Santos (BRA) Agus “Blacky” Setiawan (IND) Made Adi Putra (IND)

Semifinal 2 Jack Robinson (AUS) Mega Semadhi (IND) Josh Kerr (AUS) Garut Widiarta (IND)

The Rip Curl Padang Padang cup is one of Bali’s longest running surf events. This year the cup will have its 15 year anniversary, however, this year’s champion will only be the 9th to hoist up the cup and be crowned champion.

The Padang cup prides itself on only running the event when the waves are at their very best. “It’s on when it’s on!” Who will be lucky number 9? Local favourite and Defending Rip Curl Cup Champion and Padang local Mega Semadhi was praying to, the ocean god to be on our side and bless us with good swell for the cup.

surfing 2018 rip curl padang padang cup

However, there are 2 Australian standouts that are standing between Mega and his cup. Jacob Willcox and Jack Robinson. Jacob dominated his round 1 and 2 heats, toying with one of Bali’s most powerful waves while looking like he was simply enjoying surfing with only 3 other guys in the water.

Jack, on the other hand, went into competition with his game face on. He attacked each section like he has something to prove and putting all his weight into the wall of the waves to make sure he was as deep in the tube as possible. 

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The Final round consisted of 3 Uluwatu locals and one 20 year old from Australia. The local boys would all be surfing on their frontside Jack would be the lone backside surfer, who would be the underdog, to say the least. If 12ft+ faces at one of Indonesia’s most treacherous waves weren’t enough, the finals were set to run during the afternoon dead low tide with a slight wind from the north just adding that much more difficulty into the mix. You could see the water draining off the sharp reef as each surfer took off deeper and deeper hoping for their perfect wave.

padang padang beach sunset view
nature doesn’t disappoint

Jack Robinson the 20-year-old prophet has been invited to the cup since he was 15 but never made it into the finals. This year everything changed. In the finals, Jack went berserk and posting three 9-point rides and a perfect 10 on his way to what could be his most impressive achievement in his young professional career.

Jack’s 19.90 two-wave total left his competitors between a rock and a hard place. Each surfer needing 2 new waves to have a chance of overtaking Jack. Uluwatu local and Trials surfer Agus “Blacky” Setiawan finished in second place with 17.15, followed by Bol Adi Putra (IND) with 15.75 and 2016 winner Mega Semadhi (IND) with 11.00.

Jack’s win was well deserved doing everything right. He got the deepest tubes, threw the biggest turns, and got spat out of the tubes into the channel after everyone thought he had already fallen. But there is one thing for sure, nothing beats the Indonesian tube riding style.

FINAL 1st Jack Robinson (AUS) 19.90 2nd Agus “Blacky” Setiawan (IND) 17.15 3rd Made Adi Putra (IND) 15.75 4th Mega Semadhi (IND) 11.00

jack robinson won 2018 rip curl padang padang cup
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