In by far the most epic wave conditions of any of the 5 previous Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenges, Bali’s Tipi Jabrik bested the 54-strong field of local and international legends, punters, and pro’s to add his name to the perpetual Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge trophy. Competing in the event and on hand to present the trophy were Quiksilver Legends Simon Anderson and Jeff Hakman, who together with Matt Hoy were there to support Quiksilver’s efforts of creating awareness of Bali’s environmental issues.
Jabrik was last year’s Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge runner up, having posted the highest wave score of the day, a 9.5 (out of a possible 10 points) in his Heat 2 effort, but couldn’t post an additional big score to overtake Made Switra, the eventual winner.
This year however, in his first round heat and not having caught a wave in 29 minutes and 30 seconds of his allowed 30 minutes, he dug deep in the final seconds and just made it over the ledge on a double overhead bomb as 2016 event winner Tai “Buddha” Graham was poised to take off just a few meters down the line. Jabrik pulled in, grabbed his rail and hung on tight as the roof pitched out over him, then somehow made it out of the impossibly deep cavern to earn a Perfect 10 point score from the judges.
Jabrik went on to post a 7.27 in Round 2 that got him a total of 17.27 points and the highest two-wave score of the event, and the first place honors.
“I’m really happy to win this event here at Uluwatu, one of my favorite waves in the world,” said Jabrik. “To surf with local legends like Made Switra and Rizal Tandjung as well as international legends like Simon Anderson, Matt Hoy, and Jeff Hakman is just amazing… I was lucky to get a 10 pointer and then the 7.2 at Outside Corner was a great way to finish…big thanks to Quiksilver, Single Fin, the Uluwatu Boardriders and all the ASC officials who ran the event.”
Coming in second place was 15 year old Quiksilver team rider, Ryuki Waida, who was in the same second round heat as Jabrik, and impressed everyone by posting the heat’s highest score of an 8.83 after a 7.67 to rack up a total of 16.50 points. As with his older brother Rio, Ryuki is certainly destined for big things!
The wave conditions were nothing short of epic for this “Sunday Session” with all the legendary Uluwatu waves being surfed during the day, from the Bombie, to the Peak, Racetracks, and finishing off with 10ft Outside Corner on sunset. The crowd gathered in the cliffside warungs for some great viewing with highlights being Uluwatu local Made Lana toying with 10 foot Outside Corner and Cal Lathrope from California, who scored the event’s only other 10 point wave for a deep barrel on the peak.
54 surfers participated in this year’s Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge, which was run in the Eddie Aikau 6-person heat format where each surfer competes in two 30-minute heats and their two highest scores from their four best waves were then scored and totaled.
It was Hakman’s first visit to Uluwatu in 45 years and he was amazed at the development of Uluwatu stating “When I was here we had to walk in from the main road and there was only one small warung on the cliff…. although there has been so much change it is great to see the waves are still as nature intended and with careful management by the Uluwatu community it will be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Matt Hoy and Simon Anderson have now competed in all 6 of the Uluwatu Challenges and enjoyed the waves on offer with Hoy commenting “We had some fun waves last year but today is a day I’ll never forget, with perfect waves throughout the day…I was lucky to be in the last heat and stayed out on Outside Corner until it was dark.
Quiksilver South East Asia Sales and Marketing Executive, Sammy Gosling added, “Quiksilver is proud that we can bring our global team together with local legends and tourists to make a positive difference. Our boardshort range is now produced from yarn made from recycled plastic bottles so as a company we are trying to minimize our impact on the environment….at the same time helping to raise funds for Project Clean Uluwatu is one way we can play our part locally.
The 6th annual Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge this year was a fundraiser for the Uluwatu based NGO, Project Clean Uluwatu (PCU), to raise money that will go towards new infrastructure programs at Uluwatu that will keep the world-class wave clean and pristine for generations to come. Bringing world-renowned surfing legends to Bali helps to draw attention to the challenges it faces with accelerating tourism growth.
The Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge was sponsored by Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, Project Clean Uluwatu, Uluwatu Boardriders Club, San Miguel Light, Captain Morgan, Smirnoff and Single Fin with support by the Asian Surfing Cooperative (ASC) team.
Photos by Nate Lawrence, Teknik Surf, Paul Baker