Sun Darkened Foam. A story about a Covid-19 Surf Competition.
Sun darkened foam was the common denominator across all the boards at this year’s Uluwatu Singlefin Classic held 15 & 16 August. A whopping ninety six starters broken up to run with 6 man heats and everyone getting wet twice, this was the third time they had held the event and due to the obvious, it wasn’t what we’ve seen in the past “This year’s event was run a little different to the norm.” Tai Graham the events director as well as the co-founder of the Single Fin Surfer Bar. “We had the choice to obviously skip the event this year, but we sat down with the local boardriders and village and they all agreed that it would mean a lot to the community to run this year’s event, of course in a responsible way. We asked all the surfers to judge, we asked them to commit, we made sure everyone stuck around and helped out. It was a real community vibe. No one got paid, everyone just rolled up their sleeves and helped and most importantly – had fun. I was super stoked to see a local boy take it out as well”
The big line in the sand with this event is that all boards ridden must be Pre-1984. This is a massive adjustment in equipment for most of these guys the majority of whom were younger than the boards they were riding. They came out of sheds, the rafters, or peoples back rooms, most hadn’t seen the light of day for more than a score of years. There was a fair spread of them but not enough for every man. So typical of these events that are high on stoke, people smiled and just shared them. Deni Pirdaus, Dean Permana & Dylan Kaczmarek were our guys on-field and took advantage of Monty’s collection of boards that graces the ceiling of Canteen Café here in Canggu. Dylan chose a late 70’s Hot Buttered Shaped by Stu Campbell. Another person who was granted some vintage goodness from the Canteen rafters by Monty was Jared Mell who nabbed a Peter McCabe Mid 70’s White Tradewinds. This board must have had some magic in there as it came to be under the winner’s feet in the final round.
The cliffs at Uluwatu are lined with cafes, restaurants, and bars, connected by winding paths tying them all together. People spaced out, seeking shelter in all that were open enjoying the stoke, keeping hydrated, spreading cheer, and enjoying the stadium like view that they all give of the waves out front. Up on top with speakers washing the rest of the hill, the MC’s and judges sat in Single Fin and gave us a blow by blow, general insights, and a fair bit to laugh about.
Conditions came together on the Saturday with head high waves and cliff blocked winds. Things really cemented themselves on Sunday though with a lot more frequency in the lineup and as the contestants distilled they showed everyone their focus and determination.
Sunday passed whittling the massive pack down to the final six; Desert Point’s Usman Trioko, Brazil’s Kian Martin, and Bali locals; Koki Hendrawan, Sima Rai, Tumbling Sudiantara and Mega Semadi.
And what a final it was. Channeling those early Uluwatu surfers Tumbling Sudiantara riding that White Tradewinds did everything perfectly and in sequence. As the wave finished and he rode the foam in front he knew he’d done good, thrusting his hands in the air and looking up the cliff claiming it. He pulled off a wave that the judges could score no more with, the Perfect 10.
” I can’t believe it, I am so happy to win the Uluwatu Single Fin Classic at my home break. This means a lot to me, our family and our community of Uluwatu. We have been hit really hard with the Covid-19 making it impossible for anyone to visit us here in Bali. I know everyone around the world is also finding it hard, but this event really means a lot to us here at Ulu’s. A big thanks to everyone involved to make it happen and everyone for coming to support us in Uluwatu. ” said a stoked Tumbling upon receiving the trophy.
These events don’t just happen and require not only a huge amount of work and support. While Deus Ex Machina Indonesia was not directly involved in the event, other than having some of our guys compete and others enjoying the amazing atmosphere and hospitality extended to everyone over that weekend, we would like to acknowledge and thank all those that did. Single Fin Surf Bar, Uluwatu Boardriders, Billabong, Channel Islands Surfboards, The Bakery, The Asian Surf Co., and the Community of Uluwatu.