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Day One Success at the Rip Curl Pro

the boy being interviewed after winning the first heat...

The one thing that brought us all to Bali in the first place was the Rip Curl Pro Indonesian Surfing Tour. My boyfriend and our very good friend are both competing in the men’s longboarding division. We are taking a few weeks to rest and relax after the comp enjoying each others company and all the good food that Bali has to offer. But the first priority is to get the two boys safely through the competition with the best result possible. To be there to cheer for them and to celebrate or commiserate with them depending on the outcome.

As I lay here under the shaky fan of our hotel room, listening to the Indo pop and laughter that is coming from our friends across the driveway you can feel the tension building… Day one of the competition just ended and the anticipation for tomorrow is almost unbearable. Listening to the sound of prayer and feeling the excitement and nerves fill the air until they are truly tangible.

Today was day one of the competition. We arrived at the beach early, and spent hours waiting with two very nervous boys, who paced the white speckled sand of Kuta Halfway. Many friends from home appeared out of the blue and our Batukaras representative was growing by the hour. When it was time for them to surf H was the first in the round, he donned his red Rip Curl rashie and ran into the water carrying his board and any nerves were well disguised by his skill.

Now, I’ve never been to a surf competition before. And I’m not really a sports person. I’ve never had anything invested in a sporting event before, so I was shocked at how nervous I was watching them compete. The commentator constantly updates the scores throughout the 20 minutes that they have in the water. And I listen as our boys go from strength to strength and then drop back, only to catch another beautiful wave and do some very clever tricks to land them back in first place. They didn’t compete against each other today and despite some other very good surfers and mediocre conditions they both landed first place in their heat in both round one and round two.

So despite the nerves, despite the travel debacles and despite the board issues that were had along the way. The result of day one was the best it could be, they were both in the final. One last surf, up against eachother and two other boys… A fight for the waves, a test of skill and patience and a whole lot of luck would see who was to be victorious.

So tomorrow is the big day, Sunday, day two and the final day of the competition. We will be laying low and quiet throughout the morning after an early swim, run and practice at the beach. We will all be praying for success. Some pray to a god and others, like myself pray in a way that is perhaps a little less conventional. I cross my fingers like a child and pray like I did when I was younger by squeezing my eyes shut and thinking over and over in my mind what it is that I want, I pray for good luck, for success and for happiness for myself and for those that I love.

Surfing is unique in its test as a competitive solo sport. It’s not just about your skill… it’s all about the conditions and the waves that are made available to you. If you don’t get good waves, it’s very difficult to make a good score. I find it fascinating to watch the skill of these boys in the water, and I’m sure, regardless of the conditions tomorrow… I will be nervous, impressed and proud every step of the way…

One more sleep until two friends, two village boys, two surfers go head to head on their longboards to see who can catch the best waves… It’s not just up to them… it’s up to the big dark mystery of the sparkling Bali beach.

Barefoot, sun kissed with fingers crossed.

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