27 May 2018 – Keramas - Gianyar, Bali: Members of the Indonesian press were invited to the luxurious beachside location of the Komaneka Resort Keramas today to meet some of the world’s top professional surfers, and to learn more about why Bali was chosen for the 5th stop of the World Surf League’s World Championship Tour event from Mr. Indroyono Soesilo (Marine Tourism Department), Will Hayden-Smith (WSL), and Tipi Jabrik (PSOI).
After first being welcomed by Will Hayden-Smith, General Manager of WSL Australia/Oceania, Tipi Jabrik from the PSOI (Persatuan Selancar Ombak Indonesia) explained to the audience in Bahasa Indonesia how the central and local governments worked together with the WSL and the PSOI to bring this prestigious event to Bali.
He then introduced Mr. Indroyono, who further explained how surfing was an underutilized asset for Indonesia, and how surfers come each year to this surf “Mecca” for their surfing holidays and to practice for competitions, usually staying extended periods of time which create greater economic impacts than even sports such as diving, which requires lots more equipment. He further laid out his plan of support for WSL Qualifying Series events in location such as West Sumbawa, Nias (Sumatra), Aceh, West Java, Lombok, and Rote (NTT), as well as supporting bringing back the Corona Bali Protected event next year.
Women’s current World Number 2 ranked Lakey Peterson from California (USA) was introduced to the media by Will Hayden Smith, and told the audience “I’m so happy that they have this event here in Bali this year. I come to Indonesia each year for surfing, as it has such great waves and such great people, and now getting to surf in a competition here is so great. I’m really excited to be here!”
Next was Indonesia’s own Oney Anwar, who is currently ranked number 53 in the world on the World Qualifying Series, the qualifying tour for the World Championship Tour. The WSL gave Anwar a spot in the Corona Bali Protected event as the wildcard for the host country. “I’m really proud to represent my country here at this event, and I hope to do good in the event. I’ve been surfing all around the world for the last 5 years, improving my skills and I hope that one day I can compete on the World Championship tour,” he said.
Journalists were then asking questions from Mr. Indronoyo and the others, one of which was how much prize money was up for grabs in the Corona Bali Protected an other was how many competitors were in the event – the answers were: 36 men surfers and 18 women surfers, the best surfers in the world, and the total prize money was $900,000 USD (almost 13 milyar IDR).
After the questions were over and some group photos were taken, all the participants were served a delicious Balinese lunch in the Timur Kitchen, while chatting together and enjoying the cool sea breeze.
Mr. Indroyona had the chance to meet 3-time WSL Women’s Champion Coco Ho from Hawaii, and have a chat before Coco went out for a surf at the surf break just in front of the Komaneka Hotel.
Komaneka Resort Keramas General Manager Mr. Kariyana voiced his surprise at how big the sport of professional surfing is, and how they are excited to provide more support at next year’s event. “Of course I have heard about surfing before, being Balinese and living near the ocean, but I had no idea surfing was this big,” exclaimed Kariyana. “I didn’t know until today that it was such serious business but also so exciting. I was at the contest this morning watching the surfers and listening to the crowd, and I was very impressed. We are looking forward to next year already, and are willing to be more involved so this event can continue each year.
The ASC would like to thank Komaneka Resort Keramas for their generous support, as well as Corona and the World Surf League, along with the PSOI.
For more information about the Komaneka Resorts please check out http://keramas.komaneka.com/
For more information about the World Surf League and the Corona Bali Protected, please see http://www.worldsurfleague.