KUTA BEACH, BALI / IDN (Tuesday March 8, 2022) – Day 1 of the Vans Bali Pro Presented by East Ventures World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event and Pro Junior events kicked off today at Kuta Beach. Indonesia’s best up and coming surfers were treated to fun two-to-three foot surf at the break known as ‘Halfways’ for the first day of WSL competition in Indonesia since late 2019.
As the QS1,000 hit the water it was no surprise that Indonesian Olympic Team representative Rio Waida set the bar high in the opening heat of the round. Waida’s smooth and controlled surfing earned him a two-wave combination of 13.50 as he moved onwards to Finals Day.
“I was a little nervous out there,” Waida said. “I’m always nervous in my first heat so I’m sure I’ll be a little more settled in the next round. My equipment is feeling good but as the swell drops tomorrow I might change up my equipment, we will have to wait and see.”
Close behind Waida and equally as impressive in Heat 3, local hopeful Ketut Agus surfed brilliantly on his backhand for high scores of 6.17 and 7.33, matching Waida’s total heat score of 13.50 to advance into Round 2.
A surprise exit in Heat 5 was Oney Anwar, who prowled the lineup in search of good scoring opportunities which were few in the high tide mid day conditions. The Indonesian veteran just needed a 3.67 to advance in a heat where the highest single wave score was a 5.67. Unfortunately for Oney, this wave never came and he bowed out in an earlier round than expected.
Top seed Kian Martin was all smiles after advancing in his Pro Junior heat and finishing the day winning his QS heat. The Bali based prodigy will be one in the field that could be a threat to take the double, with a win in the QS and Pro Junior events.
“This was a really exciting day,” Martin said. “The first day of a contest for me is the most scary – I think of Round 1 like a Final. I’m so happy I got through both my heats, in the pro junior and the QS, but I know it’s just going to get harder from now on. I’m just going to take what I learned from my experience today and make sure I do better tomorrow.”
Also moving into Round 2 are Darma Putra and his twin brother Made Darmayasa, Bronson Meydi, Dhany Widianto and Ryuki Wiada.
Putting up the highest single wave score and combined score of the round was Kuta Beach local Dhany Widianto who jumped out into the lead with a 5.83 and followed it up with a 7.17 to post a 13 point total, handily disposing of his competitors. Runner-up Dylan Wilcoxen managed to advance in second place with a total score of 5.66.
Willson Cuaca, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of East Venture0, the event’s presenting partner says, “East Ventures is beyond happy to support this WSL International surfing competition happening in Bali, the Vans Bali Pro presented by East Ventures. We believe that Indonesia is an amazing place for local and international surfers to nurture their talents, and see surfing as a sport sharing the same philosophy as the early-stage investment decision process. To catch a good wave or make a good investment, you need to look ahead and be ready before the wave or trend emerges. We hope our support is beneficial for our nation’s talented surfers and for the overall growth of surfing activities in the region. We look forward to further excitement from Indonesia’s surfing ecosystem ahead.”
The 2022 Vans Bali Pro Presented by East Ventures is supported by Vans Indonesia, East Ventures, Bintang, Mamaka by Ovolo, Earth Island