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Surfing Padang Padang

BIG SPRAY: Andy Irons? brother Bruce, making a name for himself at the Quiksilver Pro. Photo: AAP.
BIG SPRAY: Andy Irons? brother Bruce, making a name for himself at the Quiksilver Pro. Photo: AAP.



THE 2nd Annual Kuta Karnival is in full swing.

Co-ordinated by expat Australian and Billabong Indonesian manager, Paul "Gringo" Anderson, the Kuta Karnival is a fusion of surf, skate, live music, and cultural dancing on the beach at a spot called 'Half ways' at Kuta Beach.

The Bali On Legends, a one-day event is the only mobile competition destined to go back to its roots at the famous Uluwatu.

When professional surfing hit Bali in 1980, the first professional event, the Bali Pro Am, was won by North Narrabeen's surfing manufacturer, Terry Fitzgerald.

The Sultan of Speed (Fitzy) won a close final over Terry Richardson of Wollongong.

Richo got his own back when claiming the second annual in 1981.

Cronulla's Jim Banks, now based at Byron Bay, fought off a tough final from Newport's former two times world champion Tom Carroll.

That was the third and final event, all of which took part at Uluwatu.

Last year I competed in both events at the Kuta Karnival and earned a guernsey to back up for the 2nd annual surfing events, both mal and legends.

o?o?o?

THE ASP World Tour is underway in France for the Quiksilver Pro and the world title race is on in earnest with two times current world champion Andy Irons of Kauai, now holding a 500 point lead over 2001 world champion CJ Hobgood (USA) in second, followed closely by former six times WC Kelly Slater in third and just as close in fourth is the new family man Joel Parkinson of Coolangatta.

Andy has won only one CT so far this year but has had a string of seconds and semifinal places to stay in front of the four horse race.

His worst result was last week in California at Trestles for the Boost Mobile Pro bowing out in the losers round to place 33rd. Joel Parkinson claimed his second win of the year at Trestles over Kelly Slater. Parko had missed both the Tahiti (Billabong Pro) and the Tavarua Fiji (Quiksilver Pro) with the birth of his daughter in May this year.

CJ Hobgood and Joel Parkinson have had two wins so far and whoever gets on top this week in France could very well take the lead and knock Andy off his perch unless Andy fires up.

Meanwhile back in Bali we scored a great swell last week, it arrived late Tuesday 21st of September and was a good 8ft on Wednesday.

It is funny how the old 'Big Wednes- day' swell like John Milios '70s epic surf movie always comes into its own on Wednesday world wide.

While Ulu's was maxing out on Wednesday, just down the road, I managed to score an epic session at Padang Padang, late in the afternoon.

It was 6ft, perfectly offshore and flawless with the sun setting like a big bright red and orange ball sinking over the horizon and back lighting the down the line, heart in the mouth, freight train, left-hand barrels.

During the day there had been up to 60 surfers vying for a spot in the green room of Bali's best wave when it works.

By the time I paddled out at 5pm, the crowd was down to 15 or 20.

The Brazilians who are here en masse were taking off deeper than anyone and charging like there was no tomorrow.

Despite what people think of their surfing antics they have absolutely no fear of the dangerously sharp reef that presents itself at the end of the wave on the bowl section.

This wave is best between mid to high tide.

Surfing Padang Padang at low tide can be extremely dangerous and only for the very experienced.

As the tide ebbed, it was like a gladiator show last Wednesday at Padang Padang.

A white Hawaiian from the island of Maui known as Jimmy and with a physique like a sumi wrestler and who is very popular with the likes of Andy and Bruce Ions featuring in their surf video's, reminded me of an earlier white Hawaiian surfing legend who dominated Ala Moana Honolulu in the early 60's known as Conrad Kahuna.

Jimmy is a modern day 'Big Kahuna' and he is as fearless as the Brazilians.

He dropped in on two Brazilian guys, one was already in the barrel, the other guy was coming off the bottom, and Jimmy falls out of the roof of the wave like a sumi wrestler flattening both the Brazilians, then pulled into the barrel which was big enough to accommodate his huge frame to emerge successfully from the bowl.