Indonesia's pulling power
THEY call it Bali's Banzai Pipeline, a la Padang Padang.
Padang in Indonesian means “field”, but in surfers' terms PP means fear and power and last Monday the Rip Curl Cup unleashed its potential.
The waiting period of a month, which began at the start of July, ticked down to the final days as organisers of the Indonesian Surfing Circuit waited patiently for the notorious left-hander to live up to its reputation as one of the best reef breaks in the world.
Despite a couple of false alarms and one smaller day for the trials, a booming six-foot south swell arrived, to the delight of the 32-man field, and the tube-riding event was held in a day.
On Saturday, Coolangatta's Dean Morrison claimed the expression session and won a new Alan Byrne Channel bottom board.
The Tugun Currumbin shaping legend has been in Bali, commissioned by the Curl to shape a number of his famous AB channel bottom guns, and was an invited judge for the expression session.
The 32-man main event consisted mostly of Indonesian surfers, although invites were extended to the likes of Dingo and former event champion and Pipeline king Jamie O'Brien.
But in the end it was the Balinese surfers who dominated, with a tube-riding duel between Lee Wilson and Made Bol.
Adi Putra ensured Wilson's back-hand barrel riding came up trumps against Bol's formidable Padang Padang Pipeline status.
Wilson is part-Balinese part-Australian and has grown-up surfing PP. He won $6000 for first prize, including a new motorbike.
Lee had only just purchased a new motorbike and gave his old one to his runner-up mate Bol.
Ballina's Anthony Walsh was third and another PP Balinese specialist, Mustofa Jeksen, was fourth.
KELLY Slater's latest win, at the US Open in front of 40,000 screaming fans, was another killer show from the king.
Slater turns 40 in January but he was surfing as good as ever, pulling airs, rotations and totally shredding the less than average surf.
In an interview with Blake McKinnon, regarding his 11th world title bid, he did concede to blowing it by not turning up for the J-Bay, instead free-surfing in epic waves at Tavarua, Fiji. “It was a rookie move and now there are only two throwaways, so I blew it,” said a not-too-worried Kelly, who pocketed $100,000 for a sensational win ay Huntington.
The next world title event, the Billabong Pro, is at Teahupoo, Tahiti, from August 20.
TWO great stalwarts of the Tweed and Gold Coast surfing, Billy Stafford Senior and Micky Stafford, who were related, have sadly passed away.
Billy was the first president of the Queensland branch of the National Surfing Association, known then as the ASAQ.
Stafford senior was a trailblazer, whose oldest son, Billy junior, was the first Queensland junior champion, winning that title at Kirra.
The popular Stafford's Menswear was the family business in Griffith Street, Coolangatta, and Billy senior was an elegant, fun-loving and dapper character.
He was definitely the right man to be the first surfing president and was still campaigning for Kirra in the 2009 Paddle Out.
Micky Stafford was from Surfers and started surfing when he was two. His parents, Bev and Paula, created Paula Stafford's swimwear and Paula became a Surfers fashion icon.
That indelible influence certainly rubbed off on Micky, who, like Billy Stafford, was a fun-loving, colour character and developed into one of Australia's best surfers in 1969.
His famous el rollo move at the 1969 state championships blew everyone away at Snapper Rocks.
The Burleigh Longboard Club will host a paddle out for Micky on Sunday at Burleigh Beach from 10am.