Stab Magazine | Padang Fires, Locals Hold Their Own And Christian Fletcher Does The Zombie
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Padang Fires, Locals Hold Their Own And Christian Fletcher Does The Zombie

Opening day at the Rip Curl Cup.

news // Jul 16, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Earlier this week we told you to clear your Sunday schedule citing an imminent swell heading for Indonesia, and thankfully, after a few hours on standby, the energy arrived and the 2018 Rip Curl Cup, Padang Padang kicked off.

Due to the month-long waiting period and the unpredictable nature of weather systems and life commitments, a bunch of the names originally written on heat draws couldn’t make it to Bali to surf in the event.

While it was disappointing that Mason Ho got whipped into a last minute Search trip (somewhere cold, judging by the live cross to him hearing the news and throwing a steaming around in a tantrum), having Christian Fletcher as his replacement added a novel colour to the palette. It’s not every day you see the man slide into a jersey, or scratch around on the inside looking for a score with five minutes on the clock.

Mr Fletcher drew first heat, along with Jay Davies, Agus Setiawan and Garut Widiarta. Christian got second, while Jay Davies, poor fella, caught a screamer right before the heat, then proceeded to bob in the lineup for the next 30 minutes without a single chance to get to his feet. Round two saw a handful of opportunities for Jay but nothing significant enough to please the judges (or himself for that matter). 

Highlight heat of the day was undoubtedly the second heat of round one. Jack Robbo met with two time champ Mega Semadhi, the pair jousting wave for wave in overhead drains. There were double tubes, perfect lines, claims and excellent scores dropping back to back.

Irish goofy-footed hellman, Geroid McDaid, said he felt like he was on a cloud, being free of the heavy rubber layers he’s accustomed to. Drawing intimidating names like Mega Semadhi and Jack Robbinson didn’t throw him off in the slightest and he proceeded to thread the Padang reef and post his own respectable scores on the board.

Brazilian Bruno Santos took the next heat against Josh Kerr and locals, Lee Wilson a Mustofa Jeksen. Kerrsey looked sharp on his backhand but had a number of run-ins with Padang’s clamping end section, which throughout the day decided between a high scoring ride or a guillotined crescendo.

As the day rolled on, the tide receded and the end bowl grew progressively less predictable. Jacob Willcox shone and the Round Robin format allowed anyone who had a tough run in the opening round a second chance to post a score. For Christian Fletcher it meant an opportunity to close his eyes, hang his hands out in front and go full Zombie.

Waves permitting the Semi Finals will run tomorrow and by the evening someone will hoist a cup over their head – it’ll be one of the below gents:

Jacob Willcox
Jack Robinson
Mega Semadhi
Bruno Santos
Josh Kerr
Agus Setiawan
Garut Widiarta
Bol Adi Putra

More, here.

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