San Clemente pro surfer Chris Ward wins the Rip Curl Cup in Bali
By Andrea Swayne
After a less than stellar Round 1 finish at last year’s Rip Curl Cup Invitational, San Clemente pro surfer Chris Ward made a triumphant, and literally last minute, comeback to win this year’s event, August 9 at Padang Padang in Bali, Indonesia.
Ward battled his way through a field of 32 of the world’s best tube riding specialists in this year’s ninth annual event on his way to the final where he faced Bali local Mega Semadhi.
As the clock wound down in the 50-minute final, Semadhi—having registered a string of 9-point rides—was well in the lead. Ward needed a score of 8.25 when, in the heat’s final seconds, he went all out on a beautiful backside barrel and was awarded with a perfect 10 for the win.
“I knew I had it,” Ward said in a Rip Curl interview following the contest. “I knew it was at least an 8.5 for sure. Last year I had an onshore heat and didn’t even get barreled and lost in the first round. Today it was a completely different story. I was feeling it out there all day. This year Padang gave me the waves.”
After being presented with his $6,000 prize and being proclaimed the champion at the podium, Ward made the day even more memorable by getting down on one knee and proposing to his girlfriend.
“…I told myself if I won this contest I was gonna do this right here on the stage. So I guess it was meant to be,” he said.
She said, “Yes.”
1. Chris Ward, (San Clemente) 17.50
2. Mega Semadhi (Bali) 15.60
3. Dede Suryana (Java) 9.25
4. Ry Craike (Australia) 9.20
For more information, photos and video of the event, log on to asia.ripcurl.com.