20 October 2012, Kuta-Bali:  The 2012 Coca-Cola ISC Men’s Open Championship was 20 seconds away from being decided this afternoon at Kuta Beach on Day One of the Rip Curl Surf & Music Festival presented by Axis, as number 2 seeded Raditya Rondi was sitting in second place desperately needing to score at least 5.6 points to advance and keep his hopes for his first tour championship win alive.

With a small bump rearing up in front of him he took off and somehow found enough speed on the half meter wave to rip into it with several turns, finishing it off just as the horn blew.

He came out of the water with his head down, thinking that it wasn’t enough, but then the MC called out the score and it was a 5.75, just enough to win the heat and advance into the quarterfinals.

“I really thought it was all over,” said a relieved Rondi back on the beach.  “It was a bit slow out there with the low tide and I really didn’t ever find any good waves, just did my best on whatever came my way.  I’m so stoked I made it through that heat against Dedi.  He’s one of the most dangerous guys out here at Halfways, he surfs so well in all conditions here, that I feel like tomorrow will be a lot easier knowing I don’t have to compete against him!”

Rondi is still in the pressure cooker however, even though number one seed Lee Wilson was eliminated by Wayan “Betet” Merta in the first heat of Round 4 today.  Rondi must win this event or Wilson will go home with the 2012 Coca-Cola ISC Men’s Open Championship.  Rondi is last year’s Rip Curl Surf & Music Festival winner, and as a Kuta Beach local has an excellent chance of repeating that result this year, but he still has three heats left to go.  He will face Soma Warsoma from Seminyak in Quarterfinal 3 tomorrow.

Lee Wilson was somewhat fatalist about his elimination, saying, “You never know what will happen in a comp.  You’re either going to win or you’re going to lose, so I never plan what’s going to happen.  I just go out there and surf.  Sure I’m not happy about getting knocked in Round 4, I really want to be surfing again tomorrow, but I’ll come to the beach with my daughter and hang out and have fun.  If luck is with me, Raditya won’t make it to the final and I’ll get the championship.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow won’t we?”

Wilson has won two events already this year, at the Rip Curl Pro Mentawai and the Quiksilver Open West Java, with equal thirds at the Oakley Pro Canggu and at the Quiksilver Thailand Open, and only one bad result at the O’Neill Freak of the Reef Sumbawa event, which Rondi won.  If Rondi fails to win the Rip Curl Surf & Music Festival tomorrow, the 2012 Coca-Cola ISC Men’s Open Championship is Wilson’s….and it will be his third.  His name is already on the trophy for the 2007 and 2010 championships

So expect a super exciting finale tomorrow in the race to the event win and the 2012 Coca-Cola ISC Championship.

Quarterfinal One:  Wayan “Betet” Merta vs Marlon Gerber

Quarterfinal Two:  Darmaputra Tonjo vs Garut Widiarta

Quarterfinal Three:  Raditya Rondi vs Soma Warsoma

Quarterfinal Four:  Made Darmayasa vs Pepen Hendrik

It was a big day on Kuta Beach as huge crowds were on hand witness the highest level of surfing and skating action, with drink sponsors Smirnoff and San Miguel  on hand to quench the spectator’s thirst on this smoking hot day on the sand.  They were also treated with pumping beats from Skullcandy, who had set up a DJ tent on the beach.

Off the beach and in the skate part set up in the nearby parking lot, skater’s including Dewa Oka, Andrew Remote, and Yogi impressed their fans and the gathered crowd as they practiced up for tomorrow’s skate competition.

There is a beginners and an open division skating competition starting at 11 am, so if you’re keen come on down and sign up to skate.

The Rip Curl Surf & Music Festival will come to a massive climax tomorrow after the surfing and skating competitions and the winners are announced, with live music on the big stage pumping until late, headlined by Souljah and including Jeruji, Painful by Kisses, Mom Called Killer, Star and Rabbit, with DJ Electrofux.

According to Contest Director and Rip Curl SEA Marketing Manager James Hendy, tomorrow morning will start off with the Women’s Open Division taking to the water first, then moving into the National GromSearch Finals to let the frothing groms have their way with Kuta Beach in their search for the 2012 SEA GromSearch title, and a trip to Bells Beach to compete in the World GromSearch event next year.

To keep updated on all the scores and action from the 2012 Rip Curl Surf & Music Festival, check out http://www.isctour.com/events/RSMF12



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