The Iconic Uluwatu lineup hosts the Quiksilver challenge and promotes a clean Bali.
The iconic lineup was the only uncrowded space to be seen at Uluwatu on Sunday June 23rd, as the cliffside warungs, bars, restaurants, and hotels were packed with local and international surfing legends, expatriates, and tourists from all over the globe who came out in support of the Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge.
The Uluwatu Challenge is a fun-filled team surfing event held to raise awareness and money that is spearheaded by Quiksilver Indonesia, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, and Garuda Indonesia in an attempt to raise awareness about Bali’s environmental issues.
The Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge was part of the third annual Bali Big Eco Weekend, an educational event that is held in Bali through the combined Corporate Social Responsibility programs of Quiksilver Indonesia, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, and Garuda Indonesia Airlines.
The CSR program’s aim is to bring together corporations, governmental agencies, private businesses and the local community in an effort to elicit a positive change and create sustainable solutions to Bali’s current trash and infrastructure problems. These issues have a tremendously negative impact on the precious ocean waters and beaches that surfers and traveling tourists value so highly.
In a day brimming with highlights, the attendance and participation of Quiksilver surfing legends from Australia, including Mark Richards, Martin Potter, Simon Anderson, Peter McCabe, Matt Hoy and Jake Paterson was what set this apart from the many other events that take place across the world. The Australian legends were joined by Bali legends Made Switra, Gede Narmada, Ketut Menda, Ketut Pitur, and Wayan Gantiyasa, as well as soon to be legends Made Lana, Rizal Tanjung, Tipi Jabrik, and Wayan Gobleg.
80 lucky surfers spent the day surfing and mingling with this esteemed group both on the beach and in the water, with each surfer getting in a 30 minute heat with only 5 other guys in the lineup, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, well worth the $150 entry fee that goes to support the Bali cleanup initiative.
The goal of each surfer was to catch the best waves and score the most points for their team. At competitions end there were three teams locked together on 26 points but it was Japanese legend Mah Ono’s team that took first place as they had the most team members actually winning their heats. Second place went to Australian legend, Jake Paterson and third to local legend Made Switra.
The teams had been drawn up on Saturday night at the Quiksilver Boardriders Café in Kuta, where all the entries names were put in a hat and each team captain was called up to the stage to pick his 5 team mates. On Mah Ono’s winning team were Brad Gerlach, Beau Sevastos, Teiki Ballian, Mikala Waterfield, and Joey Scures.
Australia’s Martin Potter, 1989 World Surfing Champion, was as stoked as a grom to be back surfing at Uluwatu, saying “This place has so many good memories for me, I just couldn’t be happier to be here. It’s been a long time since I last surfed here, and the place has changed so much its almost unrecognizable, but when you get in the water and catch a wave you can still feel the magic that is Uluwatu.
The only thing I could have wished for is that it would have been 6 foot and barreling off its nut for us. Next year I’m sure it will!” Potter came to Bali last year as well, helping out with the Quiksilver/Coca-Cola cleanup efforts, as he feels very strongly about where the planet is headed in general and specifically wants to help turn things around in Bali.
“I’ve been coming to Bali since 1982, and as you know there have been a lot of changes and not a lot of them good as far as the environment is concerned,” says Potter. “It’s now a big problem and we’ve got to help the Balinese people and get them to understand how to protect their paradise here. I want my kids and their kids to be able to enjoy Bali the way I have, and I think the best way is for us to help is educate the local people, starting with the kids. That’s the only way it will happen.”
Four-time World Champion (1979-1982) Mark Richards echoed Potter’s sentiments, saying, “Bali is such a beautiful place, a spiritual island, and nobody wants to see it with rubbish everywhere. The first time I came to Bali and surfed Uluwatu was around 1980. We had board carriers then as we had to trek through the bush and climb down a bamboo ladder into the cave. Such an amazing difference from today. Look what surfing has done, how important it is now to the lives of so many of the locals. And we don’t want to destroy this, we want to help preserve it.”
This is the second year that Richards has come to Bali to be part of the Bali Big Eco Weekend, as he truly appreciates what Quiksilver and Coca-Cola have been doing. “I’m excited and encouraged by the efforts of Quiksilver and Coca-Cola here in Bali,” he explained.
“A lot of people think that these big companies always take-take-take and never give back, but here are two companies that have been helping out in the community since 2008 with beach cleaning, education and more. It’s really great to see their commitment and I hope that others will follow their lead.” Garuda Indonesia has already done so, joining up with Quiksilver and Coca-Cola earlier this year, and its hoped that more will soon follow.
As the sun slowly melted into the Indian Ocean and darkness covered the Uluwatu lineup, the crowd all headed for the awards presentation and the much-anticipated Legends Surfboard Auction that took place around the Blue Point swimming pool.
Quiksilver legends Mark Richards, Martin Potter, Jake Paterson, and Matt Hoy all contributed replica’s of their historic game-changing surfboards, as well as did Simon Anderson (inventor of the thruster -3 fin surfboard design) and 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater. The bidding was fast and furious, especially for the Mark Richards surfboard that topped the money list, going for a heady $6,500 to Bruce Waterfield from Coca-Cola.
All up, almost $10,000 was raised with the surfboard auction together with the entry fee proceeds, which will be going towards solving the current water pollution issues at Uluwatu as well as cleaning up Bali’s beaches, educating the local communities on environmental and health issues, protecting the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle population, and helping Bali’s Lifeguards protect the tourists and locals.
At the end of the evening, after some great food, drinks, and rocking out to the sounds of the Australian based band Thruster, Quiksilver SEA CEO Paul Hutson was extremely happy and proud of the day’s work, saying, "I ‘m overwhelmed with the turnout and positive feedback from everyone up here at Uluwatu today.
Quiksilver is proud to be able to pull such a large pool of legends together for everyone to see and enjoy. To sit and hear the stories unfold from these legendary surfboard shapers, Indonesian surfing pioneers and world champions all in one place was priceless. We couldn't do such events without the cooperation and support of our sponsor’s Blue Point, Single Fin, Garuda, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, Aussie SIM, JimBeam and San Miguel.
The public response to the legend’s surfboard auction was terrific, raising all this money for the Bali Big Eco Weekend initiative. Ahuge thanks to the legends and band members that made it a great day and a special thanks to all our marketing team that worked tirelessly in the lead up and over the weekend on the event!"
Quiksilver Indonesia, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and Garuda Indonesia thank Single Fin Bar, Blue Point Hotel, Aussie Sim, Jim Beam and San Mig Light for their valuable sponsorship and assistance in making the Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge a reality.