A three-time World Champion, five Championship Tour (CT) event champions and four Indonesian national champions are among the all-star lineup of surfers vying for the 2016 Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang.
Rip Curl have officially announced the 16 surfers invited to compete in this year's event, to be held on the best day of waves at Padang Padang during the month of August (the official waiting period runs from Aug. 1 - Aug 31).
Among the world's best surfers preparing to push the limits of tube-riding in pursuit of the prestigious title are three-time world champion Tom Curren (USA), North Shore charger Mason Ho (HAW) and former CT superstar and style icon Bruce Irons (HAW). Among the surfing luminaries representing Indonesia are defending Rip Curl Cup champion Garut Widiarta, Indonesian surfing ambassador Rizal Tandjung and two-time Indonesian champion Lee Wilson.
With the WSL officially adding the Rip Curl Cup to its calendar of world-class surf contests in 2016, it was inevitable that this year's contest would feature the most potent cast of surfing all-stars in its 13-year history. In addition to Curren, Ho and Irons, goofyfoot tube assassins Damien Hobgood (USA) and Clay Marzo (HAW) will also be making their inaugural assaults on the Padang Cup. Meanwhile, reigning Rip Curl Cup champion and pride of Balinese surfing Garut Widiarta said he welcomes all challengers.
"The Rip Curl Cup is a unique contest," Widiarta said. "The invitational format means there are no ‘easy heats' for anyone. If you look at last year's bracket, every matchup in the first round could have been a final. It's a challenge that myself and every other Indo surfer is excited to meet. I'm ready to defend my title against anyone."
Following is the complete surfer lineup for the 2016 Rip Curl Cup:
International Surfers: *1. Tom Curren (USA)
- Pat Curren (USA)
- Mason Ho (HAW)
- Damien Hobgood (USA)
- Bruce Irons (HAW)
- Clay Marzo (HAW)
- Jamie O'Brien (HAW)
- Dillon Perillo (USA)
- Jack Robinson (AUS)
- Bruno Santos (BRA)
- Jacob Willcox (AUS)
- Tim Bisso (FRA)*
Note: Only 8 international surfers will receive a spot in the event; entry granted on first-come, best-dressed basis.
Indonesian Surfers: *1. Bol Adi Putra
- Raditya Rondi
- Mega Semadhi
- Rizal Tandjung
- Usman Trioko
- Garut Widiarta
- Lee Wilson
- TBD (winner of local trials)*
The final remaining invitation will go to the winner of the local trials, to be held at Padang on the best day of surf conditions between July 25 and July 30 (Note: If the waves at Padang don't meet Rip Curl Cup standards for the trials, the previous year's trials winner will gain entry to the main event). The winner of the trials, featuring a hotbed of Indonesian surfing talent including Oney Anwar, Darmaputra Tonjo and Marlon Gerber among others, will gain entry to the main event and the chance to compete for one of the most coveted titles in surfing.
The "Padang 16" will gather on the sands of Padang Padang on July 31 to participate in the time-honored opening ceremony, blessing and heat draw. Surf fans will undoubtedly be salivating to see what big names wind up going head to head in Round 1 matchups.
"Since the early days at Bells Beach and the Easter Pro, Rip Curl has always worked to provide a ‘Gathering of the Tribe' to showcase the cutting edge of surfing performance," Rip Curl Southeast Asia marketing manager James Hendy said. "The Rip Curl Cup at Padang is the modern version of that tradition, and we are thrilled to bring the most innovative barrel riding show of the year to a global audience."
The "Padang 16" and fans around the world now turn their attention to Coastalwatch.com, official surf forecaster for the 2016 Rip Curl Cup. When the Coastalwatch forecast team and event directors identify the optimal "Padang swell" brewing in the Indian Ocean, the green light will be given and the world's best tuberiders will convene at Padang Padang to battle it out for the world to enjoy. The contest will be run entirely on one epic day of waves falling between Aug 1 and Aug 31.
The 2016 Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang will be webcast live to the world at live.ripcurl.com. Fans can also visit the site to check real-time contest status and video updates from Bali.