In an event dominated by the international invitees, Mega Semadhi was the lone local Indonesian surfer to reach the Final of the 2016 Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang. And when it was all over, it was Mega who came out on top, claiming his second win at the event.
Semadhi beat out Mason Ho, Damien Hobgood and Clay Marzo along the way. He started out slow, but eventually found his rhythm and managed to survive the opening rounds. Semadhi went on to win his Semifinal heat with a perfect 10 (the highest heat total of the round). In the Final, he won the heat with a 9 and sealed the deal with another perfect 10, shutting out Hobgood's shot at the win. In the end, Mega was hoisted to victory in front of a cheering crowd, followed by Hobgood in second place, Ho in third and Marzo in fourth.
"My first heat I was really nervous and was really sloppy," said Mega, who last won the Rip Curl Cup in 2013. "I was going on small waves, bad waves and whitewash. Luckily I got my head together and got through and was able to get into a rhythm the rest of the contest."
At the outset, international invitees Hobgood, Marzo and Ho looked like the surfers to beat. Hobgood dominated the opening rounds, winning both his Round 1 and 2 heats, posting the highest heat total. Ho meanwhile capped off multiple deep backhand drainers with skate-inspired aerials on the end section.
"This is one of the best contests in the world," Ho said, "right beside the Pipe Masters and The Eddie. I wish I had the words to describe how much fun that was."
The day saw four perfect 10 barrels, including an impossibly deep and long disappearing act by Irons in Round 2, another perfect 10 by Brazilian Paulo Moura, and five 9-plus-point barrels from Marzo.
But despite those impressive performances, it was the local surfer who once again kept the Cup in Bali, to the delight of the Padang Padang locals. From her spot on the awards podium, Mega's mother led the crowd in a spirited rendition of the Indonesian national anthem. For Mega, however, the victory wasn't about country per se, but about celebrating his beloved Padang Padang.
"I'm so happy to win at my home break again," Mega said. "From my point of view, there is no local. We are all locals of this universe and today we are all locals at Padang Padang."