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May 27, 2012. Macaronis, Mentawai, Indonesia – In a championship battle between the best regularfooter of the event and the best goofyfooter of the event, Lee Wilson (Bali) defeated Garut Widiarta (Bali) to claim the inaugural Rip Curl Pro Mentawai in pumping 3-to-4-foot waves at Macaronis on Saturday.
Wilson was on fire all week, scoring the only perfect 10 of the event and also netting the highest heat score of the event, a near-perfect 19.40 out of 20. In the Final, Wilson ran away with the heat after scoring a 7.65 on his opening ride for busting his fins out on a series of critical backhand reos, and then backing it up with a deep tube ride for an 8.00. Widiarta, the talented goofyfooter from Kuta whom many considered the favorite to win out at Macaronis, found himself in a combination situation when the ocean decided to play coy. Widiarta marked just two scoring rides all heat and never found the waves he needed to mount a comeback, allowing Wilson to cruise to a convincing victory with 15.65 points to Widiarta's 5.75.
“Garut is my best friend,” Wilson said after being soaked with champagne on the winner's podium at Macaronis Resort. “We surf together, we hang out together all the time. So to be able to surf with him in a Final at Macaronis was unreal. I'm just so happy right now.”
In the Women's Final, it was Michaela Partin (USA) who took first place, narrowly defeating runner-up Brenda Lee (Malaysia) by a fraction of a point. Partin picked off two long rides across the Macaronis reef for a total combined heat score of 14.00, followed by Lee's 13.95. In third place was Annisa Flynn (Thailand) with 12.15, followed by Yasnyiar Gea (Indonesia) in fourth with 8.90. It was Partin's first-ever ISC Tour victory.
“This is my third final, and to finally win one, especially at Macaronis, feels amazing,” Partin said, highest heat total of the women's event. “The coolest part is to just get a good result in front of my peers.”
Only 16 surfers in the modern Mentawai era can claim to have surfed pumping Macaronis with only one other surfer out in the water, and all 16 of them did so in the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Mentawai (Round 4 and onwards of the Men's event was man vs. man competition).
“We are so lucky,” Wilson said. “I want to say thanks to all the boys on Tour for making it out here this week. I know it was a long way to come, but we were all definitely rewarded with some amazing waves this week.”
After celebrating his 2012 Rip Curl Pro title, Lee Wilson joined up with fellow ISC surfers Garut Widiarta, Dede Suryana and Darmaputra Tonjo in volunteering to plant native mangrove trees at nearby Macaronis lagoon. The mangrove reforestation project, sponsored by Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and the ISC Tour, was organized by ROLE Foundation to offset the carbon footprint of the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Mentawai and help reforest part of North Pagai Island that was destroyed by the October 2010 tsunami.
“It's great that the boys came out to help us with the mangrove planting,” said Curtis Lowe of ROLE Foundation, who was on hand at Macaronis to coordinate the mangrove reforestation project. “They are a great example for the younger generation in the Mentawais about caring for the environment and giving back to this beautiful place that has provided us all with so much enjoyment.”
Day 3 Results – 2012 Rip Curl Pro Mentawais
Lee Wilson, 15.65 def. Garut Widiarta, 5.75
Heat 1: Lee Wilson, 17.25 def. Pepen Hendrik, 16.65
Heat 2: Garut Widiarta, 18.20 def. Raditya Rondi, 17.70
Heat 1: Lee Wilson, 19.40 def. Mega Semadhi, 17.00
Heat 2: Pepen Hendrik, 15.76 def. Putra Hermawan, 15.75
Heat 3: Garut Widiarta, 17.75 def. Mustofa Jeksen, 11.00
Heat 4: Raditya Rondi, 16.50 def. Rahtu Suargita, 14.20
1. Michaela Partin (USA), 14.00
2. Brenda Lee (Malaysia), 13.95
3. Annisa Flynn (Thailand), 12.15
4. Yasnyiar Gea (Indonesia) 8.90
All photos: Mick Curley & Hamish Humphreys