What a weekend! Talk about action packed. Big things to do every day, but we’ll get back to the start and the middle, lets fast forward to the end, Sunday. The name sake of the entire weekend, Deus 9′ & Single Log Fest was of course the actual surfing event.
We pitched tents and lean too’s late Saturday arvo, getting the bulk of the work out of the way,. The plan was for plain sailing Sunday morning. We met at the Deus Temple in Canggu before dawn to the sound of the crows crying across the rice paddies, loaded up the stereo, PA, T’shirts, essential event components and most importantly, several hundred Beers, All very integral stuff to running a successful surfing comp let me tell you.
We arrived at the beach around 6:10am. Unpacked, and started carrying gear from the car-park along a short track up to a small knoll. To a man we stopped for before us the sea had once again turned on the most perfect morning conditions. Pitch perfect barrels rolled in from the right. Tired heads split now with grins worked with renewed vigor. The last items were hosted into position as the judges took their spots and competitors waxed their boards. The PA popped and squawked to life. It was on.
Talk about an all star cast. We have to say a big thank you to all of you who came from near and afar to Bali to compete in the second Deus 9′ & Single Log Fest, it truly was mouth aghast stuff watching the international field of stylish super sliders. Obviously we got a truck load of Aussies, that’s a given but to have, in no particular order… Harrison Roach, Matt Cuddihy, Matt Chojnaki, Jimmy ‘Slide’ Mitchell, Andrew Warhurst, Banjo McLachlan, Jack Norton, Thomas ‘Doc’ Bexon, Jake Bowery, Chris McCutchinson, Jimmy Lewellyn, Kai Ellice-Flintand even Josh Constable all come was beyond our wildest dreams. From across the pond we attracted the notable talents of Alex Knost, Dane Peterson, Jared Mell and Spencer, in-house surf aficionado from Deus Venice Beach even came in to fly the flag. The Japanese are never to be out done and we had ‘Pippen’ Suzuki, Yuta Sezutsu and Go Kitahara represent brilliantly. Two Italian stallions’, Roberto Milio & Mateo Marchesi, A Singaporean, Mike ‘Trimslideglide’ Lim and even a German, Wolfgang ‘Lupo’ Steiner. We sprinkled the talent pool with a handful of Deus Temple devotees headed up by Husni Ridhwan, Julian Zelonka, Monty, Pat, Drew Head and last but never least Simon ‘Tiger Eyes’ Palmer.
Another amazing fact for those who collect such things, almost everyone one of these people was barrelled in the heats. It was just that good. There was nose riding, amazing bottom turning and plenty of cutbacks afoot. Though the tubes were just so damn tantalising. We were told prior that it wasn’t the right spot for a log event. The wave was too fast, it would be too big, the boards wouldn’t handle it… well we proved those critics wrong. It was perfect and the surfing was ridiculously amazing.
By mid morning though conditions had begun to deteriorate, mind you, so had the crowd, with a little help from seeding them with beers. There were cordless mics passed around the beach and we had some of the funniest surf commentary ever. A special mention goes out to Jared Mell, you could always have a career in radio if this surfing thing doesn’t work out.
With the wind coming in, the tide going out and the beers going down we raced towards the finals. The semis were some of the most intense surfing of the entire event. The judges, who’d thought that they’d been invited along for a doodle on the beach suddenly had their work cut out for them. The second semi was taking so long to tally up that we eventually said fuck it and called a tie for second place allowing three to go through and creating a five man title. The judges were happy, the beach was happy but most of all the competitors themselves were happy. The final consisted of an extreme fab five; Harrison Roach in the red number 1 singlet, Matt Cuddihy in the Black number 2, Matt Chojnaki wearing yellow 3, Josh Constable blue 4 and Alex Knost in skin. Talk about a nail biter!
At this point I have to tell you though, that after an amazing 30 minute final with wild speculation of who won and who didn’t sweeping along the beach faster than a motorbike delivery driver, we wouldn’t know who won it until later, much later. The secret was being kept and revealed at the Deus Temple that night. The crowd dribbled slowly off the beach and as it was only still 1pm, gave most a few hours to have a rest and recuperate. A lot needed to hydrate, for acts two and three of this already awesome day were yet to unfold.
The backyard at the Deus Temple of Enthusiasm in Canggu hasn’t looked so good. Vision One had placed lights through out which really showed the girls good side. The crowd had thickened and the beers were sliding down. Monty took to the mic and thanked a few bods and recapped the weekend so far. It had been a long way. Without much pomp and ceremony he described the exhibition that was opening, Praeterlabor, a collection of artists taken largely from the weekends contestants and close associates had all contributed work for this visual feast.
Then the time was at hand, the barrel girls came to the edge of the stage. Monty invited DHump onto the stage. The five finalists were also invited to join them. Beers passed around. In a very respectable 5th position was Matt ‘Cuddle’ Cuddihy. 4th was taken by Matt Chojnaki, third was Alex Knost. Monty milked the moment for all it was worth before announcing that Josh Constable came second, leaving a very happy Harrison Roach in first place.
Though it wasn’t about who won or lost. This one was really about having played the game. More than one person was heard saying it’s one of the best events they’ve been in. Alex only said he was a bit pissed to lose to Josh because he wouldn’t hear the end of it. Chris Brooks began to play. Photos were taken and a lot more Bintang was drunk. Reprats and Soul Brothers came on. The crowd actually grew. It was a full backyard. More photos taken in the studio and a lot more drinks became drunk. Then Tomorrows Tulips played. There was some dancing and more drinking, the place was awash.
Some can’t remember getting home. A couple of people didn’t make it. To their homes that is. The night is a memory though, no matter how distorted or blurred. Something that won’t be forgotten. A huge weekend of a lot of fun with friends.
A big thanks to all of our sponsors for without them an event like this wouldn’t be able to be held. The Critical Slide Society, Raen Sunglasses, The Yak Magazine, Bali Alternative Media, Vision One and the crowd favorite, Bintang Beer.