What: Billabong Pro Am Malaysia, Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships Where: Cherating Point, Pahang Malaysia When: 19 - 21 December 2008
Cherating Beach local Mamat climbed atop the podium yesterday afternoon to accept his first place Men's Open Division victory after a brilliant display of surfing under testing conditions in the closely contested final. He received the grand prize of a new Billabong surfboard, a Nixon watch, Billabong backpack, t-shirt, and boardshorts.
He was over the moon with excitement, exclaiming: "I'm so stoked to win today, especially in these conditions. I didn't think I could do it…I thought one of the younger and lighter guys would win for sure, but somehow I did it!" He added, "I really want to thank Billabong and the government and all the sponsors for having this event here. It's so great!"
The anticipated increase in swell didn't materialize yesterday, resulting in weakening 2-foot surf that was a challenge especially for the larger surfers. But local knowledge was the key, and Mamat found the right waves and blasted them apart to outscore his opponents and come home with the victory.
In the Grommets Division, Yen, who also nabbed second place in the Men's Open division, was the first place winner, showing his smooth style and wise wave selection. In the Women's Division, Noriko Kanno picked her way through the better set waves to rack up the most points for the win. Incredibly this was her first experience surfing at Cherating Beach.
Billabong's Paul Anderson surfed his favorite blue bomber to victory in the Master's Division. Paul has surfed Cherating a few times in the past year and knew exactly what kind of equipment would get the job done. In the Bodyboard Division Jarul Aliff Zulkifli slid and spun his way into first place, a very challenging feat considering the size and power of the waves during the final.
In addition to their trophies, all the finalists received tons of Billabong, Nixon, Kustom, and Von Zipper goodies including boardshorts, t-shirts, caps, thongs, backpacks, and wallets.
This was the inaugural Billabong Pro Am event at Cherating and was very well received and attended, with many making the 3-hour plus drive out from Kuala Lumpur to attend and participate. According to Billabong South East Asia's Marketing Manager Peter Thew: "We'll be doing this event again next year and for a long time to come. We're stoked at how surfing is being received and is progressing here in Malaysia, and we are just happy to be able to help out and take it to the next level."