Yudi Andika: combed surfer

In an intense battle against his three fellow finalists and the pounding 3-4 foot waves of a seething South China Sea, Yudi Andika from Banda Aceh, Indonesia dodged the countless tirade of waves unloading on the Desaru Beach sandbar to outscore his opponents and retain his title of Monsoon Mayhem Open Division Champion for the second consecutive year. Andika received a trophy and 1,000 MYR (approximately $325 USD) for his win.

Andika and finalists Mamat (Malaysia), Yen (Malaysia) and Gilang (Indonesia), were challenged not so much by each other as by the conditions, with big waves and strong winds requiring superhuman efforts just to reach the outside and position themselves to catch a ridable wave.

"That was the toughest final I have ever surfed in," said an exhausted Andika back on the beach. "I'm so very stoked I won and really I'm surprised and thankful. It was a lot of work out there and I was just lucky to be in the right spot to catch a couple, ones that stayed up so I could make a few turns before getting hammered on the inside," he added grinning.

Runner up Mamat, who hails from Cherating in Malaysia, was still smiling as he accepted his runner up spot. "It was so hard to find a good wave, as I had to keep dodging those big close outs," he explained. "Near the end I paddled north up the beach because I thought I saw a couple lefts coming in, knowing I needed just one good wave to win, but time ran out on me. Next year I'm coming back to win this thing!"

The 5th Annual Monsoon Mayhem Surf Challenge, a 1-star Asian Surfing Championship sanctioned event, was held at Desaru Beach from 7-9 January and included four different divisions of surfing competition as well as the "SlideFest" skate competition. Desaru Beach is an approximate 1.5-hour drive from Singapore and a one-hour drive from Johor Bahru, and is the favored surfing destination for those living in these two cities.

Prior to the exciting Men's Open Division Final on Sunday afternoon were the finals of Bodyboard Division, the Women's Division, and the Masters Division. The wave and wind conditions were a challenge for all the competitors on the final day, forcing the competitors to spend the majority of their 15-minute heats as much under the water as on top. One competitor estimated he had to "duck dive" over 100 times during his heat, and he never even surfed a wave!

Almost 100 competitors from countries including Hawaii, America, Canada, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia joined in the event.

The initial two days of competition presented milder conditions leading up to the final day, with sun and intermittent showers giving the weekend the complete gamut of weather options to the coastal resort area of Desaru, know for its pristine golden sand beach and mostly calm seas.

But the event certainly lived up to its moniker of Monsoon Mayhem during the final day, with strong wind and occasional rain squalls broken up by short periods of sunshine, coupled with the wild and crazy waves. Women's Division winner Yasnyiar "Bonne" Gea from Indonesia admitted, "If this wasn't a contest there is no way I would have paddled out to surf. It was my first time to surf here and the whole event was really fun, so to end up winning is just wonderful."

Monsoon Mayhem Surf Challenge 2011 Contest Results

ASC Men's Open Division

1. Yudi Andika (Indonesia) - 1,000 MYR
2. Mamat (Malaysia) - 600 MYR
3. Yen (Malaysia) - 400 MYR
4. Gilang (Indonesia) - 200 MYR

Women's Division

1. Yasnyiar Gea "Bonne" (Indonesia) - 500 MYR
2. Dyah Rahayu Dewi (Indonesia) - 300 MYR
3. Cheryl Tang (Singapore) - 200 MYR
4. Brenda Lee (Malaysia) - 100 MYR

Master's Division

1. Toshi (Japan) - 500 MYR
2. Decha (Thailand) - 300 MYR
3. Taka (Japan) - 200 MYR
4. Tom (USA) - 100 MYR

Bodyboard Division

1. Apex (Malaysia) - 500 MYR
2. Apai - 300 MYR
3. Bobee - 200 MYR
4. Usun - 100 MYR

Skateboard "SlideFest" Results

1. Hilmi (Singapore) - 300 MYR
2. Flea (Singapore) - 200 MYR
3. Ahmad (Singapore) - 100 MYR

Best Local Surfer Award = Yen from Cherating - received new surfboard from Satusuku Surf Shop
Best Upcoming Johor Local = Haikal - received 300 MYR worth of surf products from Bigfoot Industries

Source: ISC