Chris Ward: god sent him the winning wave at Padang Padang

Chris Ward has taken the 2012 Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang, after scoring a perfect 10 backside barrel in the dying seconds of the final heat.

The Californian surfer defeated Bali’s Mega Semadhi, Java’s Dede Suryana, and Australia’s Ry Craike, in pumping six-foot tubes at Padang Padang.

"I knew I had it," Ward said. "I knew it was at least an 8.5 for sure. Last year I had an onshore heat and didn't even get barreled and lost in the first round". "Today it was a completely different story. I was feeling it out there all day. This year Padang gave me the waves", he added.

Ward was on fire all day as he battled his way through arguably the most talented field of tuberiding specialists ever assembled for a contest, including 2009 Padang Cup champ Jamie O'Brien, defending champion Lee Wilson, local legend Rizal Tanjung, Ozzie Wright and the event's first-ever female competitor, Bethany Hamilton.

Needing an 8.25 to take the lead with mere seconds left in the final, Ward found his miracle perfect 10 backside barrel to win the "Ultimate Tuberiding Contest", as he got spit out in the channel and heard the cheers erupt.

After being crowned Rip Curl Cup champion, Ward surprised everyone when he got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes, which sent the hundreds of fans gathered on the beach into a cheering frenzy.

"I asked her before we came here, and I got her family's blessing," Ward said. "I bought the ring and was thinking, how should I propose? I told myself if I won this contest I was gonna do this right here on the stage. So I guess it was meant to be".

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