Wacky weather and weathering the wackiness (plus a few words about the OM Bali Pro 1981-82)

Weeks of glass and offshores at Sanur side in June? 

“Where have all the trade winds gone, long time passing, where have all the trade winds gone, long time agoooo, where have all the trade winds gone, gone to La Nina everyone, when will they ever blow, when will they blow agaiaaannnnn…..”

(Actually, on this Sunday afternoon, they seem to have returned, but not with the typical trade wind coolness)

But it was good conditions for the wackiness that was the Oakley Pro at Keramas.  Your blog correspondent saw nary a heat (although he did sneak a few glimpses at the live webcast,  at moments when the Internet blazed fast as a speeding tour bus at the Benoa harbor lights.) Neither did he see the Bald Headed One (or any pro for that matter) despite keeping an eagle-eye out on the byways of Sanur.

Bali’s first professional contests, and part of the ASP world, were the OM Bali Pro in 1981 (won by Jim Banks, $4000 first prize) and 1982 (won by Terri Richardson, $5000 first prize).  The contestants and heat results can be found here at the ASP archives: 





om bali pro2

om bali pro1

Various reports and reminiscing (including the memories of our own Captain of the Bukit can be found hither and yon on the Internet. Your blog correspondent adds a few nuggets to the collective history.  The contest was sponsored by OM clothing company, founded in the 70s by several Australian surfer mates.  OM was one of the first and best-selling export brands out of Bali (with much batiking done in Java).  When the contest was held, Made Wijaya (the landscape designer and cultural critic who transplanted himself out of Australia and into one Bali’s royal families as an adopted son) vented umbrage that  a surfing contest would dare use and thus desecrate  the Holy Sound.  The Balinese themselves weren’t bothered, although these days one probably couldn’t get away with using OM like that.  A few years ago, an expat hotel/golf course manager got into a tub of hot water for an ad pictorial campaign that used golf balls in canang flower offerings.

One of the OM partners told me that during the contest there was some speculation whether the company would actually come up with the prize money, which he personally hand carried, firmly tucked away under his arm, to the awards ceremony.  Not a check but a bundle of cash. (Indonesians rarely used checks. Nobody trusted little bits of paper. When you did deals, it was with cash. Still common today.)  

In truth, over the years, when local regencies in Indonesia hold open surf contests inviting all and sundry to participate, and promise an alluring amount of prize money, it is not unheard of for the government’s Head Honcho to announce at the awards ceremony, “Unfortunately,  the contest cost more than we expected, and there are no funds left in the budget for the prize money. However here is a lovely conch shell carved by our famed local craftsmen for you to proudly display at home.” 


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2 Responses to Wacky weather and weathering the wackiness (plus a few words about the OM Bali Pro 1981-82)

  1. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and
    said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

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