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7 January 2013, Desaru - Malaysia: Mohd Haikal from Johor Bahru posted his first ever surfing contest victory at his home break, winning the highly competitive Men’s Open victory yesterday in the all-Malaysian final of the 7th annual Monsoon Mayhem International Surf Challenge at Desaru Beach in Malaysia, battling it out in a 25 minute challenge against the elements and fellow Malay surfers Mohd “Mamat” Daud and Mohd Didaqt from Cherating, as well as his younger brother Mohd Helmi.
According to organizer Nazir “Ajill” Salleh from Big Foot Industries, the final day of the event experienced “The rarest day of epic conditions ever in the 7 years of the Monsoon Mayhem.” The event certainly lived up to the moniker of “mayhem” in terms of the waves, with sizeable 4-5 foot waves breaking all over the beachbreak, both on the outside and the inside sandbars, making for a true surfing challenge and creating a thrilling finale to the three day Monsoon Mayhem competition.
The perfect weather drew over a thousand surfers and spectators from Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur and other areas of Malaysia, as well as a significant contingent from Singapore for the three days event, which in addition to the surfing action included a Slide Jam skating competition and a big Saturday night beach party with DJ KBNL from Johor Bahru.
Men’s Open winner 23 year old Haikal was all smiles back on the beach after the final, after being carried up to the tower by his friends and family. “I’m so happy to be the winner here at my home break,” he exclaimed. “ It’s my dream to be a pro surfer, so this is really a big moment for me, to win my first contest. I don’t have any sponsor so I want to thank my family and friends who support me.” When asked what is his favorite local surfing he replied, “I go to Cherating whenever I have the chance, so it’s my favorite wave in Malaysia. But I really want to go to Bali, that’s my biggest wish now.”
Haikal has been surfing for almost 7 years now, and takes home a nice 2,000 MYR (almost $700 USD) paycheck for his weekend of surfing. In 2011 and 2012, Haikal received the “Best Johor Local Surfer Award”, and now adds the distinction of being a Monsoon Mayhem champion to his list of achievements.
Taking the second place Men’s Open trophy was Mohd “Mamat” Daud from Cherating, who is already a seasoned competitor and traveler, having won several Malaysian competitions and has multiple surf trips to places like Bali and the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia to his credit. “This is always a really fun event,” said Mamat. “It was definitely a challenge out there to find a good open face in these conditions. It’s a lot different from my home break of Cherating, which is a long left hand point break. I won both my heats to get into the final, but just couldn’t find the one good wave I needed to post a big score. I’m stoked for Haikal, getting his first win at his home break. Good on him and congratulations!”
In the Women’s Division it was 5-time Indonesian women’s surfing champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea who dominated the Women’s Division final. She wasted no time getting to work and attacking the often closing out waves, managing to ferret out a few open faces and posting the highest women’s single wave scores in the final.
“This is my 3rd time to compete here in Desaru,” said Gea. “The first year I came here I won, but last year I didn’t even make it into the final, so this year I was determined to win it again. I knew I had to be aggressive in this type of wave condition, so I’m lucky I found a couple of good waves so I could post the best scores and get the win. I’m really happy about my win!”
The Master’s (over 35 years of age) Division was won by last year’s winner Kaz Tushikazu of Japan, and second place went to Erwin Van Putten, a Dutch expat who lives in Thailand and came to the event to help out as a judge. The Master’s Division also had the distinction of having the most variety of international competitors, with contestants from Malaysia, Holland, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Australia, and the USA
The Monsoon Mayhem International Surf Challenge took place on the golden sands of Desaru Beach, located an hours drive east of Johor Baru and approximately 1.5 hours by car from Singapore. It is an annual event that has grown by leaps and bounds since its beginnings 7 years ago. It is the second year for the Monsoon Mayhem to be part of the Asian Surfing Championship Tour, and with the fact that 2014 will be a big year for Malaysian tourism, look for the event to be upgraded to a higher star event with bigger prize money and ASC championship points.
During the three days of the event, the surfing action included the Men’s Open Division, Women’s Division, Masters (over 35 years of age) Division, and a Bodyboard Division, with over 60 participants from counties such as Australia, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Holland, South Africa, the USA, the Maldives, Singapore, and of course Malaysia.
At the awards presentation on the beach on Sunday afternoon, the Director of the Malaysia Tourism Ministry in Johor, Mr. Mohamad Isa Bin Abdul Halim said in his speech, “I would like to thank all the surfing community that came together to create and participate in this event. We really hope that next year you all will come back again, as we hope to make an even bigger and better event for you, as it will be Visit Malaysia 2014. We’ll look forward to seeing you again, thanks everyone!”
Nazir “Ajill” Salleh from Bigfoot Industries also added, “Without all you surfers we could not even have an event, so I thank all the surfers, my Bigfoot team, the government and the sponsors, and the ASC all their support and making it all possible.”
To see photos, videos, and all the results from the Monsoon Mayhem 2013, check www.asiansurfingtour.com and look up the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) and Bigfoot Industries on Facebook as complete media will be available in the next 24-48 hours.
The Monsoon Mayhem event is supported by the Malaysian state of Johor as both a tourism promotion activity and in support of the growth of surfing in Malaysia.
Monsoon Mayhem 2013 was organized by Bigfoot Industries, JOHO and Boomslang, sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships with official event partners Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Johor, Pejabat Memeterian Pelancongan Negeri Johor, Kejora, sponsored by UNKL347, Fatimah Mohsin The Wedding Gallery, and Light Connections and is supported by the Surfing Association of Singapore, Johor Surfing Association, and MRB.
The official accommodation for the event was the Pulai Desaru Beach Resort and Spa, check them out at http://www.pulaidesarubeach-johor.com
Monsoon Mayhem International Surf Challenge 2013 Contest Results:
Men’s Open Division
1. Mohd Haikal (Malaysia)
2. Mohd “Mamat” Daud (Malaysia)
3. Mohd Didaqt (Malaysia)
4. Mohd Helmi (Malaysia)
Women’s Open Division
1. Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea (Indonesia)
2. Diah Rayahu Dewi (Indonesia)
3. Jessie Hong (Taiwan)
4. Michaela Partin (USA)
1. Toshikazu Kirusji (Japan)
2. Erwin Van Putten (Holland)
3. James Coetcee (South Africa)
4. Wann Hassan (Singapore)
1. Syed El Hussien (Malaysia)
2. Ali Khusruwan (Maldives)
3. Ali Javeed (Maldives)
4. Ibrahim Shiman (Maldives)
Best Local Johor Surfer – Helmi (Tanjung Balu, Malaysia)
Nazir “Ajill” Saleh
Asian Surfing Championships
About Bigfoot Industries
Bigfoot Industries was founded in 2006 by enthusiasts of extreme sports such as skateboarding, surfing and dirt biking. The company focuses on promoting the future development of board riding sports in Singapore, Malaysia, and throughout Asia. Bigfoot Industries holds a number of events in the board riding categories yearly and sponsors diverse individual athletes in various disciplines. See more at www.bigfoot-industries.com
About the Asian Surfing Championships
The goal of the Asian Surfing Championships is to grow the sport of surfing in Asia from the grassroots level by assisting each country in creating organized and sanctioned events that will develop the skills of their surfers in healthy competition as well as to draw attention to their area for the progression of surfing locally, nationally, and throughout the Asian region.
Organized surfing competitions have historically been the best medium for the development of surfers and for the sport of surfing. Learning how to compete fairly and to being disciplined in training and competition key assets needed not only for surfing but also for life.
The ASC works with the local, national and multinational event sponsors and organizers to maximize the results of these competitive surfing events towards accomplishing the goals of sharing the sport of surfing and bringing positive economic, social, and environmental benefits to the people in these Asian countries.
With a multi-stop and multi-national surfing tour, Asian Surfing Champions will be crowned each year in multiple divisions including Open, Women, Longboard, Junior, and Master. For more see www.asiansurfingtour.com