First Nemberala-Boa Open Surfing Competition about to take place in Indonesia
The Regional Government of East Nusa Tenggara have just announced that they will be hosting an international surfing competition named the Nemberala-Bo’a Open 2009 from September 17-20 on the beaches of Nemberala and Bo’a on the island of Rote.
According the Regent of Rote, Leonardus Hanning, this professional surfing event is part of his regency’s participation in the Visit Indonesia Year 2009 international tourism effort, and will draw international and Indonesia’s top professional surfers to compete in the world-class waves of Rote in September.
Regent Hanning has subsequently enlisted the services of the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour to help set up and run the event. “We were delighted to be contacted by the regent of Rote and for the opportunity to run their event,” said ISC CEO Tipi Jabrik. “The ISC is now in its 6th year of operation and runs an average of 8 large local surfing contests each year, including helping out with several international contests in Bali, so we are looking forward creating a super event in Rote for the government,” he added. Jabrik is himself a professional surfer and has surfed the waves of Rote many times.
The Nemberala-Boa Open 2009 will be a 6-star prime ISC sanctioned professional surfing competition. The 6-star prime rating means that there is a total prize purse of Rp 64 million on offer (approximately USD 6,500), with Rp 20 million (USD 2,000) going to the first place finisher, so the competition will be fierce amongst these dedicated athletes who all want to be the ones coming home with a first place trophy and all that cash. In addition to being able to surf great waves in a beautiful location for a few days!
Rote Island is part of the regency of Kupang. Kupang is also the name of the capital city of island of Timor, the most southern island in the Indonesian archipelago. Actually it is Dana Island that can claim that honor, with an area of 14 square kilometers, as the absolute southernmost island in Indonesia.
The island of Rote itself is approximately 1,200 square kilometers with a population of just over 100,000. The main town in Rote is named Ba’a, which is the hub for commerce and transportation on the island. Daily ferryboats to and from Kupang need about four hours to make the trip to Ba’a, so are the standard form of transportation for both tourists and locals alike.
Nearby are the surfing beaches of Nemberala and Bo’a. Nemberala is a postcard perfect white sand stretch of beach with tall palm trees ringing the perimeter. The lefthand reef break provides some of the longest wave rides in Indonesia, and on a small to medium swells can be excellent for surfers of all experience levels. And the swells get larger, above the 6-foot mark, the more experienced surfers can really break out their best maneuvers!
Just a bit further south is the righthand reefbreak of Bo’a. It is a high performance wave where the advanced surfers can really show off their best tricks and moves but it is also not too intimidating or difficult for the average intermediate surfer, who will enjoy racing the steep walls of water all the way into the channel.
Surf season in Rote generally runs from April to November, when the trade winds start to blow from East to West. During the months of September and October the waves will break best in Nemberala and Bo’a, hence the choice of the middle of September to have the contest and ensure that the best wave conditions possible are there for the competitors.
It is expected that over 100 competitors will come to the Nemberala-Bo’a Open in September, a mix of Indonesian and international surfers. They will start in Denpasar (Bali) and fly to Kupang, where they will spend the night before taking a special fast boat (two hours) to Rote the next morning. While in Rote they will stay at Nemberala Beach where there are several hotels and restaurants. The competition will require approximately three days to complete; as the waves conditions can change and often do, and the goal is to have the surfers compete in only the best wave conditions possible. Factors such as the tide and wind all play a part in determining the quality of the waves, so three days are usually necessary for each ISC professional surfing competition.
The Nemberala-Bo’a Open will not only be about surfing but will also act as a tourism promotion event in order to share the beauty of the island of Rote with the international audience. During the three days of competition there will be various local programs staged to allow the competitors and crew to see more of the culture, meet the local people, and tour several of the many scenic spots around the island.