A proper send-off for Andy and a last blast at Un’s
How does that saying go? “All’s well that ends well”? I think here in Bali, it’s more like: “All’s well that ends at Un’s.”
And that was where we found ourselves on Friday night, our last night, grooving to Bali Elvis and dripping with Pocari Sweat. Earlier in the day, we found some more fun waves around the corner where “Tony Bintang” nabbed the barrel of the trip. Good reason to hand that man another Bintang.
We then headed into Kuta and participated in a paddle-out ceremony for Andy Irons that saw 500 local and visiting surfers joined in a circle and chanting his name. Somewhere up there, Andy was smiling.
Lining up for the paddle-out. PHOTO: PK
Knowing that the three-time world champ would be pissed if the party didn’t go on, we returned to Un’s for an AI video tribute, a Melali premiere and some live performances, starting with Rob Machado and PK. And at some point, in the middle of the heat and dancing and drinks and madness, we pulled our Dream Trip winners aside and handed out a few “special” awards from the trip.
The Pioneer Award went to the Caples family (Evan, Shelly, Peyton and Curren) for leading the charge to Bali the morning after the tsunami hit. For redirecting our course and getting us on the track, they received matching “Bali flip-flop” necklaces. They promised to wear them as a family on the flight home, but they might have been crossing their fingers.
The Odd Couple Award went to our Surfside Sports winner, Greg Jensen and his travel companion, Hans Hagen. Are they father and son? Master and apprentice? Or just a couple of solid Laguna surfers who enjoy each other’s company? Whatever the answer, they were a great addition to the trip and received a set of salt and pepper shakers. We let them decide who gets the salt.
Birthday dudes: Dylan and Chris. PHOTO: PK
Next, the Birthday Boy Awards. Our winner from the Bro-Am Event Dylan DeBie and his travel companion Chris Zomora both hit milestones on this trip. And in lieu of cake or candles or pointy hats, we handed them each a pack of incense and told them to make a wish. Judging from the amount of waves they caught on this trip, maybe it already came true.
Troopers: Chris and Luis. PHOTO: PK
Our ZJ Boarding House winners, Chris Hardt and Luis Foncesca, probably had the least surfing experience before arriving here. But after a series of reef cuts, goat trails, dry docks and 1000 flights of stairs, they came out better, stronger and more stoked than ever. For their efforts: two small statues of a bad-ass farmer carrying a hoe. Better known as the Trooper Award.
Our super rep Manny Amador, who earned his spot by winning the sales force challenge, was a spirited member of the team, surfing a ton, laughing the whole time and secretly getting work done on his crappy PC. Along with his good friend Erik Wylie, they were a presence wherever we went. But corralling 17 people for every night function wasn’t the easiest task, and when we discovered something missing at Curren’s skate demo, we immediately realized: “I can’t believe we left Manny and Wylie.” Of course, they were great sports about it and laughed it off. And because they were such great sports, they received the Left Behind Award featuring a wooden carving of two pigs in a compromising position. Manny and Wylie: we’re so sorry you got screwed.
The scene at Un's. PHOTO: PK
And finally, the most obvious award went to Tony “Bintang” Wodarck. No need for an introduction or explanation. He received a pack of Bintang cuzies to keep the Bali buzz going at home.
But on this night, it wasn’t time to think about home. It was time to pay our respects to AI, enjoy Rob’s movie and music and enjoy this group’s company one more time. Because if this crazy Hurley Sweepstakes adventure proved anything, it’s this: Dream Trips are what you make of them. -- Evan Slater
[Special Thanks: to Rudi, Jeff Samuelson and Anthony Marcotti for all their help with the Kandui efforts. To Jon Rose and Waves for Water for coming to the rescue and saving lives, one filter at a time. To Tim Russo and Ollie for setting us up at the most beautiful place on Earth. To Made, Ari, Yasa and crew for getting us from point A to point B and back in one piece. To PK, Rob Machado and Asher Nolan for entertaining us in and out of the water. To the generous people of Bali and – most importantly – Rizal Tanjung and his family for taking us in and turning this into a true Dream Trip for our lucky winners.]
Three cheers for AI. PHOTO: PK
AI shrine at Un's. PHOTO: PK
Family Caples and The Troopers. PHOTO: PK
PK, Rob and the Masked Murse Man. PHOTO: MANNY
Click here to read our Part 4 story.
Click here to watch Rob and crew surfing Uluwatu.
Click here to read our Part 3 story.
Click here to watch our video from the fire ceremony.
Click here to read our Part 2 story.
Click here to read our Part 1 story.