April 03 2020 Friday at 06:41 AM

An afternoon of school sport. The surf contest.

­­Red is having a much-deserved day off. Ano, one of the Temple’s resident’s who has penned the odd story or two in the past for us had something to say so we offered him the hot seat. Load up your cups with your favourite imbibe, sit back and enjoy his not so little tale…
Every year the international schools in Bali have their various sports days. The track and field and the skateboarding all happened the previous week but the surfing was postponed due to the arrival of a solid swell that shut the sand bottom beaches of Legian down. Pushed out for a week it was held today. I nabbed Max, my number one son, from school at midday and we headed to Double 6 then on down towards Padma to where the surf school is. We wrestled our boards, bags, bottles, sunscreens, wax and what have yous from bike to beach and negotiated with Wayan for a couple of lounges and an umbrella for the afternoon before ripping our gear off and heading into the surf. We were early and there seemed to be a couple of banks out front that the wind wasn’t completely all over.
The horn was only just audible from out the back but enough to beckon the kids back to the beach. I took the opportunity to bag a couple of extra waves before taking a particularly good one right through to the sand.
Nicole Grosser, Swiss camera girl extraordinaire had arrived and was unloading her camera I came over to say hi. I had cornered her in the morning and pleaded with her to come and cover the competition knowing full well that Red was having a Thursday full of meditation and mediation leaving you, the readers of the Deus blog without their daily fix of a good story with good piccies. The judges were not happy at first with the idea of her taking photos of all and sundry but I made sure with everyone that it was the Deus groms we were interested in.
Now here is the thing. On the weekends the Deus groms all surf, ride bikes, skateboards, hang about, try to maim and kill each other, you name it, they do it together. However here they were from different schools and although surfing is a solitary sport the points would be awarded to the victorious school. So not only were they pitted against each other we had AIS against, Canggu, SLK, Sunrise, BIS etc. It was all shaping up to be an interesting afternoon. Unfortunately it was about the same time that the wind went to about force one. Sweeping in from the east as a perfect cross-shore. Making a mess of both the left and the right. The kids were going to have to try and make a silk wallet from what had now become a cow’s ear. (Ano’s Note: Living in a predominantly Muslim country I made a cultural call and changed this somewhat historic English(?) saying.)
The siren went again and the first heat of coloured rashies hit the water. I for one wasn’t too interested as none of OUR kids were in it. Laying on the day bed in the shade of my umbrella I did think to myself that even though I wasn’t looking at who was doing what, considering the beautiful sun high in the cloudless sky, the cool though rather stiff breeze, the movable feast of eye candy on the beach and the bottle of chilled water at arms length, this was definitely my idea of what a day at my sons school sporting event should be like and more importantly why there were not more of them punctuating the years calendar.
I was shaken, albeit rather gently, back to reality as I saw Fisher make for the water in his heat. He had troubles finding his groove at first but bagged a couple towards the end that were enough to secure him a position in the next round. Kayu was next and having surfed similar conditions many times before he excelled in what can only be described in lackluster waves. Logan was not as lucky in his heat nor Maxi. Both of them failed to secure a position through into the next round however neither of them let it bother them, they merely shrugged it off, grabbed their boards and wandered down the beach out of the competition zone and free surfed.
I settled into my beach dreaming and let the arvo slide through heats. Fisher was the next not to make it through. Once again the same result. He grabbed his own rash vest and headed down the beach and into the water to free surf. I decided that I should also have a second surf and soon followed though not until after watching Kayu have a burster of a heat which he won and secured a place for himself in the finals.
We lolled about in the bleak conditions. For some weird reason I thought I would sit out the back and catch the bomb sets. I didn’t think too much about the other ten guys out there with me so it was slim pickings for this little brown duck. The boys were a lot cleverer than I and stayed closer to shore trading each other for the smaller and more consistent rides that passed through there.
Once I was filled on surf, sun and salt I made my way in. Rinsed the later off at the surf school, grabbed a couple of Bali’s finest from the Ibu and wandered down to where Nicole had set up shop next to the judges tent. She was entertaining four little Indonesian kids who were having the best time looking at their reflections in the end of her 600mm lens. She seemed to be pointing it at them point blank and pushing the button. The fast click of the shutter on motor drive is not all that dissimilar to a machine gun, although substantially more quiet and a gazillion times less destructive. They danced in and out of range.
Soon enough though the judges were calling for the contestants for the finals. Our man was given the yellow Guernsey and readied himself at the waters edge.
The group paddled up into the deteriorating conditions. I laughed when Nicole said “Wouldn’t it be good if one of our kids won?” Me I am already a dad, twice that I know of, whereas she has yet to experience real parenthood but hey, I really liked her inclusive attitude.
The siren went off and…………. Not a lot happened for about five minutes. Kayu soon caught a wave and them so did the other kids. He seemed to be getting a lot of waves but they were not overly good, nor large enough to allow him to do anything amazing with them. Soon it was all over and the siren once again commanded they come back to shore.
It was hard to call that last heat. The kids were all good and I am glad it wasn’t me having to do it. The judges tallied and handed their sheets up to the head judge. After giving out the prizes for the girls and the younger guys it was soon time for the over 13’s.
I glanced across at Kayu still holding his board in the shade of the tent, he was decidedly nervous. He knew he had done well out there though wasn’t quite sure if he had done well enough to get all the way through. His eyes flitted around. Almost as if he sensed this the head judge started at first place, rather than from last up as he had done for the other groups. The mention of someone else’s name as the winner seemed to settle him. He knew. The other guy was a mate and although he hadn’t won better a friend to do it than someone you don’t know. Still looking at him I heard his name being called, he had taken out second place. Definitely not a shabby result but not the first place he had coveted. We congratulated him as if he had won.
The sun was growing closer to the horizon and an afternoon without food had left my stomach thinking that my throat had been cut. Maxi and I gathered our wagonload of belongings and headed off the sand to where the bike was parked. Without a word exchanged, more a glance and a nod we decided to eat at one of the restaurants in Double 6. Must be a father son thing. We smiled and silently loaded the bike. I knew we were both thinking of dinner as we rode down the lane and into the evening