Chris Ward won the Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang in pumping six foot surf. With just seconds remaining in the Finals of the contest and needing an 8.25 to win, Ward tucked into a perfect backside barrel to score a perfect 10 and win the event.
“I knew I had it,” said Ward. “I knew it was at least an 8.5 for sure. Last year I had an onshore heat and didn't even get barreled and lost in the first round. Today it was a completely different story. I was feeling it out there all day. This year Padang gave me the waves.”
As if that wasn’t dramatic enough, Ward got down to his knees while on the winner’s podium and proposed to his girlfriend in front of the raucous crowd. She said yes.
“I asked her before we came here, and I got her family's blessing,” said Ward. “I bought the ring and was thinking, how should I propose? I told myself if I won this contest I was gonna do this right here on the stage. So I guess it was meant to be.”