Rip Curl’s GromSearch #2 turned up the heat at Batu Karas, West Java last weekend as Indonesia’s hottest Under 16 year old surfers displayed exactly the kind of surfing that this contest series was created to inspire. High flying maneuvers were the order of the day at the “Malibu of Indonesia” highlighted by the hottest battle of the year when Ketut Agus, title defender from Gromsearch #1 at Lombok, dramatically lost his number one spot to Padma’s Raju Sena.
But more on that later.Arriving at the beach at Batu Karas, the Rip Curl crew made the call to run the 16yr and 14yr old boys division and the highly competitive Girls division at Pantai Bulak Benda Beach due to better swell forecast. Though many of the locals had warmed up there for days, Rip Curl’s Team Manager Dylan Amar was confident this decision would give the all the competitors the ultimate opportunity to show what they’ve got.
And he was right.
Starting off with the under 14 boys division, Rip Curl’s Tenshi Ishii had the crowd at the edge of their seats as he took a strong lead into the last moments of the final heat. But, with three minutes to go, a huge set kicked in. And with Tenshi paddling back out after a high scoring wave, Sumbawa’s Bronson Maidy took off on the biggest wave of the day and blasted every trick in the book to end up on the beach with an 8.0. Now in first place, Maidy made his way up the beach, confident of the win. Then, paddling hard to make it outside, Tenshi could only look on as Varun Tanjung picked off the last wave of the set and ripped into the longest wave of the event, leaving the hard working Tenshi in third place, the taste of victory as sour as a lemon in his mouth.
Pito Italo, who could only take notes during most of this dynamic final, followed in 4th.
Next up, the Girls finals, where the crowd was so stoked on Ellie Turner’s powerful moves and Giada Legati’s elegant grace that the applause was heard all the way out into the line-up. Rip Curl’s Taina Izquierdo, favored to win the contest, could only watch broken-hearted as her flawless campaign to the finals was undone, relegating her to a third place finish behind Turner and Legati.
But the story of the day was of the brave local, Perta Melia, who had been surfing for less than a year, yet dared to take on the most experienced female Groms in South East Asia. Though out surfed, not for one moment was young Melia ever outclassed. On the winner’s podium, the crowd erupted with appreciation as she accepted her 4th place trophy. Look for more from this young courageous surfer in the future.The Under 16 boys was clearly a vicious rematch. Gromsearch #1 winner Ketut Agus wanted a repeat of his merciless attack on Raju Sena that came down on Lombok earlier in the year. But Raju Sena, stung by his defeat in Lombok in a division that he has dominated for so long, stole Agus’ thunder with an almost perfect opening wave that scored 9 points out of 10. But he did not stop there. His next wave, an unbelievable score of 9.5, sealing the fate of his nemesis Agus. Sauntering up the beach before the heat even ended, revenge was sweet for Raju as he sat and watched Agus struggle into second place.
With these two guys in 1st and 2nd place, Ivan Prihandoyo from Banyuwangi, East Java powered into 3rd leaving the Batu Karas local Riky Fauzi with 4th place. Needless to say, the crowd went mad again for their local hero as Riky Fauzi took the podium to accept his 4th place trophy. The great day was ended in warm celebration as local Farid Maulana was awarded the sportsmanship award for his daring courage in helping a fellow competitor to the beach after a bad wipeout. As Rip Curl’s Ketut Agus presented him with a new surfboard for his efforts, Maulana was overcome with emotion and was needed to be helped from the stage. But it wasn’t over yet.
That night, the swell picked up.
And dawn the next day found Gromsearch #2 back at her beloved Batu Karas to witness the crowd favorite 12 and under boys division. The day started with environmental education, beach games and a huge beach clean-up involving all competitors before the first heat horn blew. But when it did, it was an unstoppable Sam Harrent who steamrolled the competition with the passion of a pro, ripping to a relentless 1st place. Game against Harrent”s onslaught, Andi Suryaman managed 2nd, Farid Maulana, the sportsmanship award winner took 3rd and a stunned Adam Wirayuda followed in 4th. The Rip Curl Gromsearch #2 at Batu Karas, West Java was one of the most positive events in the contest series’s great history, living up to its name as the search to find 2016’s ultimate Indonesian Grommet. Under 16 division Ivan Prihandoyo and Riky Fauzi both were awarded their ticket to the National Finals as the highest placing grommets from the Java region, and granted the dream opportunity to roll into the International Finals later in the year.
In cooperation with the Batu Karas Surf Club, this second competition in the Gromsearch series was held in yet another ideal venue for both competitors and spectators to witness the hottest under 16 surfing in Indonesia. And with three more spectacular locations already hand-picked to offer under 16 surfers the best waves in Indonesia, this year’s Gromsearch series will once again give any under 16 surfer their shot at the big time. With an international Grand Final to be held at a secret location somewhere in the world, the Gromsearch is the greatest opportunity in Indonesia for any young surfer, boy or girl, to make their surfing dreams come true. Real surf, real contests, real winners and a fantastic grand prize that could lead to international recognition and help launch an international professional surfing career.
Here’s how it works: The winners of each regional competition are invited to the Indonesian National Final. The winners of the Indonesian National Final are then flown to the International Grand finals where they will face the hottest under 16 surfers from around the globe. Win the International Grand Finals and you are well on your way to sponsorship and a pro career. Past locations for the International Grand finals include the USA, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Hawaii, South America and New Zealand. Stay tuned.
Inspiring to all new contestants, past winners are among some of the World’s best, including – Owen Wright, Matt Wilkinson, Jordy Smith and six time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore.
The stuff that young dreams are made of, offered in a professional arena, the GromSearch brings the most talented young surfers in Indonesia together in an exciting, safe and friendly environment that promotes sportsmanship, environmental awareness, cultural exchange and high voltage competition.The Rip Curl GromSearch remains a worldwide series of events designed especially for young surfers or, to use the Australian term, Groms. Since its inception, The Gromsearch has always been the premiere series of global events that gives young surfers the center stage and a chance to show the world what they’ve got. And with three divisions, under 16yrs, under 14yrs and under 12yrs for both boys and girls, there are plenty of chances to do just that.Remember, to be competition eligible you must be the specified age as of the 31st December, 2016. All divisions are limited, with entry allocated on a first in, first served basis.
So wax up and enter now for Gromsearch #3 and look to the following locations for all the action later in the year:
Rip Curl GromSearch 2016 Locations:
EVENT 3 – Canggu , Bali, April 16th & 17th
EVENT 4 – Bengkulu, Sumatra, May 14th & 15th
EVENT 5 – Lakey Peak, Sumbawa, October 21st
RCGS – National Final – Somewhere October 22nd & 23rd
Rip Curl GromSearch 2016 series #3 will be sanctioned by: Asian Surfing Championship
Sponsored by: AGILITY Global International Logistic, XPS Link and Zombie Wax.
Supported by: GUS, West Batu Karas Surf Club and media partners: Surftime Magazine, Bali Belly & Indosurflife.com