Stop number 3 of the 2017 Rip Curl GromSearch Series went ahead this weekend with one hundred entries from all over the world – including kids from New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Sweden, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Chile as well as the most talented young surfers from all over Indonesia including Lombok, Sumbawa, Java and Bali. Kids as young as 7 years old got their first taste of competition while Groms in the under 16 category put on a serious battle to take the coveted GromSearch title and the chance to compete in the National final to be held at a secret location on 28- 29th October 2017.
The competition took place at the perfect Right Hand River mouth of Pererenan Beach, Canggu, kicking off on Saturday morning with solid 4 to 5 foot waves, offering the Groms perfect but challenging sized conditions to show-off their skills. First up was Round 1 of the Under 14’s boys’ Division with an amazing performance by Jay Occhilupo (Aus) – Son of legendary Australian Surfer Mark Occhilupo, winning the first heat of the day and setting the standard for the rest of the round.
Taina Izquierdo and Kailani Johnson got to sample some great waves in the girls’ division showing the judges that they were the ones to watch leading the charge all the way to the finals with some impressive, powerful surfing. Other divisions that were completed up to the finals on Day 1, were Under 12 Boys, Under 10’s Super Groms Boys & Girls, as well as under 16 Girls, leaving only the Under 14 & 16’s Boys divisions for finals day on Sunday.
In the under 16’s division, all the surfers were hungry for the winners’ title and the ticket to the National final and a chance to represent Indonesia at the International Finals to be held next year at another Secret Search location. “Saturday was pumping all day and I am so stoked with my result and very happy with my wave selection, said Ketut Agus after he scored a 6,7 and a 7,6 during his Quarter Final in the Under 16 division.
With huge swell predicted for Finals day and only the biggest Groms left to surf, arriving at the beach on Sunday competitors were surprised to be greeted with perfect glassy 4ft waves peeling down the reef. Semi-Finals of the Under 14’s division was first up with electric surfing from Bronson Meidy and Made Joy who advanced to the finals. Heat 2 of the under 14’S boys saw Varun Tandjung and Made Deva rip their way through to meet the other finalists, setting the stage for a thrilling final in the most hotly contested age category.
During a high-octane Heat one under 16 Semi-Final on Sunday morning, Ketut Agus and Kian Martin were the first to make it to the Finals along with Ryuki Waida and Dhanny Widianto who dominated the second semi.
With waves building during the morning, the contest officials announced that the finals would be 25-minute heats giving competitors the best chance to select the best waves. Varun Tandjung impressed the judges with his powerful combinations all the way to the beach eventually taking the win over his rivals with a total of 12.7 points. Made Deva 2nd place (11,90), Made Joy 3rd place (10,13) and Bronson Meidy 4th place (9,63)
In the Under 16’s Final Ketut Agus came out of the gates blasting huge turns making a statement to start the heat holding his lead until the 5-minute flag was raised. Then Ryuki Waida who had been in 2nd position grabbed a great wave with one massive forehand turn which bumped him past Ketut into 1st place and a nail-biting last few minutes. In the last 2 minutes of the heat Ketut answered back with another solid score to move him back into first and to take the crown!
On the girl’s division, Taina Izquierdo’s outstanding performance saw her cruise by the field to finish 1st place with a score of 8.73, followed by Kailani Johnson (Bali) in 2nd place with a 7,83. Follow by Georgia Wederell (NZ) and Gracia Listiana (Bali) for 3rd & 4th. It was incredible to see all the girls giving it all they’ve got in perfect conditions.
Some of the most impressive surfing of the weekend came from the Under 12’s division boys who braved easily double overhead sized waves and strong currents on Saturday. First class surfing was on offer from Westen Hirst, Teddy Bille, I Komang Troy Mahesa and Antonio who all ended up in the finals showing that they are the next generation of pro surfers coming from Bali. Lakey Peak’s Westen Hirst showed that training at his home break in heavy conditions gave him the edge over his rivals to take the win in his age category even though he is still only 9 years of age… watch this kid!
Rounding out the final morning of surfing Rip Curl also organized beach games for the kids with Rip Curl Caps, T-shirts and Famous Surf Wax all provided for their participation.
All winners can’t wait for Rip Curl GromSearch National Final that will be held somewhere in Bali on the 28th and 29th of October 2017, where all winners from series #1 Lombok, winners from series #2 Cimaja and winners from series #3 Canggu, will give their best to be the overall winner of Rip Curl GromSearch 2017!
Rip Curl is looking for young and fresh talents to build the next generation of upcoming surfers, so… Let the Grommets rock!