April 13th, 2008
Blue skies, offshore winds, and a pumping 4-foot swell welcomed stoked grommets to Halfway Beach today for the third and final stop of the 2008 Rusty Gromfest Series. Over 120 kids from all over Bali (and beyond) came out in force to enjoy a fun day at the beach, win prizes, and develop their competitive skills. With a heat draw bursting at the seams, organizers were eager to start proceedings and sent the first heat into the lineup at 7:30am. Spurred on by their peers, psyched groms waxed their boards furiously, itching to get their rails wet.
Round one kicked off as the Kuta bombie erupted on the horizon, triggering some solid sets which sent the kids into a frenzy. The under 16’s shredded the lengthy left-hander’s from start to finish, throwing fans of spray and committing to critical floaters on the inside section. Gazali Hamzah, Agus Frimanto, and Australian Alex Swadling were the early standouts. Organizers chose to run all the under 16 heats up until the final on the incoming tide to take advantage of the peaking swell and superb conditions.
At midday the tide filled in as the under 14 and under 12 division’s hit the water. The kids tore apart the waves with a great deal of flair, showcasing skills beyond their years. Ediana Putra, Luke Hynd, and Koko Mitsua Antara in particular impressed the judges with a combination of floaters and fin busts.
Rusty team rider and guest judge Marlon Gerber exclaimed, “The waves are flawless and the groms are going off! I’m stoked to see them take over for the day… They’re charging! ”
As the rounds progressed and the midday sun cooked Kuta’s stretch of white sand, competitors and spectators alike witnessed some awesome free surfing going down at the adjacent right-hand bank. Indonesian pro’s Pepen Hendrix and Made Adi Putra ‘Bol’ pulled into some amazing pits that sent the starry-eyed groms into a wild moshpit of hoots and high-fives.
As the horn blew to signal the under 12 final, a large crowd of onlookers flocked at the water’s edge in anticipation. Koko Mitsua Antara, Kadek Yoga, Luke Hynd, and Komang Arip blew up but it was Koko, the Nusa Dua goofyfoot, who wowed the judges with flowing round-house cutback’s and sick fin-throw snaps. He won convincingly and in doing so also finished the series as overall under 12 champion.
The under 14 division final was a nail-biter, as series leader Ediana Putra battled it out against Ornot, Arya Wijaya, and Abi Azwar Anas. Today Ornot from Sumbawa took out the final with his razor-sharp power-hacks, but it was Lembongan’s Ediana Putra who won the overall U/14 series after a 2nd place finish in Keramas, a win in Canggu, and 2nd place again today at Halfway. Amazingly, Ediana is 12 years old and has been surfing in both divisions.
The under 16 final was a fitting climax following a long day of ripping. Gazali Hamzah, Agus Frimanto, Alex Swadling, and Darmaputra Tonjo paddled out as the setting sun dipped into the horizon. Alex Swadling surfed a smart heat, securing an early lead and consolidating on his score shortly after. He blazed a trail of golden spray down the line as he unleashed a series of tight vertical snaps and sweeping carves, leaving both Gazali and Agus in need of 8 point rides. In the end it was Alex Swadling who took top honors and was crowned the Rusty Gromfest Halfway Champ!
With the absence of series leader One Anwar, and the first round loss of rival Putra Hermawan, Gazali Hamzah took the U/16 ratings lead and was crowned the overall 2008 Rusty Gromfest Series Champion. He has been awarded a chance to compete against the best international junior surfers at the 13th annual Rusty Gromfest held at Lennox Head, Australia in July 2008. He will also be granted wildcard entry into the 6-star ISC Rusty Rumble In Da Jungle event at Sanur in May 2008.
Thanks to Dakine, Von Zipper, and Kustom for supporting the series, and also our media sponsors Surftime, Magic Wave, Happen, Trax, Juice, and Jollie. We would also like to express our gratitude to the local community at Keramas, Canggu, and Kuta for your kind support. See you next year!!
Gromfest Halfway Results:
1. Alex Swading
2. Agus Frimanto
3. Gazali Hamzah
4. Darmaputra Tonjo
2. Ediana Putra
3. Arya Wijaya
4. Abi Azwar Anas
1. Koko Mitsua Antara
2. Luke Hynd
3. Komang Arip
4. Kadek Yoga
Overall Gromfest Series Rankings:
1. Gazali Hamzah – 5350 points
2. Agus Frimanto – 4583 points
3. Putra Hermawan – 3833 points
1. Ediana Putra – 6100 points
2. Arya Wijaya Blerong – 5000 points
3. Ornot – 4175 points
1. Koko Mitsua Antara – 5183 points
2. Komang Arif – 4083 points
3. Nyoman Satria ‘Blacky’ – 3833 points
Watch the video of the comp