Friday August 15 2008 – For Immediate Release: Mark Occhilupo, the 1999 ASP World Surfing Champion, arrived at Canggu Beach today in Bali and was treated to a showcase of future stars of the sport, particularly Indonesian youngsters competing in the annual Occy Grom Comp which makes up a part of this final Billabong Pro Junior Series Indonesia 2008 event.
“I love these Grom Comps, the kids are just so stoked on surfing and the way they surf is so refreshing. Indonesian kids are just developing at an incredible rate – they have so many fantastic waves on reefs and beaches and I really think it’s not too far off when we’ll see them seriously competing at the highest level on the ASP World Tour – How good will that be!” exclaimed the popular champion in between checking the heats and signing posters for all the stoked kids on the beach.
With a super international field of 16 year and under surfers, performances were literally going through the roof with just about every heat seeing high risk aerial moves pulled precisely.
Aerials have been a feature throughout the event with the river mouth bank enjoying a neat inside cross shore fanning breeze that is perfect for launching big aerials.
In the 14 and under division Australia’s Matt Banting set the scene with several excellent rides which included aerials and commented on his approach saying – “When the winds are right and the wave sections like that then you really have to go big and pull aerials; it’s just so much a part of surfing these days and to stay on top I think you have to be able to pull them.”
Banting has had an amazing run of recent success with no less than five national grommet event victories over the past two months in Australasia including the Occy Grom Comp in Queensland in June which began his present winning run!
“I’m more about having fun competing than worrying about winning at the moment and it’s a good feeling – The waves are great here but the field is exceptional so I’ll just do my best.”
Sixteen Year and under competitors followed the 14 year division today and Gold Coast Australian surfer Thomas “Tiger” Woods continued the run of aerial dominance by posting a big opening round win.
Other grommet’s to stand out included super talented 12 year old South African surfer Benji Brand (Cape Town) who not only progressed comfortably through his under 14 heat but also surfed incredibly well in the Pro Junior division to make it to the final 16 where he eventually went down to number one seed Nick Vasicek.
Brand’s brother Davey Brand also dominated in the 16 Boy’s while Tamaroa McComb is also surfing the 16 Boy’s and could well take a unique double win here.
Two Balinese surfers have advanced to the quarter finals of the Billabong Pro Junior Series division and the locals are assured that one will progress to the semi finals as Wayan Susiana meets Raditya Rondi in the quarter finals.
While all the final eight surfers look capable of winning here, one particular match up that is anticipated will be quarter final one where Tamaroa McComb takes on emerging Australian powerhouse Ice Periera (Gold Coast).
Periera is enjoying his best ever event here and has been super strong through his early rounds consistently posting high 8 and outstanding 9 point rides. He pulled an amazing “Superman” aerial in round three that saw him rewarded the events highest single score to date with a 9.5 and his clash with McComb should be special.
Contest Director Kopling pushed the grommets hard today getting through 24 heats as he anticipates both good waves and a sense of urgency to complete the event tomorrow.
Kopling explained the surf outlook saying, “A new swell is coming and I think it’s very good for surf here tomorrow so we’ll try and surf the best waves of the week and run all finals in good surf. Also Sunday will be big, probably too big for the beach breaks so we really have to go.”
Quarter Finals of the Billabong Pro Junior Series Indonesia /Canggu are as follows –
1. Tamaroa McComb Vs Ice Periera
2. Wayan Susiana Vs Raditya Rondi
3. Heath Joske Vs Jack Freestone
4. Keanu Asing (HAW) Vs Nick Vasicek.
Web highlight packages will be available during the event and notifications will be emailed out.
A newsfeed will be available on the final day of the event. Notification of gateway, shot lists and copy will be emailed to television newsrooms.
The Billabong Pro Junior Series is supported by Discovery Kartika Plaza, Hawaiian Tropic Suncare, Nixon, Kustom, and Von Zipper.
An additional fee has also been added for entry into this years Canggu event with Indonesian and International athletes alike needing to fill a “Billabong Bag ‘O’ Trash” for entry. This initiative aimed at cleaning up some of the rubbish accumulating on Bali beaches will see some of the world’s best juniors donning the gloves and grabbing a bag with the aim to inspire locals into some positive environmental action. Support for this program has come with the the inclusion of the R.O.L.E Foundation who will oversee an environmental program aimed at actively engaging and educating local surfers in the importance of caring for our environment.
About The Billabong Pro Junior Series:
The Billabong Pro Junior Series is sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships as part of the Pro Junior Championship Division. The series is the most lucrative on the Indonesian calendar, attracting surfers from Australia, Indonesia, USA, Hawaii, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Europe.
In line with the ISC’s goal of seeing talented young Indonesian surfers on the WQS and eventually on the WCT, Billabong is delighted to be an integral part of attaining this goal, as the Billabong Pro Junior Series is widely recognized as the premiere career booster for surfers aged 20 and under with world renown surfers such as Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson having launched their careers with wins at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
2008 Billabong Junior Series
June 18-22: Billabong Pro Junior Series Keramas
July 9-13: Billabong Pro Junior Series Kuta Reef
August 13-17: Billabong Pro Junior Series Canggu
August 13-17: Billabong Occy’s Grom Comp Canggu