21 July 2009, Gianyar-Bali: The first round of the ASP sanctioned Grade 5 Billabong Pro Junior contest got underway today at Keramas Beach in Gianyar in glassy 3-4 foot waves, with five of the ten heats being won by non-seeded Indonesian surfers. The 10 heats of round one were completed before the strengthening on-shore winds coupled with the low tide had the contest directors stopping the action for the day.
The first to jump to the lead and post a win for the Indonesian contingent was 16-year-old Putra Hermawan in Heat 2, very much at home in this Keramas wave having surfed, trained and competed here regularly during the last couple of years. He was quite satisfied with his result, saying “I felt really confident out there, knowing that I could do good in these conditions, even though there are a lot of good surfers here today.” When asked if he was intimidated by all the older and bigger guys he replied with a grin, “Not really, I just think about ripping each wave and getting points, that’s all I care about!”
Next up was Agus Sumertayasa in Heat 4, followed by Mega Semadhi in Heat 6 who charged into the lead early and was one of the rare surfers to go left and get a good score for the effort.
Tonjo Darmaputra came from behind in the deteriorating conditions of Heat 9 to post a win, followed by Kadek Murtika who narrowly bested his rivals in the now 1-2 foot wind blown surf.
So overall it was a great session for the Indo boys, with three regular footers and two goofy-footers advancing into Round 2 against the international field of pro juniors from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Tahiti, America, Malaysia, and Egypt.
The Round 1 is expected to resume starting at 6:30 am tomorrow while the tide is on the rise, and according to the forecast the size should be increasing dramatically, possibly up to 6 foot.
Heats 12, 13, 14, and 16 will have more Indonesian boys getting their chance at a spot in Round 2, including 2007 ISC Pro Junior Champion and previous ISC Junior Champion Mustofa Jeksen. S
So come on out to the beach and see these boys surf their guts out for a chance at their share of the $30,000 prize purse at the Billabong Pro Junior 2009 at Keramas.
Photos and text by Tim Hain – Coca-Cola ISC Tour