13 July 2009, Kuta-Bali: 16 year old Sandi Slamet from Cimaja-West Java won Quiksilver’s King of the Groms 2009 yesterday at Halfways-Kuta Beach, battling it out in a riveting 30 minute final against 12 year old Jeren from Canggu and coming back to the beach the ecstatic winner of the Crown and an all expense paid trip to Hossegor France to compete in the Quiksilver World King of the Groms Final in September.
“I can’t believe I get to go to France”, he gushed with water still running down his face. “Thanks so much to Quiksilver and to all my friends who have supported me. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened in my life!” he added.
He was carried up to the beachside podium by friends including 2008 Indonesian Surfing Champion Dede Suryana, whose hometown is also Cimaja. “It’s a great day for Sandi and great for Cimaja, as this is the first time one of our groms has won a big event like this. We are so proud of Sandi!” said Suryana.
Later that evening at the Harris Resort Hotel on Kuta Beach, Sandi was called up on stage by MC Tipi Jabrik to receive his official crown and winners check to the cheers of the crowd, who had been treated to food, drinks courtesy of Coca-Cola, a fashion show, and ton’s of giveaways from Quiksilver including boardshorts, sunglasses, backpacks, stickers, and more.
On the stage, Quiksilver Sport Marketing Manager Jake Paterson congratulated Sandi on his surfing saying, “From what I saw out there today and throughout the last four days of competition, the future of Indonesian surfing is in very good hands.” He then asked the crowd to give a big hand to runner-up Jeren, telling them, “This kid is only 12 years old but surfed like a champion, getting first place in every one of his heats starting from Round 1, even besting last year’s King of the Groms winner Putu Anggara. He will have many wins in his future, I’m sure of it.”
Young Jeren then had his turn at the microphone, graciously congratulating Sandi on his win as well as thanking his sponsors and supporters, after which he was treated to a standing ovation by the crowd.
The final day of surfing at the Quiksilver King of the Groms 2009 was the culmination of the previous three days of competition where over 100 young surfers aged 16 and under from various islands in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia descended upon Kuta Beach to compete for the coveted King of the Groms Crown, which would get them a trip to France to compete with the other winners of the National Finals for the title of the World King of the Groms.
Surfing conditions varied each day, thus presenting great opportunities and also great challenges for every ability level. Wave height went from 3-4 foot on the opening day down to 1-2 foot on the third day, before bringing in some solid 4-5 foot sets for the final day. Overall it was a perfect conditions and a perfect location for the young surfers whose ages ranged from as young as 11 up to the age limit of 16.
The Quiksilver King of the Groms is a Grade 2 Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour Junior Division sanctioned event, presented by Coke Zero and Sprite Zero. The eligible contestants will receive ISC Junior Division Championship points, and the junior surfer 16 years old and below with the most points at the end of the year will become the 2009 ISC Junior Champion.
Thanks to Quiksilver SEA for putting on the event, for Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia for refreshments and beach cleaning, the Harris Resort Hotel and The Haven for accommodations, Aroma Meats and Bapak Bakery for the beachside meals, SurfTime, Trax, Cosmo Girl, Men’s Fitness, Spice, Gadis, Seventeen, and Cita Cinta for media coverage and support, and GUS for environmental awareness.
Quiksilver King of the Groms 2009 Final Results
1. Sandi Slamet (Cimaja, West Java)
2. Jeren (Canggu, Bali)
3. Koko Mitsuantara (Nusa Dua, Bali)
3. Agus Sumertayasa (Pecatu, Bali)
Text and photos: Tim Hain – Coca-Cola ISC Tour