11 July 2010, Kuta-Bali: At the end of a riveting 25 minute man-on-man duel in pounding 6 foot (2 meter) waves at the Quiksilver King of the Groms South East Asian Final at Kuta Beach today, it was 13 year old Andre Julian from West Java who had found the best waves and posted the highest scores to claim victory over fellow finalist 14 year old Kiko Mitsua from Bali.
Both boys were indeed finalists worthy of vying for the crown, as they had spend the previous two days competing in a variety of waves conditions ranging from small to medium and finally culminating in today’s large surf, being the top two surfers from a field of over 60 to compete in the three day event.
For his victory today Andre Julian is the recipient of the coveted King of the Groms crown that entitles him to an all-expense-paid trip to Hossegor Beach in France to compete against the other King of the Grom winners from 18 other countries in the King of the Groms International Final, taking place later this year during the Quiksilver Pro France from September 25 to October 5, 2010.
He will also go home with his very own brand new Yamaha Mio, courtesy of Yamaha Indonesia.
After being carried from the beach on the shoulders of 2008 Coca-Cola ISC Pro Surfing Champion and Quiksilver Team Rider Dede Suryana and Quiksilver Team Manager Febrie Arianto, Andre was over the moon, saying “Wow, I feel so happy right now, so happy to be the winner. I first want to thank Dede (Suryana) and my brother Sandi, and then especially Quiksilver for all their support. Without them I wouldn’t be here, so I’m really thankful for them right now.”
When asked how he felt going into the final in the large waves he replied, “I was very stoked that the waves were big, because I’d much rather surf big waves than small waves anytime!”
Runner up Koko Mitsua was understandably disappointed about missing out on the Crown but was very positive, saying “Getting second today is a good result for sure, and I still have another chance next year, but I was surfing good enough to win today and felt I just didn’t get the good waves I needed during the final. But I’m really happy for Andre, as he got some great waves and scored big on them so he deserves the win.”
This is the second year in a row that a junior surfer from the seaside town of Cimaja in West Java has won the Quiksilver King of the Grom event at Kuta Beach. Last year it was Andre Julian’s older brother Sandi Slamet that was the champion, and both are Quiksilver Team Riders, along with Dede Suryana who also hails from Cimaja.
Simon MacGregor, Quiksilver SEA’s Marketing Manager, was very pleased with what he witnessed during the final and throughout the whole event, saying “Its great to see how the level of these junior surfers is raising each year, and not only with the kids from Bali now but those from other parts of Indonesia as well. Dede Suryana has been a great example to the junior surfers in Cimaja and other parts of Indonesia, and the next generation is what we’ve seen here today. It’s not only Bali that has the good surfers now, but places like West Java, Sumbawa, and Nusa Lembongan are currently producing some of the top performers.”
He continued, “Quiksilver is dedicated to helping to develop surfing in other areas of Indonesia such as Cimaja, and as a matter of fact we’re supporting the West Java Open, a 6 star Coca-Cola ISC event up there next week. We are also helping out in Thailand with an event in Phuket this September, and working with other South East Asian countries like Malaysia and the Philippines, so you can expect to see an even greater variety of young surfers developing in the future.”
In addition to the competitive surfing that took place on Kuta Beach today was the wonderful opportunity for kids and spectators to get up close and personal with some baby turtles and to release them back into their natural habitat. The baby turtles came from the recently created Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation, a permanent hatchery facility developed by Quicksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia in cooperation with the Kuta Beach authorities to preserve the endangered Olive Ridley turtles.
Other highlights of the day included an Expression Session just before the final that had Quiksilver Team Riders Dede Suryana, Tipi Jabrik, Devis Ratif, Mustofa Jeksen, and Sandi Slamet paddling out with ex pro surfer Jake “the Snake” Paterson and wowing the crowd by taking off on the biggest waves and attempting their most radical maneuvers.
The lucky recipient of the Coca-Cola Achievement Award, a custom made surfboard hand shaped by Jake Paterson, was third place runner up Sudiatmika from Bali, whom the judges all agreed would benefit greatly by having a better surfboard on which to compete in his next competition.
The official closing Awards Presentation took place at the Harris Hotel Kuta Beach, where the attendees were treated to food, drinks, fashion shows, and videos starting at 7 pm and wrapping up before 10 in the evening.
King of the Grom South East Asia Final Results:
1st Place: Andre Julian – West Java (11.25 points)
2nd Place: Koko Mitsua – Bali (7.05 points)
Equal Third Place: Sudiatmika (Bali) and Komang Alit (Bali)
Coca Cola Achievement Surfboard Award: Sudiatmika (Bali)
The Quiksilver King of the Groms is a Grade 2 Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Junior Division Event. The contestants in the Under 16 category will receive points towards their 2009 Coca-Cola ISC Junior Championship rankings.
Text and Photos: Tim Hain – Coca-Cola ISC Tour