3 July 2011, Kuta-Bali: At the end of a tense 25-minute final at the Quiksilver King of the Groms competition today on Kuta Beach, Quiksilver’s 14-year-old super grom Andre Julian claimed his second consecutive King of the Groms title, besting Angga Bayu in a testing battle of patience and wave selection to win another trip to Hossegor France to compete in the King of the Groms International Final that will take place in October of this year.
Not only will Andre be taking another trip to France, he will also take home his second brand new Yamaha motorbike in as many years. He was almost in shock at the podium; hardly able to believe he had won. “I almost can’t believe I won again,” he said. “I had some very tough heats during this comp, especially that semifinal against Jeren (Kiring) where I just managed to win it in the final minute. Dede (Suryana) told me to go out there and relax, be patient, choose my waves and wait for a good one. It was hard because I was nervous and there weren’t many waves in the final, but I got two good ones and thankfully it was enough. Wow, I’m so happy!”
Indonesia’s only WQS surfer Dede Suryana was very proud of his protégé, as both of them are from the small seaside town of Cimaja in West Java. “This is awesome and I’m so stoked for him, getting the win here today. It’s a great opportunity for him to go to France again and compete with the other international King of the Grom winners. He is well on his way to becoming a great surfer and well represents Indonesian surfing, so I’m really proud of him,” said Suryana.
78 groms (16 years of age and under) from various islands around Indonesia came to Kuta Beach to participate in the annual Quiksilver King of the Groms event, hoping to be crowned the “King” and be sent to France to represent Indonesia in the International Final that will be held during the Quiksilver Pro in October. Runner up Angga Bayu from the Keramas area of East Bali had his first finals appearance today, and joining him on the podium for equal third spots were Jeren Kiring and Agus Saputra.
Equally exciting and generating heaps of attention from the crown gathered on the beach today was the Locals and Legends Surf Challenge Tag Team event, which saw the Legends team made up of 4-time World Surfing Champion Mark Richards, 1989 World Surfing Champion Martin Potter, World Masters Surfing Champion Cheyne Horan, and Pipeline Masters Champion Jake Paterson coming from behind to take the win over the Grom team, made up of 2009 King of the Groms winner Sandi Slamet, Made Darmayasa, Komo, and Rio. Last place fell to the Local team of Bali legends Ketut Menda and Rocky, Coca-Cola ISC Tour CEO Tipi Jabrik, and Dede Suryana.
The Groms jumped out into the lead first with tiny Rio posting up the high scores in the first half of 45 minute heat, then Made Darmayasa appeared to have sewn it up with a nice wave whose score was chosen as the “double bonus” getting them 12.4 for a total of 51.85 points (one wave from each team could be selected for double points). But they finished up a bit too fast, as the Legends were gaining momentum first with Martin Potter ripping off a couple nice ones then Jake “the Snake” Paterson annihilating a beautiful right hander to post a perfect 10, which turned into a perfect 20 with the “double bonus” points rule for a total score of 64.20 and a convincing win.
Earlier in the day Mark Richards had voiced some concerns about his team going up against the local lads at their home break in the smallish conditions, but with a relaxed attitude and a great team effort they proved that the “old guys” still have it.
Richards was extremely delighted to have been invited to be part of the King of the Groms and Big Bali Eco Weekend event, and when asked what his favorite part of the weekend was he replied, “I have two actually. The first was getting to see all these Bali kids surf. I was really impressed by the level of surfing they showed here this weekend. As I said earlier during my commentary, they are as good as any kids anywhere in the world, and its just a matter of time before we see some of them on the WQS, then the WCT, and eventually a Balinese world surfing champion.”
“The second thing was the Locals vs Legends vs Groms event, which was a ton of fun and I think everybody enjoyed it. It was surfing in a good sense; there was no aggro stuff going on out there, just good fun with everybody stoked. It was really fun and great to be a part of.”
When asked about his plans in the near future here on the island he said, “Its been 30 years since I’ve been in Bali, so I’m going to spend the next few days relaxing, surfing, hanging around and enjoying it. It’s changed an awful lot and gotten very crowded, and the traffic is really crazy, but I’m sure I can find a few waves and enjoy it here. I hope also that with this Big Bali Eco Weekend things can start to change and get back to a more natural and clean condition.”
The Quiksilver King of the Groms and Big Bali Eco Weekend was by all accounts a monumental success, and Quiksilver CEO Paul Hutson was very pleased by the turnout and the host of attention created by the event, saying “What can I say, its been so great with these four surfing legends here supporting our Eco weekend, rubbing shoulders with the government officials and NGO’s and helping with our environmental efforts, then finishing up back here on the beach where we started from. Quiksilver leads by example and we want to keep raising the bar each year, and with Coca-Cola as our partner I think we have done a great job and had a lot of fun. Just wait and see what will happen next year!”
The weekend’s festivities finished up on Kuta Beach with literally thousands of people thronging the stage area for the award presentations and giveaways, then rocking into the night with live music from Bondan Prakoso and Fade 2 Black.
King of the Groms Final Results:
1. Andre Julian
2. Angga Bayu
3. Jeren Kiring and Agus Supatra
Coca-Cola Encouragement Award – Febriansah of Kuta receives a custom made surfboard from Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia.