Surfer Girl’s 14-year old team rider Salini Rengganis has just returned from her first-ever surf trip to Macaronis surf point in the Mentawai islands of West Sumatra, where she competed in the Rip Curl Pro Mentawai 6 star Coca-Cola ISC and ASC sanctioned international surf competition that took place from the 23rd to 30th of May.
Salini is Surfer Girl’s oldest team rider and hails from the seaside town of Pacitan in East Java, a town famous for being the birthplace of current Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Salani started surfing when she was just 7 years old, and has been entering local and national surfing competitions regularly for the last 5 years.
When Salini first heard that there was a Women’s Division included in the Rip Curl Pro Mentawai competition, she knew she had to go. With full support from Surfer Girl, her father, and friends from the city of Padang in Sumatra, on the 22nd of May she hopped on a plane and headed for Padang. From there, the journey was just beginning. Along with other crew and competitors, she continued with a 12 hour ferry boat ride to the small island town of Sikikap, from where they then boarded another smaller boat for another 4 hour journey, finally arriving at the beautiful Macaronis Resort.
“It was a long trip, especially sitting on that ferry boat for 12 hours,” said Salini. “But when we finally got to Macaronis it was so nice. Seeing the waves and the resort was very exciting, and made me forget all about the long trip. I could hardly wait to get out and surf!”
After the opening ceremony and good night sleep in a real bed, Salini was ready to surf and compete in one of the best and most fun waves on the planet.
She joined in with the 9 other girls from countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, the USA, and Indonesia to compete in the Women’s Division, getting second place in her first heat to advance to the semifinals, but then losing out in the first semifinal. Salini was surfing very well, but unfortunately she failed give way to one of her competitors who had the priority position to catch the wave, so she incurred a “drop in” interference penalty that put her in last place. And worse, she injured her foot on the coral reef, requiring 4 stitches and ending her surfing adventure.
Salini was disappointed by her competition result but remained positive. “I’m not very happy with how I did in the competition and that I made that mistake, and that I also hurt my foot, but being able to watch the competition and hang out with all the pro surfers let me learn so much about how to correct my technique and style, and how to better surf in competitions. Now I will be able to do much better in the future by learning from this experience”, said Salini.
When asked about if she would ever go back, Salini replied, “I very much want to go back to the Mentawai Islands and surf there again, as there are many places there to surf and I want to try them all. It is such a beautiful place. I’m so happy I got the chance to go there, and thanks to Surfer Girl, my dad, and my friends for helping me to have this great experience.”