Lombok Delivers the Goods for Epic Start of Rip Curl GromSearch Series 2009
February 10, 2009 PRESS RELEASE
In arguably the most scenic and exotic location ever for a GromSearch event, the Rip Curl GromSearch series got off to a memorable start on Sunday morning in a white-sand lined bay with a mini-Snapper Rock right-hand lineup and offshore winds providing the perfect setup for the frothing groms gathered on the rocky outcrop ready to surf their hearts out for a podium finish and a Ticket to Bali.
With a big swell battering the shoreline of southern Lombok and gale force winds blowing from the west, the primary location of Segar Beach, site of last year's inaugural GromSearch Lombok event, was virtually unsurfable for the planned 7 am start, but local event coordinator Kimen from Kimen Surf had an ace up his sleeve. Together with Rip Curl Event Manager Dhanny they made a quick check and immediately put out the call for a change of venue. The crew then shifted into high gear and by 9 am the first heat of the Under 16 division jumped off the rocks and into the lineup.
Framed by rocky outcroppings with large set waves crashing into the cliffs and throwing up huge fountains of spray high into the air, and ringed by two semi circles of white sand beach, the spectacular blue-green water and 2-3 foot waves peeling off the inside reef made for a perfect surf set up for both contestants and spectators alike, setting things up for an epic Rip Curl "Somewhere" GromSearch event.
And while the gusty offshore winds and the high exposure of the judging and spectator tent on the hill overlooking the break made for some challenges with the set tents, banners, and sound system, looking out over the bay with its multiple wave breaks, the many local and tourist spectators spent the day riveted to the action in the water and enjoying the scene.
The 42 groms that came to compete in the GromSearch were from various locations throughout the island of Lombok, Senggigi, Desert Point (Bangko-Bangko), Awang, Gerupuk, and Kuta, but only a few had surfed this spot before, so it was the observant few that dialed in the lineup and consequently got the longest and best waves. The racy wave provided for some speedy down-the-line action, floaters, the occasional barrel, and some big top turns, with the changing of the tides not degrading the conditions during the event. Coca-Cola ISC Head Judge Leon Suandhi was impressed by both the location and the talented young surfers saying, "I can see why these kid are surfing so well, with great waves like this and in such a beautiful place! I'm really happy to see that the kids here are so excited about surfing and that it is gaining momentum here in Lombok, Bali's neighbor."
3:15 pm the semifinals in both divisions had been completed, so MC Dedi Gun called for a 15 minute Under 21 Expression session in order to give some of the older local boys a chance to compete for the Best Wave and Best Trick and get some cool prizes. The boys pulled out all the stops with big hacks and 360's getting the job done for the winners.
The crowd on the rocks grew as the finalists paddled out, cheering on their favorite surfers, never mind the occasional shower from the larger set waves smashing into the rocks. By 4:15 pm the final horn blew the end of the competition, and everybody headed back the parking area where the awards presentation was to commence.
But to leave the audience and the surfers in suspense for a bit longer, and to give the non-surfing groms and the audience a chance at some great goodies from Rip Curl and the other sponsors, some games were staged, included a tug-a-war and a unique local game where on one foot and with one hand behind their back, bandanna masked competitors would try to knock each other out of a circle in the sand using just their knee. Lots of laughs and cheers from the crowd with that one!
"It was one of the most interesting local games I've ever seen since I've been in Indonesia," said Rip Curl's Marketing Manager Clemens Berger with a laugh. He added, "It looks like it has the potential for some pain, but everybody seemed to have a lot of fun doing it and nobody got hurt. So this was great!"
After the games were finished and the prizes given out, the competitors were called up to the podium and the order of the winners was announced. They were all extremely stoked, especially the winner and runners up in the Under 16 Division, who in addition to their other prize goodies received a Ticket to Bali.
The Ticket to Bali is an all expense paid trip to Bali to participate in the special Rip Curl Grom Training Camp and then compete against the winners of the other Indonesian GromSearch events at the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final in Kuta Bali this coming October.
To close this epic start to Rip Curl GromSearch 2009, handfuls of Rip Curl stickers were thrown high into the air and the crowd went crazy trying to grab as many as they could, then in the parking lot the groms swarmed over the Rip Curl Pro Surf Team riders Pepen Hendrik, Mega Semadhi, Dedi Gun, Wayan Gobleg, and Tonjo, frothing to get their boards, T-shirts, caps, and whatever else autographed by their surfing hero's.
3. Syayid Hamzah
1. Moch Rifai
4. Tamrin S
Best Wave Mul
Best Trick Rizal
Rip Curl Indonesia would like express their gratitude to the Novotel Resort Lombok and to Kimen Surf for their great hospitality and assistance in Lombok, and to Rip Curl Indonesia GromSearch Series sponsors : Fren, Skull Candy, Eat Surf Sleep (ESS), Light Surfboards, Trax Magazine, Surf Time Magazine and Coca Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship for their generous support.
The Rip Curl GromSearch Series 2009 is sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour, and the participants are given points that add to their tally in their run for the 2009 Coca-Cola ISC Junior Division Championship.