Second Stop of Rip Curl's GromSearch 2011 in Lombok Goes Big
The Rip Curl GromSearch is on again. After Batu Karas, Java, Rip Curl's next stop on the search for the best groms in Indonesia was Seger Beach in Kuta, Lombok. Groms under-14 and under-16 years were competing for a ticket to the national GromSearch final which will be held in Kuta, Bali in October.
The 29 under-14-year-old groms started their 15 minute heats at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. The morning was sunny with clear skies, no wind, and perfect 2 foot waves with the odd 3 footer coming through; guaranteed perfect conditions for the rest of the day. The contest site was packed with excited groms and spectators - cheering and enjoying the action.
Rip Curl is looking for the best groms from Indonesia to send them to compete in Rip Curl's International Final at Bells Beach, Australia. This is reason enough for the grommets to come from all over Lombok and the Gili Islands to participate in Lombok's biggest surf event of the year.
Rip Curl also set up the first Test Drive Center in Lombok during the contest, to provide the opportunity for local kids to test Rip Curl surfboards. Any kid could take a board out either in their heat or freesurf down the beach.
"We wanted to make sure that every kid had the chance to go surfing and could be part of the event. This is Rip Curls commitment to the youth." Pete Mathews - Rip Curl Surfboard Specialist
The grommets were frothing the whole day, and the crowd on the beach was a mix of proud parents, baffled farmers, water buffalos, and a few hot chicks. The first semifinal of the under-16 groms was a highlight of this event. The grommets impressed the judges and the crowd with floaters, airs, roundhouses and even small barrels. The final for the under-16 boys was held at low tide with smaller waves but the groms were battling it out hard for the title of the best grom in Lombok. In the final heat the judges decided that Jihar from Gerupuk, a village around 10 minutes from Kuta-Lombok, was the stand-out surfer of the day and therefore won the contest. "I didn't think that I could win the final heat. My board hit me hart in the stomach earlier, so I couldn't hold my breath and had not much energy. Now I am really happy and look forward to the national final in Bali," Jihar said later.
Four friends also from Gerupuk competed in the under-14 final. Mohamad Rifai, who won the Lombok GromSearch in 2009, was dominating the final heat and took his second grom search title "He will win. He always wins, he is just better than us," his friends said before they went into the water.
The international judging panel, consisting of Rip Curl's teamrider Pepen Hendrik, Gobleg, Lombok local Kimen, and Ado and Jeremy, both Bukit Boardriders from Australia, were excited about the enthusiasm and the skills of the grommets. "The standard of surfing was extremely high. You really could see a great improvement in the local surfing scene. Also there is a good vibe and a great hospitality of the community here in Kuta-Lombok." Ado - Bukit Boardrider.
Dhanny Madaniah, Rip Curl's event-manager, who organized the GromSearch for the third year was glad to see so many kids enjoying this event. After the awards were given to the winning kids, Dhanny had a series of fun games and giveaways that incorporated to clean the beach. This incentive was part of Rip Curl's environmental program, "Rip Curl Planet".
All in all, it was one of the most memorable GromSearch events ever in Lombok. Rip Curl wants to thank all people who were involved and participated in this GromSearch. Special thanks goes to Pak Kimen, his team, and all the people of Kuta, Lombok.
The next Event will be held in Lakey Peak - Sumbawa, at April 10th.
1st Jihar - Gerupuk
2nd Usman - Bangko Bangko
3rd Hamzah, Kuta Lombok
4th Riyat Hidayat - Gerupuk
1st Muhamad Rifai - Gerupuk
2nd Arzan - Gerupuk
3rd Yin - Gerupuk
4th Julika Bahri - Gerupuk
Best Wave : Mole - Kuta-Lombok
Best Trick : Pras - Senggigi