The search for Southeast Asia’s most talented under-16-year-old surfers continues when the Rip Curl GromSearch invades Lakey Peak, Sumbawa on Sunday, April 22. This year’s contest will be a true test of mettle for the groms, because a macking swell is scheduled to hit Lakey Peak’s world-class reef break for the event.
After scoring great waves and discovering a whole new pack of dedicated groms at the first GromSearch of the season in Pacitan, Java last month, the Rip Curl crew now heads to Sumbawa for stop No. 2 of the 2012 Rip Curl Southeast Asia GromSearch Series. Always a highlight of the GromSearch Series, the Lakey Peak event has arguably seen more talent pass through its ranks than any under-16 surf contest in the world, including Rip Curl team rider Oney Anwar, 18, and his 11-year-old cousin Andre Anwar, both featured in the current issue of Tracks magazine.
Everyone’s attention will be focused on how the grommets handle the monster swell scheduled to light up Lakey Peak over the event weekend. The Rip Curl Asia surf team will head to Lakey Peak a few days before the contest to take full advantage of this promising swell. In addition to putting on a show for the grommets, the pro surfers will help judge the contest and provide instruction for the young surfers. Rip Curl team rider Garut Widiarta said he is looking forward to scoring some Lakey pits and seeing who among the groms pushes themselves to go big in the heavy conditions.
“This swell is looking really solid,” Widiarta said. “All the boys on the team are packing extra barrel riding boards because there are going to be some broken boards for sure. For the Lakey groms, they live here so they are familiar with big, hollow reefbreak barrels. I think they will perform well.”
Video from last year’s event
Last year’s Lakey Peak GromSearch also featured a solid swell for the groms, and local standouts like event winner Yasin and past winner Usman showed why Lakey Peak is famous for producing some of the hardest-charging surfers in Indonesia. Eleven and 12-year-old surfers getting stand up barrels was a regular sight during last year’s contest at Lakey Peak.
“I was very impressed with how the Lakey groms surfed the heavy waves last year,” said Lakey Peak local and Rip Curl team rider Dedi Gun. “It seems like every year that we come back to Lakey the level has been pushed way higher, and the talent is just getting younger every year. It makes me proud to be from Lakey Peak.”
At stake for the Under-16 groms competing at Lakey Peak is the coveted “Ticket to Bali.” The winner and the runner-up in the Under-16 division will receive an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the Rip Curl SEA GromSearch Final, held during the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival at Kuta Beach, Bali, Oct. 20-21.
The top two regional finishers will also be invited to participate in a week-long Rip Curl GromSearch National Training Camp, the week prior to the National Finals, where they will receive top-notch instruction from Rip Curl’s world-class team of professional riders (transportation, lodging, meals and spending money is all provided to the groms courtesy of Rip Curl).
There is no entrance fee for participation in Rip Curl GromSearch events, and all contestants receive a free Rip Curl goody bag, Rip Curl T-shirt and hat. They are also given instruction on environmental issues by local environmental group GUS (Yasasan Gelombang Udara Segar), as well as the chance to participate in fun and educational games, and win cool prizes from the GromSearch sponsors.
For more information on the Rip Curl GromSearch, check out: www.asia.RipCurl.com.
About the Rip Curl GromSearch
Already in its ninth year, Rip Curl’s GromSearch series is the longest running competitive junior surfing series in South East Asia, having started in Bali in 2004. GromSearch has produced several of Indonesia’s best surfers, including 2010 Indonesian Open Champion Putra Hermawan and wunderkind Oney Anwar, the only Indonesian to win an ASP pro junior event, the Dripping Wet Pro Junior 2010 in Sydney Australia.
The Rip Curl GromSearch Series is sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships, and all contestants receive ISC Junior Division Championship points at each event. The Under-16-year-old-surfer with the most points accumulated through all junior events at the end of the year will become the Indonesian Junior Surfing Champion.
The Rip Curl GromSearch series is sponsored by: Beach Hut, Skullcandy, GUS and Shapers, with media support by TRAX Magazine, Alam TV Bali, SurfTime Magazine, Lines Magazine, Magic Wave Surf Community Newspaper, Baliwaves.com, Surfersvillage.com, and Balibelly.tv