In a stunning display of big-wave power surfing well beyond his years, young Andre Anwar has won the second stop of the 2012 Rip Curl GromSearch Southeast Asia Series in perfect 4-to-6-foot waves at world-famous Lakey Peak, Sumbawa. For Andre, who is only 13 years old but has been competing in the Under-16 division of GromSeach since he was nine, his first-ever GromSearch victory was a big relief.
“I was telling everyone that this year I was going to win,”said Andre, after being soaked with Coca-Cola by his friends on the winner’s podium. “I knew after the Final that I was either second or first. When they told me I won I was so happy.”
Andre was the form surfer throughout the day-long event, surfing with reckless abandon and showing no fear in waves that were easily double and triple overhead for the groms.
“Right from his first wave of the Final you could see how hungry he was,” head judge Mark Clift said. “Andre was surfing faster than everyone else by a fair bit. He was going flat-out on every turn.”
In the Under-16 Final, Andre ran up against an on-fire Bomar Arya Prasetia, 15, who was surfing in his first GromSearch Final. Andre caught the first wave of the Final and linked a series of vicious top to bottom turns for a 6.8. Bomar answered back immediately with a huge first turn, followed by a strong cutback, and finished with a reverse foam bounce for a 7.8. But Andre would go on to score an 8.0 for a wave with four huge maneuvers, including a massive no-grab air followed by another big turn. Andre claimed victory with a total heat score of 14.8, narrowly defeating Bomar’s 13.8. In third place was Febby Andre, 14, who pushed his surfing level to a new personal best, followed by M. Nur Allien, 16, in fourth place.
“Pretty much everyone in the two finals saved their best for last,” Clift said. “They were showing us stuff in the finals we hadn’t seen before all day.”
As the top two placing under-16 surfers at Lakey Peak, Andre and Bomar have qualified for the GromSearch Southeast Asia Finals, Oct. 20-21 at Kuta Beach, Bali. They will square off against the top groms from GromSearch events in Java, Bali and Thailand for the opportunity to compete in the Rip Curl International Final, held in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro ASP World Tour event at Australia’s legendary Bells Beach. It will be Andre’s third time competing in the regional final in Bali and the first for Bomar.
In the Under-14 Final it was Irfan J. who finally got to taste victory at the Lakey Peak GromSearch after finishing in third place last year and fourth place the year before. Irfan came charging out of the gates in the Final, scoring an 8.0 and a 7.0 on back-to-back waves with a flurry of vertical turns in critical sections. Irfan’s rapid fire scores left the rest of the field comboed, and essentially spelled victory within the first eight minutes of the Final. Second place finisher Sah J. charged valiantly, but couldn’t rack up scores quite as high as Irfan’s. In third place was Andre Anwar’s cousin Ompu Anwar, 11, and in fourth place was Agus Salim, 13.
“I don’t know if I’ll surf in the Under-16 division next year,” Irfan said, still bleeding from a fresh reef gash on his leg after hitting the reef during the contest. “Right now I’m just so happy. I can’t wait to ride my new board.”
Winners Andre and Irfan each received a brand new DHD surfboard from Rip Curl, which they will no doubt use to further their tube riding skills out at big Lakey Peak. Rip Curl team rider Garut Widiarta said he was impressed with how the Lakey groms tackled the large surf and they have set a very high standard for the remaining GromSearch surfers in Bali and Thailand to meet.
“They weren’t scared of those waves at all today,” said Garut, who also helped judge the contest. “They were choosing the biggest sets, and it was a solid six-foot out there. The level was way higher than last year.”
In the Expression Session, Gazlin Hamzah earned the Skullcandy Best Trick award for his massive air reverse, which he lofted over a dumping Lakey Peak lip and landed smoothly. Meanwhile, Mansur Ramlin took home the Skullcandy Best Wave award. Both surfers earned Skullcandy headphones and a Rip Curl prize pack for their dazzling display of surfing in the high-stakes conditions.
“Everybody was charging so hard,” said event judge and Rip Curl team rider Pepen Hendrik. “It looked like Pipeline for the groms out there today.”
Photos and video from the Lakey Peak GromSearch can be found on Rip Curl Asia’s Facebook page, as well as www.asia.RipCurl.com. Log on to tag yourself and your friends.
2012 Rip Curl GromSearch Lakey Peak Results:
1st Andre Anwar, 13*
2nd Bomar Arya Prasetia, 15*
3rd Febby Andre, 14
4th M. Nur Alliem, 16
*qualify for GromSearch Southeast Asia Finals, Oct. 20-21, at Kuta Beach, Bali.
1st Irfan J., 12
2nd Sah J., 14
3rd Ompu Anwar, 11
4th Agus Salim, 13
Best Maneuver: Gazlin Hamzah (air reverse)
Best Wave: Mansur Ramlin
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: Skullcandy, Beach Hut, 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.