Padma Beach’s latest rising surf star, Raju Sena, scored a narrow victory at the Rip Curl GromSearch at Padma Beach, Bali on Sunday. Sena (15, Padma) saved his best for last, putting on his best performance of the day in the final to win the under-16 division by a fraction of a point ahead of Koko Mitsua (15, Nusa Dua). Rounding out the final was former two-time GromSearch Bali champ Jeren Kiring (15, Canggu) in third and Nicholas Leonard-Artha (15, Seminyak) in fourth.
IndoSurfLife.com | June 11, 2012 | Padma Beach, Bali – Sena finished second at last year’s GromSearch National Finals at Kuta’s Halfway Beach, but had never won an Open division at GromSearch before. “I’ve been surfing in GromSearch contests for a while now,” Sena said. “I can’t wait to get another chance to surf in the Finals at Halfway Beach, and hopefully this time I will win the opportunity to go to Bells Beach and surf against the best in the world.”
As the top two placing surfers at Padma, Sena and Mitsua 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, Sumbawa and Thailand for the opportunity to compete in the Rip Curl International GromSearch Final, held in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro ASP World Tour event at Australia’s legendary Bells Beach.
Meanwhile, in the first-ever girls division of a GromSearch Bali event, it was Double Six Beach local Aysia, 16, who took home the inaugural title. Aysia was clearly the most powerful surfer of the girls event, throwing down big powerful hacks on the playful Padma walls and executing nearly every single maneuver she attempted. In second place was Cinta (10, Uluwatu), followed by Giada (11, Seminyak) in third place and Dhea (11, Kuta) in fourth.
The Under-14 division was a much closer battle, with Rio Waida (12, Jimbaran) snagging the 5.7 wave score he needed with less than a minute remaining to leapfrog past Putu Agus (10, Denpasar) for first place. Coming in third was Matius (13, Kuta), followed by Tenshi Ishii (9, Kuta) in fourth.
The Bali stop of the 2012 GromSearch Southeast Asia Series saw the highest turnout in event history, with 92 frothing grommets signing up to compete on Sunday. The groms came from all over the island of Bali, and included a few internationals from America, Australia, Belgium and England. The groms enjoyed non-stop perfect 3-foot peaks all day, as Padma featured a perfect left and perfect right peeling for 75 yards and eventually meeting up in the inside shore break section.
“This is the best beach break I’ve ever seen for a GromSearch” said head judge and Rip Curl team rider Garut Widiarta. “These kids are killing it today. I have to say the level of surfing today is probably higher than any GromSearch so far this year.”
Aerial surfing legend Christian Fletcher was in town and showed up at Padma Beach on Sunday to cheer on the groms and see what kind of tricks the next generation of Bali surfers was up to.
“I haven’t been to Kuta Beach in five years,” said Fletcher. “You know, I never surf Kuta, but I wanted to come down here today for the kids. I wanted them to show me something in the water, and they definitely did that today.”
In the Expression Session, it was Jeren Kiring who won best trick for a big air, and Daniel Amar (20, Padma) who scored the best overall wave award.
Among the highlights on the beach was Rip Curl’s Surfboard Test-Drive Center. Brand-new boards in all shapes and sizes from top shapers like DHD, Timmy Patterson, Firewire, Richard Evans and Black Apache were available to try out for free all day, including five special boards reserved for groms to use in their heats. The racks of the Test-Drive Center were empty pretty much all day, as local kids and adults were constantly checking out boards to take out surfing.
Other beach activities included the Beach Hut sunscreen tent, which provided plenty of spray-on sun protection for surfers and spectators all day, and the beach cleanup led by local environmental group GUS (Yayasan Gelombang Udara Segar).
Photos and video from the Padma 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 Padma, Bali Final Results:
1st Raju Sena, 15, Padma*
2nd Koko Mitsua, 15, Nusa Dua*
3rd Jeren Kiring, 15, Canggu
4th Nicholas Leonard-Artha, 15, Seminyak
*qualify for GromSearch Southeast Asia Finals, Oct. 20-21, at Kuta Beach, Bali.
1st Rio Waida, 12, Jimbaran
2nd Putu Agus, 10, Denpasar
3rd Matius, 13, Kuta
4th Tenshi Ishii, 9, Kuta
1st Aysia, 16, Double Six
2nd Cinta, 10, Uluwatu
3rd Giada, 11, Seminyak
4th Dhea, 11, Kuta
Best Maneuver: Jeren Kiring
Best Wave: Daniel Amar
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.