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(7/12/2010) King of the Groms South East Asian Final came to a close Sunday, July 11, 2010 in a grueling 25-minute boy-on-boy contest amidst 2-meter wavers on Bali's Kuta Beach. Honors went to "wunderkind" – 13 year-old Andre Julian from West Java who posted the best score, narrowing out co-finalist 14 year-old Kiko Mitsua from Bali.
Both lads gave the large crowds on hand a contest to remember, spending the final two days of the event displaying their prowess in a variety of wave conditions before going board-to-board in the big surf nature whipped up for the final round.
A total of 60 world-class surfers competed over the course of the three-day event.
Andre Julian takes home the coveted "King of the Groms" crown that also provide for an all-expense-paid trip to Hossegor Beach in France to compete against other "King of the Grom" winners representing 18 other nations from other regional "King of the Groms" contests.
The Quiksilver Pro France will be held at Hossegor Beach from September 25 to October 5, 2010.
The 13 year-old champion, who regularly braves the dangers of the ocean's rolling surf, also won a brand-new Yamaha Mio motorcycle. Indonesian law licenses drivers only at age 17, meaning Andre will have to wait four more years to risk life and limb driving on the nation's highways.
Carried from the beach on the shoulders of 2008 Coca-Cola ISC Pro Surfing Champion and Quiksilver Team Rider, Dede Suryana, and Quiksilver Team Manager, Febrie Arianto, Andre excitedly said: "Wow, I feel so happy right now, so happy to be the winner. I first want to thank Dede (Suryana) and my brother Sandi, and then especially Quiksilver for all their support. Without them I wouldn't be here, so I'm really thankful for them right now."
When asked how he felt going into the final in the large waves, he replied, "I was very stoked that the waves were big, because I'd much rather surf big waves than small waves anytime!"
Runner up Koko Mitsua was understandably disappointed about missing out on the Crown but was very positive, saying: "Getting second today is a good result for sure, and I still have another chance next year, but I was surfing good enough to win today and felt I just didn't get the good waves I needed during the final. But I'm really happy for Andre, as he got some great waves and scored big on them so he deserves the win."
This is the second year in a row that a junior surfer from the seaside town of Cimaja in West Java has won the Quiksilver King of the Grom event at Kuta Beach. Last year, Andre Julian's older brother, Sandi Slamet, won. The brothers are both Quiksilver Team Riders, along with Dede Suryana, another native of Cimaja.
Simon MacGregor, Quiksilver Southeast Asia's Marketing Manager, was very pleased with the event, saying: "Its great to see how the level of these junior surfers is rising each year, and not only with the kids from Bali now, but those from other parts of Indonesia as well. Dede Suryana has been a great example to the junior surfers in Cimaja and other parts of Indonesia, and the next generation is what we've seen here today. It's not only Bali that has the good surfers now, but places like West Java, Sumbawa, and Nusa Lembongan are producing some of the top performers."
He continued: "Quiksilver is dedicated to helping to develop surfing in other areas of Indonesia such as Cimaja, and, as a matter of fact, we're supporting the West Java Open, a 6 star Coca-Cola ISC event up there next week. We are also helping out in Thailand with an event in Phuket this September, and working with other South East Asian countries like Malaysia and the Philippines, so you can expect to see an even greater variety of young surfers developing in the future."
Saving the Turtles
The surfing competition also provided an opportunity for and spectators to interact with the baby turtles who were released back into their natural habitat as part of the event festivities. The baby turtles came from the recently created Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation, a permanent hatchery facility developed by Quicksilver and ?Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia in cooperation with the Kuta Beach authorities to preserve the endangered Olive Ridley turtles.
Other highlights of the day included an Expression Session just before the final that had Quiksilver Team Riders Dede Suryana, Tipi Jabrik, Devis Ratif, Mustofa Jeksen, and Sandi Slamet paddling out with ex pro surfer Jake "the Snake" Paterson and wowing the crowd by taking off on the biggest waves and attempting their most radical maneuvers.
The recipient of the Coca-Cola Achievement Award was third-place runner-up Sudiatmika from Bali, whom took home a better surfboard for use in coming competitions.
The official closing Awards Presentation took place at the Harris Hotel Kuta Beach, where the attendees were treated to food, drinks, fashion shows, and videos.
King of the Grom South East Asia Final Results
• 1st Place: Andre Julian - West Java (11.25 points)
• 2nd Place: Koko Mitsua - Bali (7.05 points)
• Tied Third Place: Sudiatmika (Bali) and Komang Alit (Bali)
• Coca Cola Achievement Surfboard Award: Sudiatmika (Bali)