A welcome new swell and clear sunny skies greeted the contestants, crew, and spectators on Day 2 of the Billabong Pro Am Malaysia and Occy Grom Comp today at beautiful Cherating Beach in Malaysia, and with the increase in swell size, everybody was frothing to jump in the water and dig their fins into the 2-3 foot walls reeling down the point.
The action got started an 8 am with the Men’s Open competitors taking to the water. Highlights of the morning included some high level surfing by the two brothers from the Maldives, Abdullah and Hussein Areef, as well as by young 14 year old Jay-R Esquivel from the Philippines, who wowed the audience with his amazingly clean 180 degree chop hop at the end of a waist high wave.
Last year’s Men’s Open winner Mamat Davd was also in great form, but approaches the final day of competition knowing he has some work to do to retain his title at his home break. “There is some tough competition out there,” he said after his quarterfinal heat. “I’m lucky I made it through to the semi’s, as those guys from the Maldives are ripping. But it’s my home break so I’m going to be aggressive and get the win. I have to!” he added with a big grin
After the day’s surfing had ended, Billabong Bali’s team manager and head judge Wayan “Kopling” Wirtama was impressed, saying, “The boys and girls were sure having fun out there. Yesterday’s conditions were great for the groms, but with these bigger conditions everybody could really open up and be aggressive. The level of surfing went way up today, and so it was a lot of fun to be watching it all from the judges chair.” This is Wirtama’s second trip to Cherating, having been at the inaugural event in December of 2008. “I had a great time here at the first comp, so was stoked when I was invited to come up here again. I’ll be back for the next one as well. For sure!” he added.
The Men’s Open, Masters, Women’s and Bodyboarding division were run up until the mid afternoon, finishing off all but the semifinals in most divisions. The swell is expected to continue to pump tomorrow, setting things up for a great final day for the competitors and spectators that line the beach each day to check out the action. It will be non-stop with head to head competition from the Grom to the Masters and everything in between, and its all coming down to the wire tomorrow morning just after the sun comes up at 7:00 am.
The Billabong Pro Am and Occy Grom Comp are sponsored by Billabong, Kustom, Von Zipper, Nixon, the Municipality of Kuantan, Visit Malaysia, Tourism Pahang, Satu Suku, June Stone, and the Residence Inn Cherating.
Keep an eye out on the Billabong Asia website for daily highlight webclips during the event at www.Billabong.com