The Indonesian Junior Surfing Team arrived back in Bali on Friday evening the 29th of January after their first time competing in an International Surfing Association event, the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships that took place from January 20-28 in the seaside town of Piha, about an hours drive out of Auckland, New Zealand.
The 8 member surf team that included Jeren Kiring (Canggu-Bali), Koko Mitsu Antara (Nusa Dua-Bali), Sandi Selamat (West Java), and Ediana Putra (Nusa Lembongan) competing in the Under 16 Boys Division, and Putra Hermawan (Nusa Lembongan), Oney Anwar (Lakey Peak-Sumbawa), Putu Anggara (Nusa Lembongan), and Agus Frimanto (Nusa Lembongan) competing in the Under 18 Boys Division, departed Bali on the 18th of January to join over 200 other junior surfers representing 21 countries in New Zealand to compete for gold, silver, bronze and copper medals. They were accompanied by Tipi Jabrik as Team Manager/Coach and Tim Hain as Assistant Manager/Media Documentation.
The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships are a yearly event but the location changes each year. Last years event was held in Ecuador, South America.
On the 20thth of January, the team joined in the opening ceremony that included speeches by ISA President Fernando Aguerre, Quiksilver International CEO Bob McKnight, Surfing New Zealands CEO Greg Townsend, Aucklands Mayor John Banks, and Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey, the Parade of Flags parade, and a Sands of the World ceremony where sand from Kuta Beach was mixed in with sand from the other countries beaches to symbolize the peaceful gathering of nations for the love of surfing.
Indonesia received special mention as one of the three countries that were competing in the event for the first time. The others were Vanuatu and Fiji.
The competitive surfing action began on the morning of the 21st in testing conditions for the Indonesian team, with strong currents, cold water, and stormy conditions. Though unused to competing in thick wetsuits, several members of the team did well, with Jeren Kiring, Ediana Putra and Putu Anggara scoring second place finishes in their first round heats. Over the next three days conditions worsened, with the bigger waves, strong winds, and frequent rain squalls making it even tougher to find good scoring waves, so despite their best efforts their run for the gold medal ended on the fourth day.
Team Manager Tipi Jabrik said, The boys all did their best and it was the kind of experience that they needed. They rarely surf in these kind of conditions so were unprepared to compete in these types of waves, especially against the elite teams from the big countries that have a lot more experience and training. We will be much better prepared next year, and as this is the first time for an Indonesian team competing in such a large international event, I feel very proud to be part of getting a team here and also proud of our team.
Rip Curl SEA CEO Jeff Anderson summed up the feeling of all the Indonesian teams sponsors and supporters, saying, I know the team did their best in extremely tough conditions, and know that they have learned a lot and have grown from their experience. We are all very proud of them for their great effort, and next year we will continue to support them as they face their next challenge.
The boys themselves were treated like celebrities, by the local Piha crew and by the other teams, so enjoyed their new adventure thoroughly. With their local friend and supporter Nick Chongee Ngau-Chun as one of the MCs during the event, they had their fair share of both attention and encouragement throughout the event. I love these kids and was so stoked that they made it over here. I spend several months each year in Indonesia and have been surfing at these kids home breaks for years, so it was a dream come true to have them come over to my home break surf and surf with me here, he said. I know it wasnt an easy trip, especially trying to get funding and sorting out visas, but everyone put in a first class effort and made it happen. When I met them at the airport after their long flight from and saw their tired faces light up with smiles when they saw me, it brought tears to my eyes, he added emotionally.
Ngau-Chun together with Fiona Anderson from the Piha Domain Camp Ground arranged and sponsored the accommodations and most meals for the team during their stay in Piha, ensuring that they were well taken care of both in and out of the water. Anderson is a regular traveler to Indonesia as well, and cites Nusa Lembongan as her favorite place to visit. “When Nick came to me to ask for help in looking for accommodations for the team, I immediately agreed to lend a hand, as I knew how hard it was for those kids to get over here…I know where they are from, and see them and their friends just about every year, so it was a great opportunity to help out. Myself and my crew here had such such a great time hosting those kids here at the campground, I wish we could do it every year!” she said smiling.
So overall it was an excellent effort and a great experience for the team, placing 16th overall out of the 21 teams participating. And this events experience behind them, and the news that next years event will be held in a more tropical location with warm water, expect the team to go much farther in 2011. Hopefully there will be four Indonesian girl surfers who can also join in next years event, helping to boost the overall team score and increase their ranking position.
During the remainder of the event, the team did some free surfing in the epic surfing location of Raglan, as well as exploring in the city of Auckland before returning to witness the finals of the surfing competition and then participating in the closing ceremony, where Team Australia claimed their 5th consecutive team gold medal in the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships, while France had to settle for the silver, and South Africa narrowly edged out Hawaii for the bronze. All the details of the final placings in all divisions can be seen at www.isaworldjuniors.com.
The attendance of the Indonesian Junior Team would not have been possible without the support, funding and generosity of Billabong Asia, Hurley, Oakley Indonesia, Quiksilver Asia, Rip Curl Asia, and Rusty Asia, Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia and the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour, KDBJ Tours and Travel, Nick Chongee Ngau-Chun, Fiona Anderson at the Piha Domain Camp Ground and Ben Kennings of Surfing New Zealand.
About the Indonesian Junior Team
All the team members were selected on the basis of their performance on the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour Junior Division in 2008-2009 with the exception of Oney Anwar, who has been attending school and competing in surfing competitions on the Gold Coast of Australia for the past two years.
Putra Hermawan was both the Rip Curl GromSearch Under 16 Champion and the Coca-Cola ISC Junior Champion in 2009, Oney Anwar won the Rip Curl GromSearch Under 16 at Duranbah in 2008 and won 1st place in the Under 19 Division at the 2009 Queensland School Surfing Titles, Putu Anggara was the runner-up in the Rip Curl GromSearch Under 16 Division in 2009 and Quiksilver King of the Groms Under 16 Champion in 2008, Agus Frimanto was the Rusty GromFest Champion 2009 in the Under 16 Division, Sandi Selamat was the Quiksilver King of the Groms Champion for 2009, Jeren Kiring was the Quiksilver King of the Groms Runner Up and the Rusty GromFest Runner Up in the Under 14 Division in 2009, Ediana Putra was the Rusty GromFest Under 14 Champion in 2009, and Koko Mitsu Antara had a third place finish in the Quiksilver King of the Groms 2009.
About the Indonesian Surfing Federation (PSOI) and the Coca-Cola ISC Tour
The ISF/PSOI (Persatuan Selancar Ombak Indonesia) is the official governing body for surfing in Indonesia, as recognized by the Indonesian Department of Sports (KONI) and the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI), and is joined by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour in the common goal of growing the sport of surfing in Indonesia. For more information, see www.isctour.com
About the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships
The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is the biggest surfing event in the world for Under 18 surfers, considering the surfing level, amount of competitors and participating countries. This is the pinnacle of the juvenile career of every junior surfer around the planet. It is an Olympic Style event where teams come to compete for medals and the honor of representing their nations. The excellence of competitive surfing reaches its highest level because of the motivation of defending each participating flags colors.
The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is an annual event that started in 2003 in Durban South Africa. The International Surfing Association decided to hold a separate event for the growing level and population of junior surfing. The decision proved to be right. Nowadays it is the desire of every junior surfer to represent his or her country in this great contest.