The little known surf town of Cherating on the South China Sea coast of Malaysia will play host to its first ever Billabong Occy Grom Comp in January of 2010. In a major coup for the Asian surf scene, 1999 World Champion of Surfing Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo will bring his specialized Grommet event to the ridiculously long sand bottom point break, attracting the best young surfers in the region.
After two successful years of running the Occy Grom Comp in Bali alongside the Billabong Pro Junior events, the 2010 competitors will be heading to the 1.6km long Malaysian point break to help the local juniors gain some higher level experience. The location will be much more accessible to competitors from Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia. “I only first heard about these Malaysian surf spots when I saw that Billabong held a comp up there last year, some of the setups look insane” claimed Occy, “I’m so keen to get up there and explore a little and to see what level the Malaysian and regional Groms are at”.
The Malaysian surf season is a limited one, but breaks consistently through the monsoon season of November through to February. Typically, massive weather systems form off the top of the Philippines, sending large swells down through the South China Sea, eventually landing on the Malaysian East Coast, a spot that has been relatively secret for a long time. “Whether its the seasonal aspect, or the fact that no one really would’ve thought there would be surf in these parts, this place has remained super quiet for a long time”, stated Billabong South East Asia Marketing Manager Peter Thew, “It wasn’t until a year or two ago that we realized what was going on up there, the waves are incredible and extremely varied, but more over the local surf talent was pretty surprising”.
The real kicker to the event is its coupling with the Billabong Pro Am, also in Cherating, that is 100% supported by the States Tourism Board. “Tourism Pahang (MTPN) proudly supports the 2010 Billabong Cherating Pro-Am and Occy Grom Comp, and have demonstrated our faith in the future of Malaysian surfing by promoting the Pro-Am to the status of biggest event on the Tourism Pahang State Calendar”, explained Mr Haji Idros, Director of MTPN (Pahang Tourism Action Council).
The Billabong Pro Am Cherating and the Billabong Occy Grom Comp will run from January 7th to January 10th 2010 and entries for Mens Open, Womens Open, Masters, Bodyboard, and of course the Grom Comp can be found in all Billabong SE Asia stores from November 2009. Alternatively, for event or accommodation information, you can contact Contest Director Khairil Ibrahim of Satusuku Surf Shop for details via [email protected] Also keep an eye out on the Billabong Asia website for daily highlight webclips during the event at www.Billabong.com