Indonesia's Junior Surf Team Completes First Qualifying Round at ISA Quiksilver World Junior Surfing

team-w-fiona-0207With the first day of competition at the ISA Quiksilver World Junior Surfing Championships, three of the eight Indonesian junior surfers advanced directly into Round 3, while the remaining five will surf in Round 2 tomorrow in hopes of joining their teammates in Round 3.

In the Under 16 Division, Jeren Kiring and Ediana Putra both put on impressive displays of surfing in the very testing conditions to nab 2nd places finishes and avoid a Round 2 elimination possibility, while Putu Anggara did the same in the Under 18 Division to advance to Round 3.

“It was really hard out there, because the waves were all over the place,” said Putu Anggara after his heat. “I was lucky to get a nice righthander that walled up so I could do a couple of turns. I had no idea about my score because the wind was so strong I could only hear the final horn. My other waves weren’t very good so I was surprised when I found out I got 2nd,” he added with a grin.

Jeren had a similar opinion about the day’s surfing. “I was so happy when I heard I got second, because I didn’t hear anything out in the water. Between paddling all the time with the wind blowing and then duckdiving, I was pretty busy out there,” he said.

Against a field of the top Junior surfers in the world, and entering such a huge international competition for the first time, it is difficult not to agree that it was a great day for surfing for the young Indonesian team, seeing as they had to battle not only the initial hurdles of money, visa’s and logistics just to get to New Zealand, but once here face the stiff competition of the much more experienced juniors from countries such as Australia, Hawaii, Brazil, and the USA coupled with the cold water, strong currents, and gale-force winds. Not to mention the time difference, which results in the team getting up each morning at 5 hours earlier than at home…about 1:30 am!

Coach Tipi Jabrik was very pleased with the results of his team today, saying “Considering that Indonesia has the lowest seeding, since this is our first time competing in this event, we did really good to get 3 of our boys into 2nd place finishes. In each heat we were up against the top boys from Hawaii, the USA, and Brazil, and though our boys have a lot of talent they don’t have heaps of experience, so I’m very satisfied with how we did today. If the wave conditions improve we will do even better tomorrow, as the boys know now what they are up against.”

Having the most contest experience of the Indonesian Team still wasn’t enough to get Oney Anwar a heat win or even a second place finish. He was disappointed but by no means discouraged, saying “With the strong current out there and the waves breaking all over the place, it was tough to get a high scoring wave. I saw that the left had the best wall on it, but it wasn’t very consistent. I kept waiting and paddling to stay in position, and then I thought I saw a good but it ended up going fat on me so I got a pretty low score. Then it was a long paddle back out against the current and I just couldn’t get anything good happening before time ran out.” He finished last in his heat but is optimistic about tomorrow. “I know I can put up some high scores, so am looking at today as a learning experience. I’ll be out there early in the morning getting some practice in and checking out the lineup, so I’m confident I’ll have a better heat tomorrow,” he added.

Thanks to the generous locals at Piha, especially Nick Gnu-Chun and Fiona Anderson of the Paha Domain Motor Camp, the Indonesian Junior Team are being well looked after with accommodations, food and more, and as this is the first time they are competing together in such a huge international event, it will be a trip they will never forget. “The people here are so nice and treat us so special, it’s really amazing”, said Koko. “All the competitors from all over the world are here and we even met some of them that have been to Bali. They say 'apa kabar’ to us each time we meet them. It’s great to be here!”

After their over-12-hour-trip from Bali to Auckland via Sydney, the boys all attended the opening festivities in Auckland which included a parade and the “Sands of the World” ceremony where the sand they brought from Kula Beach was mixed in with the sand from all the other countries that are competing in the event.

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The funding for the Indonesian team’s trip comes from the generosity of the surf industry supporters consisting 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.