Grom Patrol Surf Training Camp and Comp #2 Draws Record Entries and Big Performances in Great Waves at 66 Beach in Legian

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Trumping last week’s attendance of 54 for Grom Patrol #1 at Kuta Beach, this Sunday’s Grom Patrol #2 drew a record 67 kids and their families to 66 Beach in Legian, where they hung out at Swich’s High Tide under tents and the shady trees to enjoy the second leg of the 2019 Grom Patrol series here in beautiful Bali, and ended the day with a great sunset and a delicious BBQ dinner courtesy of Swich before heading home.

To take advantage of the high tide and glassy conditions, the action commenced at 7:30 am with the Under 12 Boys division, where Ryan Coehlo and Westen Hirst put on an impressive display of surfing to impress the judges and the audience on the beach and advance into the Quarterfinals. Both boys competed in both the Under 12 and the Under 14 divisions, and finished the day with Westen taking two first place finishes, and Ryan taking two second place finishes!

When asked why he chose to compete in both divisions, 10 year old Westen replied, “I just wanted to surf a lot today, and to win two divisions, and I did it!”  When questioned further about the key to his two wins, he said, “I just focused, and I’ve been training, so even though in the final the waves were a bit challenging, I stuck with my favorite maneuvers the snap and floater, and luckily got a couple of good waves.”

Due to the number of contestants, the heat times were limited to 15 minutes, while the finals were upped to 20 minutes.  Waves conditions through the morning were excellent, with mostly lefts but a few rights also on offer with a rip in between, but midway through the day (about 11:30) the trade winds started blowing strongly, and coupled with the low tide gave the young competitors a taste of what the future will hold when they start competing in international events in locations that don’t have perfect waves like Bali.  A shify lineup and lots of closeouts to dodge and duckdive, but patience and wise choices were rewarded by good scores and ultimately a place on the podium.

Dylan Amar from Bali Elite Surf Coaching (BESC) knows that competing in a variety of conditions from a young age is critical to the success of a competitive surfer.  “Of course it’s always nice to see perfect glassy waves here at the beach, but having challenging conditions gives them a great opportunity to learn how to deal with that also, as they will go to plenty of locations where there will be bad waves and they need to learn how to score in those conditions as well.  It also gives us a good chance to review their performance and teach them how to handle and succeed in bad waves as well as good,” he explained.

Two of his students echoed that philosophy after their Under 16 Girls final.  In Grom Patrol #1 last week at Kuta Beach, it was Serena Boccato finishing in first place and Georgie May in second, while this week Georgie won first place with Serena coming in second.  “Practicing in these kinds of conditions is super important, and that’s what I’ve been doing, and then having so much support from the coach and the team makes all the difference.  I really wanted to improve and win after getting second place last week, and so happy I could do that today,” said Georgie.

When Serena was asked about her experience in the Grom Patrol so far and competing against Georgie in the final again, she replied, “I think it’s so important to have someone else that is surfing at your level, so we can work together to get better and better, and I love how events like this, with the camp especially, brings all the surfing community together.  I hope the Grom Patrol will keep happening next year!”

Rising star 17 year old Ketut Agus, who won last year’s WSL Qualifying Series event at Nias against a large field of international surfers, was stoked to be able to join the contest yesterday, and to add another win to his already long list of surfing accomplishments.  “It was really fun out there, even in the final.  I was just patient and waited for that righthander, which was really good when it came, and allowed me to do some of my favorite moves like tailslide, and I landed a couple of airs too,” he said.  “It was really fun to be here with all the boys, and lucky I’m still 17 not yet 18.  Next month I’m 18 so it’s my last chance to compete as the Under 18 division.”

The Padma Boys Boardriders Club was the host for Grom Patrol 2, and president Akung was proud and pleased to have everybody enjoying the beach, the waves and the atmosphere during yesterday’s event. “This was perfect, a great day with everybody here, mostly the waves were pumping but sometimes a bit challenging too, but overall it was really great,” said Akung.  “On behalf of the Padma Boys and Swich and the Sunset Bar, we were super thankful and happy to be the host of this event. It’s always great to be part of something like this with the ASC, where everybody has a good time but we’re also doing something positive for the groms and our surfing community, so thank you so much for letting us be  a part of it with you guys!”

Next week’s Grom Patrol Training Camp is already full to its maximum capacity of 15 kids, but there are still spots left in the contest for next Sunday the 21st of July.  It will be an exciting conclusion to the 3 event series, with the champions receiving heaps of goodies including new surfboards from Chilli and S Shapes.

To sign up for the next Grom Patrol Comp on 21 July, please follow this link: 

For for more information, you may email Tom Chaminade at [email protected]