Raju Sena Crowned Halfway Grommet Attack Champion

Perfect chest-to-head high, and bigger Halfway-Kuta, beach break peaks greeted the fourth and final Halfway Grommet Attack event on a sunny Sunday, 5 October 2014 in Bali. Grommet rippers attacked the predominantly right-hand long waves of Kuta, linking turns and airs all the way to the beach across the lengthy sandbar, a fitting finale for the stacked list of Indonesian and international junior surfers.
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Raju Sena, a good head taller than most of his fellow competitors, would stand out literally and figuratively with the highest scores in each heat netted from combinations of multiple performance turns punctuated with smooth 360 airs. The Padma Boy Raju has been unstoppable in this event, winning three of the four Halfway Grommet Attack comps this season. “My dad said if you want to be champion you have to train, so everyday I’ve been running, doing push ups, surfing, staying focused. I’m surfing the WQS in Keramas this week, and yeah I’m a little nervous surfing against professionals but I’m going to try my best!” said a stoked Raju after being crowned champion.
Taking top honours in a tight battle for the Under 16 Girls was none other than Kailani Johnson, who narrowly ousted Cinta Hansel for the #1 spot with a strong combo of backhand turns on the reeling rights that won her the nod from the judges. “Cinta, Dhea and Hayanna have been surfing really good so it was really special to win the last comp of the whole series,” said an elated Kailani, super-stoked on her first Halfway Grommet Attack series win.
Amidst the surfing action there were educational programs on the beach with environment and animal welfare in mind. Surfer Girl had set up a paper mache station where the kids were taught how to make their own recycled paper. The goal of this was to teach them about trash separation and the idea of turning rubbish into something functional. The Ubud-based Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) also had a booth and was distributing literature on saving and adopting vaccinated Bali dogs looking for a home.
Getting back to the wave action, it was the Under 12 division that got the best waves in their final. Trading off wave for wave was an incredible young talent pool of finalists, Bali’s future of surfing, from which goofy foot ripper Tensi Ishii would emerge victorious, due to some tight pocket surfing that was throwing spray way off the top of the waves in the late afternoon light.
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But it was not all serious competition. In fact, some was good ol’ fun in the sun with the Push In Division where surfers so small and young that couldn’t paddle into waves yet were pushed into choice Kuta waves. Their size did not hold them back either, and it became apparent that there were two new future contenders coming out of Kuta with the Adrian-Yos team taking the win with their younger brother team of Kai-Raymond taking second. Both fathers are surfing brothers from Kuta, and both surfers who won were their sons.
With no scores being called it was a mystery the whole event as to who would advance and who would win. What was no mystery though were the overall champions, coming from accumulated points over the Halfway Grommet Attack 2014 season. Being crowned official champions to end the year were: Raju Sena (U16), Dhany Widianto (U12) and Dhea Natasha (U16 Girls) who all won free Dylan surfboards by master shaper, Dylan Longbottom.
Kai-Raymond turned out a double winner, with not only being crowned the overall Push In champion, but also won the Rookie Guy of the Year Award. Other awards were given to Ketut Agus for Best Trick of the Year, and also to Cinta Hansel for the Rookie Girl of the Year award.
With the contest tents pulled down and the crowd enjoying a beautiful sunset at Kuta, there was nothing but good memories of the Halfway Grommet Attack season. Cheers until next season, and in the meantime to all the grommets, KEEP SURFING!
RESULTS
Under 16 Boys
1)    Raju Sena
2)    Ketut Agus
3)    Rio Waida
4)    Putu Krisna
Under 16 Girls
1)    Kailani Johnson
2)    Cinta Hansel
3)    Dhea Natasha
4)    Hayanna Iguchi
Under 12 Boys
1)    Tensi Ishii
2)    Kian Martin
3)    Dhany Widianto
4)    Kona Eru Te Whata
Pushing Division
1)    Adrian-Yos
2)    Kai-Raymond
3)    Westen-Troy
4)    Made Noe
Under 16 Overall Champion: Raju Sena
Under 12 Overall Champion: Dhany Widianto
Under 16 Girls Overall Champion: Dhea Natasha
Push In Champion: Kai-Raymond
Best Trick of the Year: Ketut Agus
Best Rookie Guy: Kai-Raymond
Best Rookie Girl: Cinta Hansel

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