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From Scratch, the ASC builds pathway to professionalism in Asia





Indonesia’s growing professional circuit expands through Asia

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 31 May, 2015 - Bali’s rising talent pool hasn’t always had a straight path to professionalism. Sure, the world comes to Bali to surf, play and bag clips but while pros from California, Australia, Brazil and Europe have a well-worn path to professionalism to follow, this is not the case for Asia’s pros. 

Enter the Asian Surfing Championships Tour which has been growing steadily since its inception in 2004.  It was formed as a natural progression to the successful Indonesian Surfing Championships (ISC).

Since 2004, the ISC tour has sanctioned from 8 to 25 professional surfing events each year, first in Bali and then across the archipelago from Rote Island in the east all the way to Banda Aceh to the west. 
The tour has recently gone through a growth spurt, adding events in the Philippines, India, the Maldives and Taiwan with sights on events in China, Taiwan and beyond.

They have increased crossover comps with the WSL Australasia and will have three or more co-sanctioned events this year.

We interviewed Tim Hain who handles much of the work for the ASC and has helped grow the tour and expanded the opportunities for Asia’s professional hopefuls. 

Raditya Rondi © ASC/Hain


Is it "Asian Surfing Championships" or "Asian Surfing Tour?"  
It is the Asian Surfing Championships...or you can say the Asian Surfing Championship Tour

What events does the ASC offer and how has it expanded in the past few years?  
It began in 2010 off the back of the Indonesian Surfing Championships, which had been growing since 2004.  First just a couple of events in Thailand and Malaysia, and we now have events in the Philippines, India, Maldives, and Taiwan in addition to Indonesia, and working on expanding into Sri Lanka, China, South Korea, and Japan. 

Who are the standouts on the tour?
The standouts are mostly the guys from Indonesia since they have been competing the longest and have the most consistent waves to surf all year around.  Guys like Raditya Rondi, Garut Widiarta from Bali, and Dede Suryana from West Java, and Marlon Gerber. But the Philippines has some good surfers coming out of Cloud 9 like Piso Alcala and John Mark Tokong, and Nilbie Blancada, who hopefully we'll be seeing more of on tour.  

What prize money is on offer for Indonesian pros?
The prize money isn't that big most of the time, for the bigger events $5,000-$10,000 USD for the total prize purse.  Mostly the guys and girls are chasing the championship points and getting experience, as some hope to make the jump to the WQS someday.

Can they make a living from doing the circuit?  
Most of them have a sponsor or sponsors that pay them a salary and some or most of their travel expenses, so they don't depend on event prize money for a living.  Even though travel is relatively cheap in Asia as compared to the USA or Europe etc, it still costs a fair bit and so even if you won every event you couldn't really live from the prize money alone.


ISC Champions : 2004 - 2013

Open            RADITYA RONDI (IDN/BALI)
Women        RINA KITAZAWA (JPN)
Pro Junior        RAJU SENA (IDN)

Open            RADITYA RONDI (IDN/BALI)
Women        YASNYIAR GEA (IDN)
Pro Junior        GAZALI HAMZAH (IDN)
Junior        RAJU SENA (IDN)
Open            MARLON GERBER (IDN)
Women        YASNYIAR GEA (IDN)
Pro Junior        DARMAPUTRA TONJO (IDN)
Junior        JEREN KIRING (IDN)
Longboard        ARIP NURHIDAYAT (IDN)
Master        KETUT WIRTAWAN (IDN)

Women        YASNYIAR GEA (IDN)
Junior        JEREN KIRING (IDN)
Longboard        HUSNI RIDWAN (IDN/JABAR)

Open            LEE ANDREW WILSON (IDN)
Women        YASNYIAR GEA (IDN)
Pro Junior        MUSTOFA JEKSEN (IDN)
Junior        PUTRA HERMAWAN (IDN)
Longboard        HUSNI RIDWAN (IDN)
Master        WAYAN WIDIARTA (IDN)

Open            DEDE SURYANA (IDN)
Women        YASNYIAR GEA (IDN)
Pro Junior        RADITYA RONDI (IDN)
Junior        GAZALI HAMZAH (IDN)
Master        MADE ARTHA (IDN)

Open            LEE ANDREW WILSON (IDN)
Junior         ONEY ANWAR (IDN)

Open            RIZAL TANJUNG (IDN/BALI)

2005            MADE ADI PUTRA (IDN/BALI)

2004            PEPEN HENDRIK (IDN/BALI)

Rina Kitazawa © ASC/Hain


Check the full ASC history below

ISC Surfing Event Chronology
2004 : The first year of the official ISC organization saw 6 events by sponsors Billabong, Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Rusty, and Kuta Lines, with Pepen Hendrik capturing the title of the Number One surfer in Indonesia.

2005 : The second year grew to 8 events, with sponsors Billabong, Quiksilver, Kuta Lines, Reef/Blue Groove, Oakley, Rip Curl, and Rusty, with Made “Bol” Adi Putra getting the Number One spot.

2006 : With 5 events by sponsors Quiksilver, Rusty, Oakley, Rip Curl, and Billabong, veteran Rizal Tanjung took out the Number One spot. In addition, a Masters Division was added to the Open Pro Division, with Wayan Gantiyasa the first Master’s Champion. Further adding to the depth and breadth of the ISC series, a Junior Division that included the Quiksilver “King of the Grom” series and the Rip Curl “GromSearch” series (both having 5 trial events and 1 final) was also included.

2007 :  A banner year for the ISC, there were five 6-star, one 6-star prime, and one 3-star Open Pro events in 2007, which included six Masters Division contests as well. The addition of Billabong’s Pro Junior series of three events and the hosting of Junior events (15 total) by Oakley, Quiksilver and Rip Curl kept both the sponsors and the ISC crew very busy. The 6-star prime Dompu Open at Lakey Peak in Sumbawa presented by Quiksilver was very significant in that it was the first ISC sanctioned event initiated and funded by a branch of the Indonesian government, the Dompu Regency Department of Tourism.  Quiksilver took the opportunity to be the presenter and upgraded the event to 6-star prime status, with a total of Rp 60,000,000 in prize money, and a record setting Rp 20,000,000 to winner Pepen Hendrik. At the year end party/award presentation at the Wave Club on Kuta Beach, the champions were crowned amidst all the revelry and camaraderie that you might expect from a bunch of fun loving surfers at a bar on the beach. Lee Wilson took home his first ISC Open Pro championship trophy, Wayan Gantiyasa accepted his second Masters trophy, Oney Anwar stepped up to receive the Junior championship trophy, and Mustofa Jeksen nabbed the Pro Junior champions trophy.

2008 : 2008 was indeed an epic year for the ISC, not only for Indonesian surfing but also for Asian surfing as a whole. In addition to the full gamut of ISC comps, there were some significant highlights :  1) The ISC was sponsored by Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia as part of their CSR program, 2) Rip Curl brought the ASP and the world’s best surfers back to Indonesia for the Rip Curl Pro Search at Uluwatu (after a 10 year hiatus due to security concerns), 3) the first Asian Beach Games took place in Bali with Indonesian surfers picking up Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, 4) the Oakley Pro Junior at Keramas gave out the biggest pro junior prize money in history, a $20,000 check to Dusty Payne of Hawaii, and 5) Billabong’s Pro Junior 3- event international series. And it all happened here in Bali with the ISC involved each step of the way. The ISC sanctioned a record number of events in 2008, including 8 Open Pro events (some included Masters and Women’s divisions), 3 Pro Junior events, and 13 Junior events as well as the first Women’s only event, the Surf Girl Big Splash. At the year’s end, Dede Suryana was crowned the 2008 Indonesian Pro Surfing Champion. Made Artha the Masters Champion, Made Raditya Rondi the Pro Junior Champion, Yasnyiar Gea (Bonne) the first Women’s Champion, and Gazali Hamzah the Junior Champion.

2009 :  It started out looking like a challenging year due to the worldwide economic slowdown, but thanks to the loyal sponsors like Coca-Cola-Amatil Indonesia, Billabong, Oakley, Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Rusty, and the Rote Government, the now named Coca-Cola ISC Tour continued to spread its wings further afield to new locations (West Java and Rote) and upped the standard of surfing in Indonesia beyond expectations.  In addition to having three 6-star Prime, two 6-star, and two 5-star events, most of which included Women’s Divisions and Masters Divisions, there was the Rip Curl Cup specialty event, ten Junior Division events, two international Pro Junior events, the ASP sanctioned 5-star Billabong Pro Bali and the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge, plus the addition of the first Longboard Division event within the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival, another highlight to the year.

Champions crowned were : Lee Wilson – Men’s Open, Yasnyiar ‘Bonne’ Gea – Women’s, Husni Ridwan – Longboard, Wayan Widiarta – Masters, Putra Hermawan – Junior, and Mustofa Jeksen – Pro Junior. In addition, the success of the ISC attracted the attention of  surfing organizations outside of Indonesia in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, which led to the 2010 formation of the Asian Surfing Championships. 

2010 : The 2010 Indonesian Surfing Championship Awards Night took place at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, with 18-year-old Putra Hermawan from Nusa Lembongan the 2010 ISC Open Division Champion. He took home a check for an unprecedented Rp 100 million (approximately $11,000 USD), the largest amount ever given to an Indonesian surfing champion.  He also won the Pro Junior Division Championship (under 21 years of age), for which he received another Rp 5 million ($550 USD).  Hermawan was last year’s Junior Division Champion as well, so in just two years he won 3 division titles, indeed an impressive accomplishment.

The Women’s Division championship was won again by 28 year old Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea, originally from Nias but a long term resident of Bali, making this her 3rd consecutive ISC Women’s Championship title.  Taking his second consecutive Longboard Division Championship was 29 year old Husni Ridwan from Batu Keras, West Java, and the Masters Division Championship (over 35 years old) was won by Ketut “Kombong” Juliarta in his first season competing as a Master. Rounding out the awards was 14-year-old Jeren Kiring from Bali hoisting the Junior Division (under 16 years old) Championship trophy. 

There were 7 Open/Women/Masters Division events (Oakley, Rusty, Reef, the government of West Java, the government of Rote, Quiksilver, and Rip Curl),  1 Pro Junior Division event, 8 Junior Division events (Rusty, Quiksilver and Rip Curl), and 4 Specialty events ;  ASP Billabong Pro Junior,  ASP Oakley World Pro Junior, Rip Curl Cup Padang-Padang, and Bali International Sport Week for a total of 20 events that the ISC participated in or sanctioned for 2010.

Of major significance was the signing of a 3 year sponsorship contract between the ISC and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, which would allow the ISC to not only help grow the sport of surfing in Indonesia but also creating more awareness about the environment and working to clean up Bali and Indonesia’s beaches and the ocean.

2011 : To end another banner year of the Coca Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour, a gala dinner and awards presentation was held at the W Retreat & Spa in Bali’s upscale Seminyak area, where hundreds of surfers, celebrities, industry icons, and media joined together to congratulate and celebrate with Indonesia’s 2011 surfing champions.

It was Bali’s Marlon Gerber that lifted the 2011 Open Division Championship trophy and collected the $10,000 check for his ISC Open Championship win in front of his family and friends, after a nailbiting finish on Kuta Beach in the last event of the year, the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival.

In the Women’s Division it was Yasnyiar ‘Bonne’ Gea taking home her fourth championship trophy in as many years, in the Junior Division Jeren Kiring adding a second consecutive championship, and in the Longboard Division it was Arip Nurhidayat (Mencos) from West Java who got his first Longboard Championship trophy. Ketut Wirtawan nabbed his first Masters Championship, and Darmaputra Tonjo took his first Pro Junior Championship as well.

The 2011 season had ISC sanctioned events from Rote in the East to the Mentawai Islands in the West.   The Oakley Pro (Open and Master’s), Rusty Rumble in Da Jungle (Open and Master’s), Quiksilver West Java (Open, Masters, Women, Longboard), Mentawai Open (Open and Master’s), Rip Curl Girls Go Surfing Day (Women’s), Rote Open (Open, Masters, Women), and the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival (Open, Women’s, Juniors) made up the main events, with four Rip Curl GromSearch events, one Billabong Pro Junior event, one Rusty GromFest event, and the Quiksilver King of the Groms to total 14.  In addition, the ISC assisted with the annual Rip Curl Cup Padang-Padang, the ASP Oakley World Pro Junior at Keramas and the Oakley Tag Team event as well.

Also of significance was the fact that several of the ISC events were dual sanctioned with the newly formed ASC (Asian Surfing Championships, which began its first year in 2011.

2012 : The ISC celebrated its 9th year by again crowning Indonesia’s top surfers at the W Retreat & Spa in Seminyak with a gala dinner and awards presentation, followed by an after party at nearby Mantra Bar and Kitchen. Accepting his first Indonesian Surfing Championship Open title was 23-year-old Made Raditya Rondi from Kuta, who was handed a trophy and a check for Rp 100 million (almost $10,000 USD) for his stellar performance in 2012.

Rondi added his ISC trophy to the two Asian Surfing Championship trophies on his shelf, recently having been crowned the 2012 Asian Surfing Champion in Phuket, Thailand in September and having won the inaugural 2011 ASC tour.

Receiving first time ISC Championship trophies were Gazali Hamzah in the Pro Junior Division and Raju Sena in the Junior Division, while Ketut Juliarta received his second Masters title and Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat his second Longboard Division title.  Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea, as the long-reigning Women’s Division Champion, received her unprecedented 5th consecutive title.

The year saw the ISC sanctioning 5 Junior Division events and 5 Open/Master/Women’s events in Indonesia as well as a dual sanctioned ISC/ASC event in Thailand, and helping out with the Oakley World Pro Junior event in Keramas, the Rip Curl Cup at Padang-Padang, and the Good Vibrations event in Canggu.  ISC event locations included Canggu-Bali, Mentawai Islands – Macaronis, Cimaja-West Java, Scar Reef-Yoyo’s in West Sumbawa, and Kuta Beach-Bali.

2013 : In the 10th year of the ISC Tour there was a major change, driven by the fact that the almost 5 year sponsorship relationshop between the ISC and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia had come to an end. The support and funding by CCAI was directed at facilitating the growth of surfing in Indonesia via the ISC, and with that mandate no longer in existance, coupled with the growth and interest by other countries in the Asian region to participate in a surfing circuit, the decision was made to place the ASC in the leading role going forward.

The ISC does and will continue to exist as the national surfing circuit for Indonesia, with champions crowned each year, as an integral part of the ASC tour along with the national surfing circuits of the other participating Asian countries.

 The Mantra Bar and Kitchen in Seminyak, owned and operated by the ISC’s Tipi Jabrik, was host to the conjoined Asian Surfing Championships and Indonesian Surfing Championships Awards 2013. Of special note was that Indonesian’s won every ASC Division Championship Divison, with the exception of the Women’s Division that was won by Japan’s Rina Kitazawa. Kuta Beach’s Raditya Rondi won his third consecutive ASC Open Championship and his second consecutive ISC Open Championship.

Japan’s Rina Kitazawa won her first ASC Women’s Championship, with Yasnyiar ‘Bonne’ Gea going home with her 6th consecutive ISC Women’s Championship. In the Master’s Division, Wayan ‘Kopling’ Wirtama (Bali) took both the ASC and the ISC title, as Raju Sena (Bali) took the ASC and the ISC Junior Championship. Arip ‘Mencos’ Nurhidayat took home his 3rd consecutive ISC Longboard Division trophy, and also his 3rd ASC Longboard Championship.

Despite the lack of sponsorship the 2013 year was still very successful with 7 stops on the now ASC tour,  5 of them in Indonesia : the Mentawai Pro at Lances Right, the West Java Surfing Championship at Cimaja, the Oakley Pro Bali at Canggu and Keramas, the Billabong Pro at Balangan , and the Aceh International Surfing Championship at Simeulue Island.  The other events were the Siargao International Surfing Cup at Cloud 9 in the Philippines, and the Taiwan Open of Surfing in Taitung, Taiwan.

In addition, 8 Rip Curl GromSearch events were sanctioned as well as the ISC assisting in the setting up and running of the Oakley Pro Bali ASP World Championship Tour event in Keramas and the Rip Curl Cup at Padang-Padang.

The Editors

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