Grajagan Becomes Focal Point of Surfing World Once Again Ahead of Quiksilver/ROXY Pro G-Land
Updated: Jun 11, 2022
G-LAND, Banyuwangi, Indonesia (Friday, May 27, 2022) - The Quiksilver/ROXY Pro G-Land, Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT) and the first competition following the Mid-season Cut, will commence tomorrow at the world-class left-hand reef of Grajagan or ‘G-Land’ on the eastern tip of Java in Indonesia.
The event window will run from May 26 to June 6 and see 36 of the best surfers in the world do battle for a spot in the Top 5 on the road to the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
Slater Returns to G-Land, Medina Back in CT Competition
Photo: WSL/ Sloane
The only competitor in the field to have competed in an event at G-Land is 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) who took out the event in 1995, the first time it ran and the year he claimed his second World Title.
Now, almost 30 years later, Slater is back in the jungle and looking for a big result as he aims to climb from 13th place on the rankings and back into the WSL Final 5 as he continues to hunt for his 12th World Title.
“This is the place where the concept of a ‘Dream Tour’ was kind of conceived for us back in the day,” Slater said. “It’s was the first event where we went fully remote in the search for perfect waves and felt like we were on a surf trip or an adventure where there happens to be a contest, and not much has changed. It feels really cool to be back and see some of the changes from all of those years ago. I’m not sure what the waves will end up being like this week, but it will be hard to beat a goofy-footer out here, or someone like John John (Florence), a dream scenario for me would be to beat John in the Semifinals then take on Gabby (Medina) in the Final–we’ll see.”
After claiming his third World Title in 2021, Gabriel Medina (BRA) withdrew from the first half of this season but will make his return to the competition here in Indonesia.
His return has been met with a mixture of excitement and fear from his fellow competitors as they are glad to see their friend back on Tour but worry about the damage he can do in the jersey. With wins in left-hand reef breaks in Tahiti, Fiji, and Hawaii, Medina will is pegged as a favorite upon his return to competition in the long left tubes of Grajagan.
Photo: WSL/ Sloane
“It feels good to be back and ready to compete,” Medina said. “To be honest, it felt strange watching everyone compete at the first five events and me not be there; I’ve never experienced that feeling. It’s cool to make my return at this place as well, I’ve only surfed here once but have always heard so much about it so it is going to be an incredible experience to compete here. The waves remind me a lot of Fiji but we are in the jungle. It’s going to be a really incredible week.”
Hennessy Ready to Protect World No. 1 Position While 7x World Champion Gilmore Looks to Launch into Final 5
Current World No. 1 Brisa Hennessy (CRI) comes into the ROXY Pro G-Land as a massive favorite. Cutting her teeth on the left-hand reef passes around Fiji, Hennessy is regarded as having one of the best backhands on the CT and plans to put it to full effect this week in Indonesia. With every result counting for the second half of the season, Hennessy will be looking to continue her consistency and hold on to the top spot ahead of the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
“Although this wave does feel familiar to me, this is my first time here,” Hennessy said. “It’s different from what I was expecting but I have seen what it can produce and am hoping to see some of that during competition. Holding on to the yellow jersey is definitely important at this point, but I think I want to focus more on enjoying this super unique experience of competing at this incredible location.”
Seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) was fortunate to find a Quarterfinal finish at Margaret River and hold on to her position above the Mid-season Cut. With the pressure of that behind her and her place on the CT safe, Gilmore will be hoping to launch into the WSL Final 5 with a solid result here at G-Land.
Photo: WSL/ Sloane
“I come from the Gold Coast and spend a lot of time going right so this location is a big change for me and my strong suit,” Gilmore said. “Obviously the intention is to make the Finals 5 and have that shot at another World Title, and at the moment, I’m a bit behind but I know how quickly things can change with a couple of good results, so I’ll see how I got before getting too stressed. My biggest incentive for making the Cut was to come and surf at this event, so I’m over the moon to be here and be a part of this history.”
Local Wildcard Rio Waida Looks to Continue Form into Homeland Event
Fresh off a win at the recent GWM Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach, Indonesia’s Rio Waida comes into the Quiksilver Pro G-Land with more momentum than most. Currently sitting at No. 2 on the Challenger Series rankings, Waida aims to ultimately end up competing as a full-time competitor on the CT, and this week he has his chance to measure himself against the world’s elite.
“It is amazing to see the world’s best surfers come into Indonesia for this event,” Waida said. “This is a special place for Indonesian surfing and it will be amazing to see the performances here. I have some experience here, but I will need more than that to get a big result with the standard being so high. I’m super confident after my win in Sydney, so I hope to keep that going here in Indonesia.”
Seth Moniz (HAW) withdrew from the competition after suffering an injury in his practice surf. He will be replaced by Yago Dora (BRA), 2023 WSL Wildcard and the injury replacement for the 2022 season.
As part of its We Are One Ocean initiative at the Quiksilver/ROXY Pro G-Land, WSL is joining forces with Quiksilver, ROXY, Corona, and Shiseido, and partnering with local organizations to protect and conserve the global ocean.
By teaming up with SeaTrees, Quiksilver and ROXY are helping to reverse the effects of climate change by restoring damaged coral reef ecosystems in Bali. Quiksilver is supporting Sungai Watch to install 1,000 new pollution barriers, and Corona and Sungai Watch are cleaning up rivers in Indonesia to reduce plastic pollution. WSL and Shiseido are working with the Surf Conservation Partnership to give back to the local community by protecting and restoring the coastline.
ROXY Pro G-Land Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Isabella Nichols (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
HEAT 2: Brisa Hennessey (CRI), Johanne Defay (FRA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Quiksilver Pro G-Land Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 2: Jack Robinson (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA), Jackson Baker (AUS)
HEAT 3: John John Florence (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA), Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Nat Young (USA), Rio Waida (IDN)
HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jake Mashall (USA)
HEAT 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Matthew McGilivray (ZAF)
HEAT 7: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS)
HEAT 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Callum Robson (AUS), Samuel (Pupo BRA)Watch LIVE
Stay tuned to American Surf Magazine for updates.