RAS AL HADD, Aug 14 – Hussain al Harbi claimed the top honours in ‘Sultan of the Groms’ Surf Competition 2018 Desert Invitational, the first ever surfing competition held in Sur on August 11. The event, organised by Oman Surf School’s, Nasser al Ghadani, along with Mohamed Khamis al Alawi of Sur Swimming and Diving Centre, was attended by a crowd of about 100 dignitaries, locals and expatriates, who watched 12 of Oman’s youngest surfers, ages from 7 to 16 years old, invited to battle it out for the crown of ‘Sultan of the Groms’. Most of the surfers came from Ras Al Hadd, but there was a 2-man team brought down by Oman Sail, some Sur residents and Younis from Germany.
Small but clean waves early on Saturday morning were ideal size and conditions for the young surfers to show off their skills in front of the Judging team, made up from the Oman Surfers, Conal from Ireland, Marco from Italy and Gee from the UK.
Starting at 8 am, there were 3 rounds of competition, made up of 4 surfers in each heat, to whittle the competitors down to 4 finalists, the top surfer from each heat along with the best scoring runner up.
Heat 1 saw Husain win easily to book his place in the final, Fahad won heat 2 to join Husain, and they enjoyed a rest while they watched heat 3. The third heat was a close call with the judges split between Abdul Rahman and Khamis for the heat win. Finally it was of little concern as both would make the final as Abdul Rahman won, and Khamis joined the heat winners in the final with the highest runner-up score from all three heats.
The final was a hotly contested 30 minute heat with all 4 surfers trading waves and posting excellent scores all the way through, leading to a very close finish. When the final whistle sounded it was a clean sweep for Ras Al Hadd with Hussain who took the honours, followed by Abdul Rahman al Harbi in second and Khamis al Hakmani in third.
The Ministry of Tourism’s Ali khamis al Alawi was on hand to present the prizes donated by Oman Surf School, Ninja Fotos, Beyond the Beach and Oman Surfers, along with glass trophies from the Ministry of Tourism to the happy finalists.
Along with the surf competition Oman Surfers also organised a beach clean along the Ras Al Hadd beach front the week before.
The local fishermen and expatriate surf crew spent a few hours cleaning the beach around the south end of the village, a popular area for nesting turtles, fishermen and surfer alike, and there was a presentation of commemorative plaques for the local fishermen and surfers for their efforts.
1. Hussain al Harbi – Ras Al Hadd
2. Abdul Rahman al Harbi – Ras Al Hadd
3. Khamis al Hakmani – Ras Al Hadd
Runner up: Fahad al Alawi – Sur