Indo rising star a Palmy boy
PALM Beach-based Indonesia pro surfer and PBC student Oney Anwar is on a world title mission. The 19-year-old from Lakey Peak, Sumbawa, is a success story that can only get bigger.
Mark and Jenny McDougal witnessed his potential as a grommet and agreed to sponsor Oney as his adopted Australian parents about five years ago.
"They are the happiest and friendliest family and I'm so stoked to live with them. They have helped me with my surfing and I treat them like my pretend parents," said the respectful Oney who, with the McDougal's help, enrolled at PBC (Palm Beach Currumbin) High School and is now in Year12.
"School in Sumbawa has no comparison to what school is like here. For example, I have been part of the PBC surfing sport excellence, and training program. And also I had to go school every day in Australia," said Oney. Oney started surfing at Lakey Peak when he was seven. It didn't take long for the natural footer to develop into one of Indonesia's most promising surfers.
He has risen through the ranks of the Australian Pro Juniors and created history as the first Indonesian surfer to win an Australian Pro Junior in 2010 when he took out the Dripping Wet Pro Junior at South Curl Curl, Sydney. He won $3000 and sent it back to his Sumbawa family to buy a house.
Oney gave the 2012 Queensland Championship Circuit a serious run, finishing in the top four, but his biggest result was the 2012 Billabong Pro in Japan, a four-star open World Qualifier where he was runner-up to Hawaii's Ezekiel Lau.
Oney's next challenge will be to make the cut in the Indo trials for the ASP Oakley World Junior title at Keramas, Bali next month. Only first and second qualify for the main event, and should Oney go all the way, he will create history as the first Indonesian surfer to win a World Surfing title.
According to Indonesian Surfing Championship media liaison Tim Hains reckons Oney has what it takes. "I've known Oney since he was sponsored by Rip Curl...back when he was a wee little grom, and it's been great to see him really apply himself and become arguably Indo's best hope for a WCT surfer!" said Tim.
"I guess the trials are going to be on the 5th of October...and I'm guessing there will be about 20 Indo lads competing for those two spots. My money is on Oney for sure!"
Oney is a humble sportsman and when asked if he could pull off the big one he answered modestly, "I hopefully will get the chance to go in the main event.
"All I can do is my best and would be great to win in my country!"
Oney takes off for Bali on September 18 and will have time to catch up with his family and friends and then practise for the world title trials.
"When I finish year 12 this year, my goal is to try for my permanent resident so I can travel around the world to do WSQ and hopefully I can qualify to the World tour!" he said.
His favourite surfers are Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson and Dane Reynolds.
His sponsors are Rip Curl, Reef, Scull Candy, Dragon eyewear, future fins, moscova underwear, and banana wax.
His favourite surf breaks are (naturally) Lakey Peak and in Australia, "Palm Beach because not many people out there are hassling for a waves.
"But Snapper Rocks is my favourite waves in Australia."