Wednesday 16th December 2020, Sunshine Coast: The world-renowned Rip Curl GromSearch series has come to a close today at Coolum Beach and six individual champions have been crowned in pumping 3-5 foot conditions.
The competition site relocated today from Alexandra Headland to Coolum Beach to take advantage of excellent beach break conditions.
The first final of the day featured the 12 & under girls division which was taken out by rising star Stella Green (Buddina). Stella scored a 13.83 total heat score out of a possible 20 with stand out scores in all three of her surfs today. “I’m so happy to get the win and even more stoked to be going down to URBNSURF. It will be my first time at a wavepool”.
The 12 & under boys final was a tightly contested battle with 0.43 points separating 1st to 4th place. Mitchell Peterson (Noosa Heads) took out the victory, capping off a terrific few days for the young gun, after he also won the Woolworths Groms Comp on Sunday. “It has always been my goal to win a Rip Curl GromSearch and I’m so stoked to finally do it!”.
The 14 & under girls final saw a close contest between Jordy Halford (Currumbin) and Jahly Stokes (Buddina), but a late wave for Jahly scored a 5.53 which was enough for her to secure the victory. “I’m super stoked to get the win today, Jordy was surfing great and pushed me all the way”.
The 14 & under boys division final again proved to be a very close encounter as Rico Haybittle (Burleigh Heads) was able to get the win scoring a total heat score of 12.93, just eclipsing Landen Smales (Peregian Beach) who scored 12.30. “My game plan was to sit out the back and catch the first big one, I’m stoked that it paid off for me”, Haybittle said.
The 16 & under divisions had their final heats extended from 20 minutes to 25 minutes as the tide drained out, allowing surfers to link waves from out the back all the way through to the shorey.
Lilliana Bowrey (Noosa Heads) was able to capitalise on the extended time and earn the victory. Lilliana scored two late waves, the first of them registering an 8 out of a possible 10 giving her a total heat score of 13.03. “The competition is unreal, I was so nervous because all the girls have been surfing so amazing, I’m super happy to get the win and to be heading to the national final!”, said Bowrey.
Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta) continued his amazing surfing this week by taking out the 16 & under boys Final. Harrison registered 7 waves on the score sheet and posted an impressive 15.06 total heat score. “It has been such a great couple of days surfing with all the groms and all my mates. This is my last event as a junior so I’m super stoked to get the win at such a great event, thanks so much Rip Curl!”.
All top three placings of today’s finals have booked themselves a spot at the Rip Curl GromSearch finale held at URBNSURF Melbourne, in March 2021. There will also be wildcard placings in each division, which will be selected by Rip Curl in the coming weeks.
A full list of today’s results and finals day match up can be found here.
Under 16 Boys Division:
1st – Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta)
2nd – Tim Bain (Sunshine Beach)
3rd – Matt Boyle (Currumbin)
4th – Luke Brumby (Alexandra Headland)
Under 16 Girls Division:
1st – Lilliana Bowrey (Noosa Heads)
2nd – Coco Cairns (Tewantin)
3rd – Charlotte Mully (Burleigh Heads)
4th – Tayla Green (Buddina)
Under 14 Boys Division:
1st – Rico Haybittle (Burleigh Heads)
2nd – Landen Smales (Peregian Beach)
3rd – Tom Whitpaine (Burleigh Heads)
4th – Ashton Pignat (Coolum)
Under 14 Girls Division:
1st – Jahly Stokes (Buddina)
2nd – Jordy Halford (Currumbin)
3rd – Riley Du preez (Currumbin)
4th – Jorja Foster (Pacific Paradise)
Under 12 Boys Division:
1st – Mitchell Peterson (Noosa Heads)
2nd – Hunter Andersson (Moffat Beach)
3rd – Caden Francis (Palm Beach)
4th- Darcy Dwyer (Sunshine Beach)
Under 12 Girls Division:
1st – Stella Green (Buddina)
2nd – Oli Taylor (Peregian Beach)
3rd – Mila Du Preez (Currumbin)
4th – Laney Stokes (Buddina)
Rip Curl GromSearch Specialty Awards:
Girl – Laney Stokes (Buddina)
Boy – Chez Bos (Burleigh Heads)
Girl – Mila Du Preez (Currumbin)
Boy – Dane Henry (Coolangatta)
This is the last of three qualifying events before the finals held at URBNSURF in Melbourne, Victoria in March 2021 with the top three surfers in each division guaranteed a spot in the national final.
About the Rip Curl GromSearch:
The GromSearch series provides the opportunity for groms to surf with their friends whilst developing their competitive skills. As participants progress through to the finals they gain valuable experience competing against elite level talent.
The impressive list of previous GromSearch competitors that are currently on the WSL world tour is testament to the quality of the series.
Current WSL World Tour athletes that were GromSearch finalists include;
Tyler Wright*, Steph Gilmore*, Carissa Moore*, Sally Fitgibbons, Malia Manuel, Nikki Van Dijk, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Bronte McCaulay, Caroline Marks, Macy Callaghan, Brisa Hennessy, Isabella Nichols & Bethany Hamilton. (*note: GromSearch competitors have won the last 13 WSL women’s World Titles) (12 of 18 athletes).
Current Men’s WSL World Tour athletes that were GromSearch finalists include;
Gabriel Medina*, Owen Wright, Italo Ferreira*, Jordy Smith*, Kolohe Andino*, Filipe Toledo*, Kanoa Igarashi*, Wade Carmichael, Ryan Callinan, Leonardo Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary, Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto & Morgan Cibilic.
(*Note: the top 6 surfers of the final 2019 WSL World Tour rankings are all former GromSearch finalists). 20 of 34 total.