Sandon Point Turns On For Finals At The Rip Curl GromSearch Presented By Flight Centre National Final
SANDON POINT, WOLLONGONG (Wednesday, 17 January 2018): The final day of the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final pres. by Flight Centre shifted north to Sandon Point today, where competitors were greeted with pumping four-to-six foot waves.
After taking out the 14-and-Under Boys GromSearch National Final back in 2016, Finn Hill (Avoca, NSW) showed his prowess had grown exponentially since then, taking out this year's 16-and-Under Boys title. Hill approached Sandon Point with the same prowess he often shows at his local Avoca Point, nailing critical carves and snaps in all heats leading into the final. Hill notched up an impressive 16.33 two-wave heat total in the final to get the nod over Victorian native Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic) who posted a 10.33 total.
After taking out the Phillip Island Pro QS1000 event and the Under-18 Girls Australian Junior Title last year, Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) showed she still possessed the same heat-winning formula, taking out the 16-and-Under Girls GromSearch title. Harrison nailed an array of giant frontside turns in her final heat against multiple GromSearch champ Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca, NSW). Harrison posted a respectable 13.74 heat total to get the victory ahead of Olsson, by a 1.01 margin.
After a close finish in his first round heat that nearly saw him knocked into the repechage round, Mike Clayton-Brown (Corlette, NSW) surfed an excellent heat in the 14-and-Under Boys final nailing an eclectic mix of turns as well as throaty tube rides. Clayton Brown was rewarded with a decent 16.77 heat total as a result of the manoeuvres and was able to get the victory ahead of Archer Curtis (Palm Beach, Qld) who finished in second.
Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) was able to nab her third GromSearch National Title in as many years, taking out the 14-and-Under Girls division. Ryan was able to post a near perfect 9.43 wave score in the final which gave her the upper hand against fellow event standout Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW) who held onto the lead for a large portion of the heat.
After blowing away spectators and judges in the early rounds, Winter Vincent (Manly, NSW) was able to continue his highlight reel performance through the final 12-and-Under Boys heats. Vincent came up against a blistering Matt Boyle (Currumbin, Qld) in the final, which saw both surfers trading off a handful of decent scores. However, Vincent was able to get the edge thanks to posting a 6.93 wave score on his final wave of the heat.
Kiera Buckpitt (Culburra, NSW) showed courage beyond her years as she attacked the solid Sandon Point waves with a combination of gusto and courage. Buckpitt took off on multiple waves that stood well above her head as she posted a 14.7 heat total to claim the win ahead of Mia Huppatz (Jan Juc, Vic) who remained hot on her heels for a giant portion of the final.
All Rip Curl GromSearch events include boys’ and girls’ divisions in 16-and-Under, 14-and-Under, and 12-and-Under age groups. Surfers receive points for their results in each event, which then count towards a National GromSearch ratings system, allowing surfers from around Australia to compare their results with contemporaries. Leaders on the National Ratings will then qualify for the last event of the series, the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final, to be held at Woonoona, NSW on January 15-17, 2018.
The Rip Curl GromSearch series started in 1999 as a one-day event at Jan Juc in Victoria. Since then it has developed into the strongest international series for 16 year and under surfers in the world. With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch series in over 10 countries, it has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of elite junior surfers.
The list of previous GromSearch competitors highlights the elite level of competitors that make up the Rip Curl GromSearch series.
Current WSL World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch include:
Male: Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Nat Young (USA).
Female: Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Aust), Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Aust), Nikki Van Dijk (Aust), Tatiana Weston Webb (Hawaii).
The Rip Curl GromSearch series is presented by Flight Centre with managing partner Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW.
Rip Curl GromSearch 2017/18 Events:
EVENT 1 - Jan Juc, VIC - Sept 23 - 25, 2017
EVENT 2 - Maroubra, NSW - Sept 30 - Oct 3, 2017
EVENT 3 - Trigg / Scarborough WA - Oct 6 - 8, 2017
EVENT 4 - Yorke Peninsula, SA - Nov 4 - 5, 2017
EVENT 5 - Sunshine Coast, QLD - Dec 11 - 15, 2017
National Final – Woonoona, Wollongong, NSW - Jan 15 - 17, 2018
Results and heat totals:
1 – Finn Hill (Avoca, NSW) – 16.33
2 – Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic) – 10.33
1 – Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) – 13.74
2 – Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca, NSW) – 12.73
1 – Mike Clayton-Brown (Corlette, NSW) – 16.77
2 – Archer Curtis (Palm Beach, Qld) – 13.73
1 – Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) – 16.43
2 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW) – 15.6
3 – Ellia Smith (Coolum Beach, Qld) – 8.67
4 – Amelie Bourke (Merewether, NSW) – 5.73
1 – Winter Vincent (Manly, NSW) – 12.5
2 – Matt Boyle (Currumbin Waters, Qld) – 11.24
1 – Keira Buckpitt (Culburra, NSW) – 14.7
2 – Mia Huppatz (Jan Juc, Vic) – 13.6
3 – Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads, NSW) – 11.8
4 – Tyla Hurst (Port Kembla, NSW) – 9.47