The 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch National Final has wrapped up with an action-packed three days of surfing in tricky conditions across the Northern Illawarra.
Scarborough Boardriders was well-represented with Austinmer’s Finley McLaren through to the semi finals of the 16 and Under boys, finishing equal third overall with Western Australia’s Finn Cox taking the GromSearch National Final trophy, with the competition held at Woonona, Sandon Point and Stanwell Park.
Cox remained busy in the heat with northern beaches surfer Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) catching a giant 12 waves to Thomson’s two, however, the tactic paid off for the West Australian as he mustered up an impressive 13.27 two-wave heat total to gain the upper hand and take the win.
Mannix Greentree-Squiers also put in a great performance in the Under 12s at the championships, but was pipped at the post and eliminated in the quarters.
Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW) claimed her second title, taking out the 16-and-Under Girls. Molly took victory over Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW).
Lennix Smith (Barrack Heights, NSW) took the lone local title for the Illawarra surfing contingent, taking out the 14 Boys division. Smith went toe-to-toe with Matt Boyle in the exciting affair but was able to snatch the win by a 1.07 margin.
In an exciting battle between two interstate surfers, Jazz Wylie (Jan Juc, Vic) and Lilliana Bowrey (Tewantin, Qld) managed to find a handful of diamonds in the rough in the 14 Girls division. Both surfers picked the eyes out of the little peaks on offer, however Wylie was able to take the win by a tiny 0.96 margin ahead of Bowrey.
Chez Bos (Burleigh, Qld) surfed well beyond his years in the 12 Boys division, executing a handful of decent forehand snaps and carves to get the win ahead of Yuma Nagasawa (Japan). With both surfers having notched up scores in the six and seven-point range, Bos was able to get the edge thanks to a higher backup score that allowed him to take the victory over the Japanese surfer by less than half a point.
Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) showed that she would potentially be a future threat in the years to come, taking out the 12 Girls final. Hardy performed a handful of impressive forehand snaps in the heat to get the victory with a 12.33 two-wave heat total ahead of Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads, NSW).
The main base for the National Final of the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre was Woonona and Sandon Point with backup locations of Bellambi, Port Kembla, Stanwell Park and Thirroul.
With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch Series in over 10 countries, the series has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of junior surfers right across the globe.
The list of previous GromSearch winners illustrates the prestigious history of the series, with World Surf League (WSL) competitors Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Tyler Wright (Australia), Owen Wright (Australia), Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Kolohe Andino (USA) and Sally Fitz gibbons (Australia) among the list of former competitors and Grom Search International Final Champions.
The Australian series is made up of five events as well as a National final. Participants for the National final are determined from the GromSearch ratings, counting a surfers best 2 results across the series. In 2018 the winner of each division in each respective event of the series will be guaranteed entry into the National final, their seed in the National final will be determined by their best 2 results total on the 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch Rankings.
1 – Finn Cox (Gnarabup, WA)
2 – Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW)
1 – Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW)
2 – Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW)
1 – Lennix Smith (Barrack Point, NSW)
2 – Matt Boyle (Palm Beach, Qld)
1 – Jazz Wylie (Jan Juc, Vic)
2 – Liliana Bowery (Tewantin, Qld)
1 – Chez Bos (Burleigh, Qld)
2 – Yuma Nagasawa (Japan)
1 – Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA)
2 – Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads, NSW)