Rip Curl GromSearch National Final
Surfing New South Wales
Narrabeen, New South Wales Australia
12 - 16 January 2015
Interstate competitors dominate the finals
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 January, 2015 - North Narrabeen, Sydney - The Mick Fanning Rip Curl GromSearch National Final crowned six new champions across three divisions as the prestigious event wrapped up in near perfect three-foot waves today.
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW) ensured a National GromSearch title remained on the Northern Beaches, claiming the 12-and-under Girls division. The talented natural-footer notched up a 15.9 heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to sneak in front of Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, Qld), Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) and Sage Goldsbury (Phillip Island, Vic).
Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic) made his journey north worthwhile taking out the 12-and-under Boys division. The lightening fast natural-footer surfed well beyond his years, smashing out a variety of massive backhand snaps. As a result, the Victorian surfer posted an impressive heat total of 18.07, which left runner-up Finn Hill (Avoca, NSW) chasing a solid combination of scores to take away Huxtable’s lead.
Piper Harrison (Mt Eliza, Vic) and Bodhi Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW) went neck-and-neck for victory in the 14-and-under Girls division with both surfers posting scores in the seven and eight point range. However, thanks to some beautiful backhand turns from Harrison, she was able to scratch ahead of Leigh-Jones and claim the victory by a mere 0.4 points.
Luke Glover’s (Coolum Beach, Qld) deadly backhand attack proved to be his weapon of choice in the 14-and-under Boys division. The Queensland natural-footer threw down a multitude of giant technical backhand turns to post a heat total of 16.5. Tane Bowden (Jan Juc, Vic) showed moments of brilliance in the final, but unfortunately failed to register the score required to claim the win.
Jaleesa Vincent (Coolum, Qld) continued to amaze the crowd over the course of her 16-and under final, locking in a series of excellent scores, including a near-perfect 8.93 ride (out of a possible ten points). The Queensland goofyfooter also successfully netted herself a 16.93 heat total to take the win ahead of Billie Melinz (Coalcliff, NSW), who claimed second place.
Kael Walsh (Yallingup, WA) will be taking his Rip Curl GromSearch National Title back to Western Australia, after claiming the 16-and-under Boys division. The recent Australian Junior Titles contender posted a near perfect 9.00 ride, as well as an 8.67 to leave his fellow finalist, Darcy Crump (Avalon, NSW) chasing an elusive 7.91 wave score, which unfortunately never came to fruition.
Both Kael Walsh and Jaleesa Vincent will go on to represent Australia in the International Rip Curl GromSearch final to be held later in the year. Three-time World Surf League (WSL) World Champion Mick Fanning presented all finalists with their Rip Curl GromSearch trophies and prizes.
Current WSL World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch finals include: Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Owen Wright (Australia), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia). Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Laura Enever (Australia) and Alana Blanchard (Hawaii).
Throughout the 2014 GromSearch series, surfers were working towards securing a spot in the National Final with a surfer’s best two event results counting towards their final 2014 GromSearch ratings.
The new look National Final allowed all GromSearch divisions to vie for the title with the top 10 rated surfers in the Boys 16 and under (16’s), 14’s and 12’s divisions, as well as the Girls 16’s division all qualifying for the National Final, along with two wildcards in each.
They were joined by the top six rated girls in the 14’s and 12’s divisions. The 16-and-under division champions will now go on to represent Australia at the International Rip Curl GromSearch final to be held in 2015. The champions of the 14’s division are invited to an elite training camp run by Mick Fanning in early February.
The 2014 Rip Curl GromSearch series was presented by POSCA (Mitsubishi Pencil Australia), with managing partner Surfing Australia and associate partners FireWire surfboards, Shapers Fins and ASL magazine.
1 – Kael Walsh (Yallingup, WA)
2 – Darcy Crump (Avalon, NSW)
1 – Jaleesa Vincent (Coolum Beach, Qld)
2 – Billie Melinz (Coalcliff, NSW)
1 – Luke Glover (Caloundra, Qld)
2 – Tane Bowden (Jan Juc, Vic)
1 – Piper Harrison (Mt. Eliza, Vic)
2 – Bodhi Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW)
1 – Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic)
2 – Finn Hill (Avoca, NSW)
1 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW)
2 – Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, Qld)
3 – Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA)
4 – Sage Goldsbury (Phillip Island, Vic)
2014 RIP CURL GROMSEARCH SERIES
EVENT 1 - Jan Juc, VIC - September 20-22, 2014 (note - 16 girls division scheduled for Sep 22)
EVENT 2 - Cronulla, NSW - October 2-5, 2014
EVENT 3 - Trigg Point, WA - October 10-12, 2014
EVENT 4 - Yorkes Peninsula, SA - November 15-16, 2014
EVENT 5 - Sunshine Coast, QLD - December 15 -19, 2014
National Final - North Narrabeen, NSW - January 12 -14, 2015