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Gromsearch champs crowned at Jenette's Pier

Champs crowned for 4th stop of Rip Curl GromSearch
Winners Image courtesy of Rip Curl



Rip Curl GromSearch

Rip Curl GromSearch Series
Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, North Carolina
15 August, 2014

Juniors compete to qualify for Nationals held at Trestles 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 August, 2014 - The fourth regional stop of the 2014 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by mophie has wrapped up its season at Jenette’s Pier, Nags Head, NC. The final stop of the qualifying series found itself once again with a stacked field of 82 contestants.

A handful of California’s top juniors made flights east for a last chance to qualify for a coveted spot at the RCGS National Final set to be held at Upper Trestles on October 25th. Competitors duked it out on the North Side of Jennette’s pier as a fading 1-2 foot swell offered minimal, but contestable waves for the East Coast’s top talent. Beautiful sunny skies with calm off shore winds prevailed throughout the day, as a packed beach of groms, families, and spectators crowded the event site to get a piece of the action. 

The boys 16 & under showcased sensational small wave surfing, as two of California’s best, battled against the highest seeded East Coaster, and #1 Barbados competitor. The lightning quick surfing of Kei Kobayashi reined supreme as Kobayashi got extremely busy catching all allotted 12 waves. Kobayashi wowed the judges and finished with two excellent scores. 

“It was a long way to travel, but it was well worth it. I was really tired, but I had such a fun time. I cannot wait to come back again next year,” Kobayashi exerted, “I’m really stoked to take my first GromSearch win. I love competing in these events because all the best kids enter and it gets big coverage!”

Coming up in second place, as well as taking home the mophie Maneuver of the event for landing the only aerial of the day, was Florida’s, Luke Marks. Third place went to Bajan, Josh Burke, and rounding out the final was California’s, Jake Marshall. 


Luke Marks © Rip Curl


The girls 16 & under final was dominated by Caroline Marks. Marks used her vicious backhand snap to put the victory well out of reach from her competitors. Coming in second was Sophie Falzone, third place went to former winner, Emory McClary, and the fourth former finalist, Jessica Wallace. 

GromSearch poster boy, Luke Gordon, was poised to defend his 2013/14 & under OBX title, and with a focused game plan he was able to do just that. Gordon took the win over close South Carolina friend, Micha Cantor, who was the day’s only double finalist.  Taking third was Che Allan of Barbados, and fourth was last year’s 12/U champ, Bo Raynor. 

There was something goofy about the boys 12 & under, as all four finalists surfed with their right foot forward. In the end Micha Cantor took the goofy foot battle, second place went to Californian, Sebastian ‘Bash’ Mendes, third place went to Californian, Nick Marshall, and fourth place to Florida’s Kaleb Kirshenbaum.

With four qualifying events in the books, and 64 national invitations on offer, Rip Curl is excited for this year’s National Final October 25th, Upper Trestles, San Clemente. With 20 minute - four man heats, and a live webcast to top it off, the National final will be reminiscent of an ASP WQS event. 

Rip Curl would love to thank the Nags Head locals for offering their venue once again for our event. Rip Curl would also like to thank our official sponsors: mophie, Smith Optics, Kicker Audio, Futures Fins, Surface Sun Systems, Hubert’s Lemonade, Banzai Bowls, Famous Surf, Flexfit, DHD Surfboards, Boardstix, and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. 

Make sure to check out & for post event coverage as well as Surfline’s Facebook page to vote for the #SurflineMoment of the GromSearch.

For media inquiries, or any additional information on the Rip Curl GromSearch, please contact Rip Curl Team & Promotions Manager Matt Myers:


Boys 16 & Under
1. Kei Kobayashi ($250)
2. Luke Marks
3. Josh Burke
4. Jake Marshall

Girls 16 & Under
1. Caroline Marks ($250)
2. Sophie Falzone
3. Emory McClary
4. Jessica Wallace

Boys 14 & Under 
1. Luke Gordon ($250)
2. Micha Cantor
3. Che Allan
4. Bo Raynor

Boys 12 & Under
1 Micah Cantor ($25)
2. Sebastian Mendes
3. Nick Marshall
4. Kaleb Kirshenbaum

Robin Senour

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