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Nichols & Giles crowned U16 GromSearch champs in Coolum

Isabella Nichols © Whitmore/Surfing Queensland




Rip Curl GromSearch
Presented by Posca

Rip Curl GromSearch Australian Series
Coolum, Queensland, Australia
17 - 20 December, 2013

Isabella Nichols gets a chance to defend her National Title

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 December, 2013 -- The 2013 Rip Curl GromSearch, presented by POSCA moved into its third day of competition at Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast today.

Stiff offshore winds were not enough to stop some of Australia’s best junior surfers from lighting up a bevy of punchy 1.5m waves in the final rounds of the blue-ribbon 16 and Under divisions.

Local girl, Isabella Nichols (Coolum, QLD) has been on a crash course with the final all week and timed her attack perfectly throughout this morning’s semis. In the final, Nichols used her local knowledge in a seesawing battle with fellow finalists, however with a combined-wave total of  17.30, she managed to stop Sophie McCulloch (Alexandra Headland, QLD – 15.64), Laura Poncini (Moffat Beach, QLD – 11.50) and Ren Hashimoto (Tugun, QLD – 5.66).

“It’s so great being able to surf an event like this at home,” said Nichols after the win.

“It just gives you a little more confidence and you know the best waves to catch throughout the different conditions,” she continued. With the win, Nichols will now have the chance to defend her 2012 National Final title.

Jackson Giles © Whitmore/Surfing Queensland


The action continued into the 16 and Under Boys final straight after, and early indications throughout the boys’ semis had fellow Sunshine Coaster, Kai Hing pegged as the front runner. Jackson Giles (Matraville, NSW) however, had other ideas and kept himself busy catching as many waves as possible throughout the heat.

The strategy paid dividends for Giles, when in the last minute of the final, a steep left-hander presented itself in time for him to put together an 8.5 and combined wave total of 16.67 (out of a possible 20 points) and snatch the win from Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW – 13.60), Chris Zaffis (Angourie, NSW – 12.67) and Kai Hing (Wurtulla, QLD).

Despite placing second in the Queensland final, Jackson Baker will join Giles and Nichols in tomorrow’s National Final as a wildcard for finishing the highest ranked surfer in his division at series’ end.

The POSCA wave of the day went to Moffat’s Laura Poncini who tore into several critical carves in the pocket, proving she will also be a hot contender in tomorrow’s National Final after a win at the South Australian instalment of the Rip Curl GromSearch, presented by POSCA.

This year’s National Champion will be decided tomorrow at Coolum and will follow in the footsteps of previous greats and gain an invitation to represent Australia at the International Rip Curl GromSearch finals, to be held early next year in an as yet undisclosed location.

The Rip Curl GromSearch, presented by POSCA will be held at the best waves available along the coastlines between Caloundra and Coolum. Please check event hotline (07) 3030 6388 for updates on location posted early on the morning of the event.

Further information on the series can be found on the 2013 Rip Curl GromSearch microsite.

Ben Whitmore

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