Rip Curl GromSearch
Boys and girls competitors revelled in clean and consistent early morning conditions
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 October, 2017 - Junior surfers from all corners of Australia converged on Trigg Beach, WA today for the third event of the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre.
Boys and girls revelled in clean and consistent early morning conditions on offer along Perth’s metropolitan beaches, tearing into perfectly groomed 1-2 foot peaks during the exciting non-elimination round one heats.
It was the youngest competitors of the event that shone on day one, proving the future of surfing in Australia is in safe hands, with dynamic performances from both boys and girls in the 14 & under and 12 & under divisions.
For many, the Rip Curl GromSearch saw them compete for the first time under a priority system, which allowed the young athletes to gain valuable experience with the same system used across all elite surfing events.
Local WA surfers who impressed in round one included Jack Mickle (Trigg Beach), Dexter Payenberg (Palmyra), Zali Hewson (Margaret River) and Isi Campbell (Denmark).
Conditions changed as round two heats hit the water, and the surfers who could best adapt quickly proved to be the ones to beat. A strong field of interstate competitors rose to the occasion as the wind begun to affect conditions at Trigg Beach.
Logan Steinwede (Wagstaff, NSW), Emmerson Raper (North Narrabeen, NSW), Benny Wilson (Narrabeen, NSW), Max Burton (St Andrews Beach, VIC), and Jack Ragen (Bateau Bay, NSW), all showed some silky skills in the changing conditions, finding the best waves on offer throughout the afternoon and scoring highly in the process.
However it was Ethan Huxtable (Torquay, VIC) who wowed the crowd with his strong forehand and backhand repertoire of manoeuvres. Huxtable scored a combined total of 14.24 (from a possible 20), which included two seven point plus rides.
“This is my second time to WA, but this is my first time surfing at Trigg Beach,” said Huxtable. “It’s a bit different to the waves back home, but I’m really enjoying my time competing in the GromSearch events, they’re the best.”
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW), proved WA is a happy hunting ground for her, going on a scoring spree and posting the highest combined total of the day, 15.06 (from a possible 20).
“We’ve come to WA a few times and last time we were here I won the GromSearch,” said Leigh-Jones. “I just tried to find the best open face waves out there and finish my turns.”
A southerly change is forecast to bring more swell to Trigg Beach overnight, with the blue-ribbon 16 & under divisions set to kick off heats tomorrow from 8am.
“We made the most of the conditions on offer and pushed through a big first day,” said Surfing WA Events Manger Justin Majeks. “Tomorrow’s forecast is looking pretty testing, so in the best interest of our younger surfers we ran through a few rounds today.”
The Australian Rip Curl Gromsearch series allows surfers from around the country to compete against their contemporaries in a fun and engaging environment. Each result in the five-event series is awarded points that count towards a surfer’s GromSearch National rating, giving participants across the country the opportunity to compare their performances against their peers.
With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch Series in over 10 countries, it has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of junior surfers. 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 GromSearch International Final Champions.
The 2017 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre will be streaming live scores and results for people to follow their young grommets performances.