Easy victory for Smith and Hodge in Rip Curl Grand Final
Rip Curl Gromsearch Grand Final
Surfing South Africa (SSA) sanctioned event
Bay Of Plenty Beach – Durban, KZN
November 29 & 30, 2003
Easy Victory For Smith and Hodge In Rip Curl Grand Final
Jordan Smith (Dbn) and East London’s Rosanne Hodge surfed exceptionally well throughout the Rip Curl Grand Final to claim victory in the under 16 boys and under 16 girls divisions respectively. The 32 invited junior surfers from around the country made the most of the small, onshore surf at the Bay of Plenty in Durban. The prestigious tournament proved to be a fitting end to the eight Rip Curl Gromsearch events that were held along the country’s coastline with the intention of identifying and developing South Africa’s junior surfing talent.
The Surfing South Africa (SSA) sanctioned event hosted the top 16 invited under 16 boys and top 16 under 16 girls. Both divisions competed in a grueling round robin format designed push them to the limit requiring supreme fitness. Once the boys had been whittled down to the top six they had the opportunity to pit themselves against each other ‘man on man’ following the professional World Championship Tour (WCT) format where they ended up riding in a three-man final.
Recently crowned Under 16 ISA World Champion, Smith, had been tipped to win from the outset and had no problem establishing an early lead in the 20-minute final. Once he had secured two solid scores Smith delighted the judging panel by pulling off risky manoeuvres like a clean frontside aerial 360. Brandon Jackson (Dbn) shone throughout the Rip Curl Grand Final and was responsible for eliminating some out of town favourites; a big aerial boosted him to second place. Event standout Rudy Palmboom (Bluff) did not have the pick of the waves which was aggravated by a long flat spell halfway through the heat. Palmboom still managed to squeeze in some big trademark moves and 360’s but was forced to settle with third.
Hodge stole the show laying claim to the event’s highest scores earning 9 out of possible ten points on Saturday and again in the final today when she went vertical executing powerful turns. Kate Matthews (Dbn) proved to be the biggest threat to Hodge with her graceful surfing style she linked fluid combinations of manoeuvres to earn second place ahead of highly talented East London surfer Nikita Robb. Cape Town’s Linsey Cottrel performed consistently well throughout the tournament riding on her backhand but failed to catch waves with a high scoring potential in the final showdown, as a result she finished fourth overall.
The top two surfers in each division, namely Smith, Jackson, Hodge and Matthews automatically qualify for the Rip Curl Rookie Programme which will take place from 12 to 16 January 2004. The four lucky surfers will get a taste of what it’s like to be a pro surfer with a world class photographer shooting them as they embark on a five day long search for perfect waves accompanied by a top surfer who is yet to be announced. The chosen groms will be treated like super stars and learn about what it takes to be the best in the world.
Rip Curl Grand Final Results:
Under 16 Boys Final
Jordan Smith (Dbn)
Brandon Jackson (Dbn)
Rudy Palmboom (Bluff)
Under 16 Girls Final
Rosanne Hodge (EL)
Kate Matthews (Dbn)
Nikita Robb (EL)
Linsey Cottrel (CT)
Rip Curl South Africa
Groms - Surfersvillage