Rip Curl Search Sessions groms go ballistic at Ulladulla
Rip Curl Search Sessions
Rennie’s Beach, Ulladulla, NSW.
8 March 2003
Grommets go ballistic at Ulladulla
Rip Curl Search Sessions event three hit light speed today under sunny at Rennie’s Beach, Ulladulla. Greeted by epic 1-1.5 meter offshore conditions. Sixty plus junior competitors from the Ulladulla / South coast region were all smiles as they surveyed the totally ripable right and left peaks that were breaking consistently across the well formed sandbank at Rennie’s beach.
With a beautiful lightshow at dawn and warm 22 degree water temperatures there was a real summer holiday feel on the beach and with several families having children in all divisions there was ample support on land for the South Coast’s junior stars.
Things hit the red-line right from heat one and it became clear that the kids down south were appreciative of the innovative judging format perfectly suited to the high performance waves that were pouring through. As the day progressed and the wind changed direction slightly nearly every wave had a perfect ramp suited to modern high performance aerial surfing.
Contest site : photo Rip Curl
Mick Coglin raised the judges eyebrows with his smooth, powerful rail-to-rail transitions and plenty of his fellow competitors got a solid wetting down from Coglins spray. Michael Hopkins racked up plenty of airtime with some big boosts and narrowly missed completion on some giant punts. Todd Crumb also put on a display of precision surfing in front of the judges in the early rounds.
Dean Bowen showed why he is considered a strong talent and along with Sam Wrench was putting it all on the line in early heats. Both the kids will be names to watch out for next time the Rip Curl Search Sessions is in town.
After many hours of machine like conditions it became clear in the 16 and under division a pack had broken away from the rest of the field and were all a chance at the winners spot. Culburra’s Owen Wright showed maturity well beyond his 13 years stringing together several high scoring manoeuvres on each of his first two waves and looked set to storm his way to victory until the tenth minute when Ulladulla’s stocky fireplug Tim Wrench showed why he is considered one of the country’s best juniors. Wrench was clearly moving faster and hitting the lip harder than anyone at this stage, boosting up, over and around the many sections on offer. It wasn’t all Wrench’s way though and after sizzling form in the semi final Avoca’s Matt Wilkinson hit the gas on his trademark channel bottom speed turns to go within a hairs breath of stopping Wrench, who took the title ahead of him, Wright and stylish Ulladulla local Tim Taplin.
Tim Wrench : photo Rip Curl
In the 20 and under division Tim Wrench struggled to repeat his winning performance from the previous final and despite a big effort had to be happy with fourth. Michael Hopkins picked up third with plenty of strong moves in and around the lip. Wrench and Hopkins were always going to be battling it out for the lower places though as Culburra’s Luke Cheadle and Brent Power from Ulladulla went at it "hammer-and-tongs". The conditions changed during the 15 minute final and as a stiff southerly came busting up the coast the glassy walls were transformed into broken messy peaks limiting the surfers to single manoeuvres. Cheadle was rock solid and put forward a display of power surfing that the South Coast is renowned for, driving hard off the bottom and carving big hooks off the top. This wasn’t enough to stop the eventual winner Brent Power though. Power had been "In-the-zone" all day landing high difficulty stuff such as "Air reverse" manoeuvres on both his forehand and backhand. Brent kept the pressure up and continued on to be a clear winner at the finals end.
In the 20 and under girls final held earlier in smooth conditions Jessie Wilson and Elkie Jones finished third and fourth respectively while another of the surfing Wrenches, Carly took on Sophie Curtis. Curtis got the best of this encounter and showed a clear head linking several solid moves together on her way to first place.
A hurried presentation took place ahead of an impending hailstorm courtesy of the southerly change and there were plenty of happy juniors walking of the beach by five PM.
girls podium : photo Rip Curl
Rip Curl Search Sessions now heads to Gunnamatta beach on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for event four of the six event series that culminates in a national final to be held during the Rip Curl Pro WCT event at Bells Beach April 14-26.
20 AND UNDER BOYS
1) Brent Power
2) Luke Cheadle
3) Micheal Hopkins
4) Tim Wrench
20 AND UNDER GIRLS
1) Sophie Curtis
2) Carly Wrench
3) Elkie Jones
4) Jessie Wilson
16 AND UNDER BOYS
1) Tim Wrench
2) Matt Wilkinson
3) Owen Wright
4) Tim Taplin
Seach Sessions News
Groms-Contests - Surfersvillage