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Alex Smith/Malia Manuel win Rip Curl GromSearch finals


Rip Curl Grom Search
Presented by Boost Mobile

Salt Creek, California
3 November 2007

Live Coverage  |  Results/Photos/Videos etc


Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 November, 2007 : - - Costa Mesa, Ca -- A live webcast bringing the nation’s 64 hottest talents to the world, a hefty purse of prize money for each division, 2 free trips to Bells Beach, Australia on the line, a free Boost Mobile phone, a panel of esteemed ASP judges, one massage therapist, and shoulder-to-head high skatepark conditions at Salt Creek, CA: it was GAME ON at the 2007 Rip Curl GromSearch National Final presented by Boost Mobile.

Junior rising stars from all corners of the country made the sleepy, early morning trot down the Salt Creek hill only to be greeted to a shoulder-to-head combo swell, providing the ultimate platform for the top qualifying GromSearch warriors to showcase their battle tactics. And, what took place thereafter was nothing less of historic.

With the first live webcast in GromSearch history, the world was a witness to a Hawaiian domination. Boasting 12 of 16 finalists, and 4 of 4 eventual winners, the Aloha State stood up, represented, and sent a clear message that the talent pool more than runs deep in the Islands.

Kauai native, Alex Smith, had a dilemma on his hands prior to the G-Search Nationals. After doing some damage in the XCEL Pro 4-star @ Sunset Beach, HI, the buttery smooth regular foot had to make the choice: risk missing his next heat at Sunset or hop on a red-eye to Cali for the GromSearch.

3000 miles and an impressive couple of heat wins later, Smith found himself in the final of the Boys 16/under. With an all-expenses paid trip to Bells Beach for the International GromSearch Final as motivation, Smith came out of the gates leaving no room for disappointment. An 8.33 and an 8.5 within the first 5 minutes of the heat: field combo’d, game over.

“It was so worth it,” smiled A. Smith, who eventually ended up missing his heat. “This means a lot to me, and the QS will always be there. Can’t wait to go to Bells!”

Fellow Kauai flag-waver, Malia Manuel, has a clear knack for dramatics. After opening up her account with a high 7, the supertalent failed to find a second score of any significance throughout the 20-minute final. Meanwhile, Rincon thoroughbred Demi Boesterli notched up a couple high 5’s to climb into the lead.

With a mere 30 seconds left, Manuel pulled the ultimate ‘M.J. Buzzer Beater’ scratching into a last second wall in which she demolished. Score: 9.0, field combo’d, game over. Manuel will be joining Smith in Bells this March, as the International GromSearch Final is set to be run in conjunction with one of the biggest stages in all of professional surfing: The Rip Curl Pro WCT.

In the Boys 14/under, Koa Smith, backed up his rockstar status with action. Already revered as one of the liveliest and most unique kids on land, he sent a warning flare out that his talent is undeniable in the ocean as well. Surfing a division up, Koa played this final like a chess match.

Selecting only the finest USDA cut waves that Creek was offering, Koa put on a clinic of Tommy Carroll-inspired rail gouges, Ry Craike-emulating fin whips, coupled with a little Bobby Martinez-esque flow. The result was a close victory over future superstar, and this year’s Mike Morgan Sportsmanship Award Winner, Keanu Asing.

Finally, FBI agent, Kealamakai Naihe took the GromSearch Nationals as an opportunity to prove a point. After being crowned the NSSA Open Boys National Champion this summer over a stacked, more media exposed field, the explosive regularfoot went into this year’s GromSearch Nationals to show that his NSSA title is no fluke.

With Koa taking the lead early on, Naihe quietly climbed his way back into the heat, notching a solid 8. With just moments remaining, Naihe found another long left and straight up took care of business to notch another National Title to his name, $500 cash money, and bragging rights for the Big Island.

Stay tuned to as Alex Smith and Malia Manuel will now pursue their first respective international titles at the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final this March at the Rip Curl Pro WCT. For any and all media/competition inquiries, please contact Rip Curl Sports Marketing Director, Dylan Slater:

2007 Rip Curl GromSearch Sponsors: Boost Mobile, Unbound Energy, Arnette, Surfing Magazine, Surfline, Surf One Skateboards, Wahoos, Sticky Bumps, ADD Marketing.


Boys 16/under:
1.Alex Smith
2.Dylan Goodale
3.Michael Dunphy
4.Oliver Kurtz

Girls 16/under:
1.Malia Manuel
2.Demi Boesterli
3.Gabrielle Cope
4.Nage Melamed

Boys 14/under:
1.Koa Smith
2.Keanu Asing
3.Ezekiel Lau
4.Dale Timm

Boys 12/under:
1.Kealamakai Naihe
2.Koa Smith
3.Luke Hitchcock
4.Ian Gentil

Mike Moragan Sportsman Ship Award:
Keanu Asing

Previous reports:
# 1 : Rip Curl Grom Search final to be webcast live Saturday

# 2 : Rip Curl GromSearch national final ready for Salt Creek

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