Weston-Webb and Fioravanti Crowned Rip Curl International GromSearch Champions
Tatiana Weston-Webb of Hawaii and Leonardo Fioravanti from Italy have been crowned the Rip Curl International GromSearch champions for 2013.
In wind affected two to three foot surf from Rincon to the Bells Bowl, Weston-Webb successfully defended her 2012 title, and became the first surfer in International GromSearch series history to go back-to-back.
With the highest wave score of the event (9.33) logged in the semi final, Weston-Webb continued on to post the highest combined total of 17.26 in the final, to take down her opponents.
Isabella Nichols from Coolum posted 13.96 to become event runner-up. Kim Veteau of France surfed her way to third with a 12.26, and in fourth place was local surfer Zoe Clarke of Jan Juc on a 10.66.
"It's amazing, I'm so beat right now. I tried my hardest, I just wanted to get that last wave, I'm so happy," Weston-Webb said.
A broken leash could not distract Weston-Webb from her International GromSearch campaign.
"I love Bells, it's a right-hander just like Hanalei, I just tried my hardest and I did it."
Fioravanti kept his opponents on their toes taking the lead early with a 6.50 followed closely with an 8.77.
His combined total of 15.27 was too good to beat, although Australians Jackson Baker and Jacob Willcox, along with Lucas Silveria from Brazil kept the pressure on for the remainder of the final.
Less than a point came between the Italian and eventual runner-up Baker (14.24), followed by Willcox on 14.04 in third, and Silveria took fourth place with a score of 13.00.
"It feels really good. It was super fun. I got a high score, and I won it, I'm stoked," Fioravanti said.
"The best in the world have won it, Gabriel has won it. If I keep working hard, hopefully I can make it (on the tour). I love Bells Beach, it's a great event, and Jackson, Jacob and Lucas all surfed really well. Thanks to my sponsors, my family, thanks to everyone, I love you guys!"
The Rip Curl GromSearch is an international series that sees over 2,000 junior surfers (16 years and under) compete to represent their country at the International final as part of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach each year.
It all started as a one day event at Jan Juc beach (Torquay, Australia) back in 1999 and is now in its 15th year.
It has expanded from that small event to into an International series held in key surfing regions around the globe including the USA, Brazil, Europe, Indonesia, South Africa, South America and New Zealand.
Many current surfing champions began their competitive careers in the Rip Curl GromSearch series including Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Owen Wright (NSW), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Kolohe Andino (USA), Matt Wilkinson (NSW), Steph Gilmore (NSW), Sally Fitzgibbons (NSW), Tyler Wright (NSW), Malia Manuel (Hawaii), Laura Enever (NSW) and Alana Blanchard (Hawaii).