For Immediate Release
Nags Head, NC (August 22nd, 2016): The 2016 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Banzai Bowls regional qualifying season has come to an end, as the fourth and final stop wrapped up over the weekend at Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, NC. With contestable conditions being a major concern, a surprising waist-to-chest high swell greeted competitors with glassy conditions all day long as clean peaks were offered on a legit Outer Banks sand bar.
The event drew some of the top juniors from across North America, with this event being the last chance to earn a top four finish and a qualifying spot at the GromSearch National Final in October. Competitors ventured from Panama, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, and even drove as far as 14+ hours from Rhode Island to get a piece of the action. The stakes were high for the Boys and Girls 16/U division, vying to secure a spot on the National Final competitors list, which would provide the opportunity to compete for a ticket to the prestigious GromSearch International Final in 2017, it’s clear why the field was so stacked.
Starting off with the Boys 16/U, four Californians were matched up with two of the hottest East Coast talents out of the Carolinas’. Being the final heat of the day and an incoming high tide, the boys found it difficult to find any waves of high scoring quality. Up until Elijah Fox found himself in the perfect position for the wave of the heat. Fox went to town on his backhand nailing four maneuvers to secure an 8.5, $250 cash, and the event title.
“The waves were pretty close to flat the entire week leading up to the event, and the only time we could surf was at peak low tide. However, on the contest day the waves were bigger than we thought and actually super fun, with great conditions,” Fox stated, “My DHD epoxy was working really well in those small conditions, and I’m so stoked to finally win a GromSearch again after a few years of average results. Everyone in the contest was ripping and I’m just happy to surf well against some of the best guys.”
Second through sixth place in the final went to Sean Woods, Sebastian Mendes, Luke Gordon, Crosby Colapinto, and Bo Raynor.
Speaking of Sean Woods, the grom who was the only competitor to successfully land an aerial maneuver during the entire competition, walked home with 150 two-dollar bills courtesy of Banzai Bowls for the Maneuver of the Event. Congrats Woodzy!
Moving on to the Girls 16/U, it was an incredibly tight heat with crazy paddle battles going down on almost virtually every wave. Coming from behind to take the victory was the hands down event favorite, Caroline Marks. With only moments remaining in the heat, Marks found a right that offered three turns, and a 7.5 score to take the victory out of the hands of Maria Barend. Third place went to Maddy Malizia, fourth Braidyn Cunningham, fifth place Logan Harris, and rounding out the final in sixth place, Coral Shuster.
Marks wasn’t only a division winner, she also took down the DHD High Heat total and was awarded with a custom shaped Darren Handley Designed surfboard for her opening round heat total of 16.76.
The Boys 14/U final saw the highest scoring final, as Crosby Colapinto duked it out with former event champion Micha Cantor. This time the Califonian stood on top as Colapinto won his first ever GromSearch event. Third through sixth place saw Kyle Tester, Laird Myers, Tao Rodriquez, and Sebastian Mendes achieve great results while making the final.
Last but not least were the 12/U Boys, which featured an all-new crop of up and comers. Taking the victory in an absolutely dominating fashion was young Blayr Barton who had a solid heat total of 15.00 points. Runner up went to the young Panamanian surfer Tao Rodriguez, third place Owen Moss, fourth place Samuel Reidy, fifth place Jace McKerney, and sixth place CJ Mangio.
What a great event to wrap up the qualifying season, as the attention now shifts to the National Final at Seaside Reef on October 29th. Rip Curl would like to thank all of the competitors and families, retail partners and communities who support the GromSearch tour. Rip Curl couldn’t do it without our amazing event sponsors: Banzai Bowls, Flexfit, Carver Skateboards, Dragon Alliance, Skullcandy, Surface Sun Systems, DHD Surfboards, Clif Bar, Surfing Magazine, Surfline, and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos.
For media inquiries, or any additional information on the Rip Curl GromSearch, please contact Rip Curl Marketing Assistant Hannah Gibson; firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICIAL RESULTS FROM STOP #4 OF THE RIP CURL GROMSEARCH PRESENTED BY BANZAI BOWLS
Boys 16 & Under
- Elijah Fox ($250)
- Sean Woods
- Sebastian Mendes
- Luke Gordon
- Crosby Colapinto
- Bo Raynor
Girls 16 & Under
- Caroline Marks ($250)
- Maria Barend
- Maddie Malazia
- Braidyn Cunningham
- Logan Harris
- Coral Shuster
Boys 14 & Under
- Crosby Colapinto ($250)
- Micha Cantor
- Kyle Tester
- Laird Myers
- Tao Rodriguez
- Sebastian Mendes
Boys 12 & Under
- Blayr Barton ($250)
- Tao Rodriguez
- Owen Moss
- Samuel Reidy
- Jace McKerney
- CJ Mangio
Banzai Bowls Maneuver of the Event
Sean Woods - Air Reverse ($300)
DHD High Heat Total
Caroline Marks - 16.76
About the GromSearch:
Since Rip Curl developed the concept for the GromSearch events in 1999, the series has spread throughout the surfing world and now culminates with an International final held at a different location each year. The worldwide series is held for male and female surfers aged 16 years and under, commonly referred to as “groms”, with the aim of the GromSearch is to nurture and recruit the next generation of surfers at a grassroots level.
Former GromSearch champions include current WSL World Tour stars; Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson, Nat Young, Kolohe Andino, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons.