Winners from each National GromSearch Final will have the chance to compete at Bells Beach in 2020.
The GromSearch Series is a global junior surf series that allows surfers from around the world to compete against their competitors in a fun and engaging environment. In each competing country the series culminated with a National Final, and the winner of that National Final then has the opportunity to compete in the International GromSearch Final.
Each year the International Final is held in a different location, giving surfers the opportunity to experience life competing on the road, while being exposed to unique waves and cultures.
As the culmination of the 2019-2020 GromSearch Series, Rip Curl is pleased to announce that the International GromSearch Final will be held at Bells Beach, Australia, in conjunction with the WSL CT event, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
“After going on the Search to epic event locations around the globe, we’re stoked to bring the Rip Curl GromSearch International final back to Bells Beach during the Rip Curl Pro,” says Mark Flanagan, Rip Curl’s National Events Manager and Head of GromSearch.
“With so many previous GromSearch finalists on the WSL World Tour, it’s a great experience for the GromSearch finalists to share the biggest stage in surfing with WSL CT athletes.”
The list of previous GromSearch winners illustrates the significant history of the series, with World Surf League (WSL) competitors Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Tyler and Owen Wright (Australia), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Kolohe Andino (USA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) among the list of former competitors and GromSearch International Final Champions.
2x World Champion Tyler Wright, a former GromSearch competitor, explains how the GromSearch Series made an impact on her career.
“It was such a cool opportunity to get to compete in different areas at such a young age It was a great way for me to gain experience for competition on the QS and even at CT level. And, it was always good to meet new friends in a fun environment.”
The announcement for the International Final was made at the USA GromSearch National Final, held just last week in Waco, Texas. This competition made history as the first-ever junior competition in a wave pool.
The Under-16 Boys Champion Ocean Macedo from Maui, Hawaii, was almost lost for words at the news of the International Final being held in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
“I’m honestly just so stoked,” Ocean said. “I got the call up here, having never surfed a wave pool before and now I’m heading to another new exciting place, Bells Beach. It’s really a dream come true. Getting to surf around CT surfers, that is so cool. It’s such a well-known, prestigious event and I can’t wait to be surrounded by those surfers. I’m a little nervous but just can’t wait to experience the event. Again, it’s just a dream come true, I’m so happy!”
The Under-16 Girls Champion Betty Lou Johnson, from Oahu, Hawaii, echoed Ocean’s sentiment.
“I’m so excited to win this contest because I’ve never been to Bells Beach,” Betty Lou said. “And it’s going to be so fun. I can’t wait to be in the mix there and see what that elite level is like. I’m just so excited to be there during a CT, it’s really amazing. I’m pretty nervous but I think it’s going to be so fun and I can’t wait. It’s unbelievable, I’m so excited.”
The GromSearch International Final will be held at Bells Beach in conjunction with the 2020 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. Finalized dates to be announced soon... stay tuned.