Sunshine Coast local Zeb Stokes (Buddina, QLD) has won the blue ribbon 16 and under boys division, defeating Tane Dobbyn (Palm Beach, QLD), Benny Wilson (Narrabeen, NSW) and Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, QLD) respectively in a thrilling final heat. Dobbyn led most of the heat, holding a 7.57 (out of a possible 10.00) and a 6.83 for a combined total of 14.40 (out of a possible 20.00) - but with 1 minute on the clock and Stokes needing a 7.8, Stokes managed to score an 8.07 which gave him the lead. Local spectators erupted and cheered as the local champion was crowned and chaired up the beach by his fellow competitors.
“That was such a close final,” said Stokes. “I was so happy to get that winning score in the final minutes and get the win today. There was a lot of great surfing today. In that heat, I knew I just needed to back myself - I paddled over to a different bank, and sure enough, a wave came and I was able to get the score.”
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Newport Beach, NSW) has taken out the blue ribbon 16 and under girls division, defeating Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW), Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads, VIC) and Sai Maniwa (Tweed Heads, NSW) respectively. Leigh-Jones was able to put together a 7.5 and a 6.5 for a heat total of 14.00 to take the win.
“I’m stoked with the win,” said Leigh-Jones. “I can’t wait to compete in the Pro Junior circuit next year.”
Recently crowned Australian champion (u/14 girls division) and younger sister of Zeb Stokes, Jahly Stokes (Buddina, QLD) has continued her roll of victories, by taking out the 14 and under girls division, scoring a 7.67 and a 6.83 for a combined heat total of 14.5 to defeat Ava Henderson (New Zealand), Lilliana Bowery (Tewantin, QLD) and Amarnie Barber (Noosa, QLD) respectively. Winter Vincent (Queenscliff, NSW) has won the 14 and under boys division, defeating local surfer Ashton Pignat (Coolum, QLD), Chez Bos (Burleigh Heads, QLD) and Tim Bain (Sunshine Beach, QLD) respectively. Vincent scored an excellent 8.27 combined with a 7.17 for a combined heat total of 15.44 to take the win.
Juniper Harper (Lennox Head, NSW) has won the 12 and under girls division, defeating Jordy Halford (Currumbin, QLD), Ruby Barber (Noosa Heads, QLD) and Stella Scudamore (Peregian Beach, QLD) respectively. Harper scored a 6.83 and a 6.17 for a combined heat total of 13.00, edging out Halford by just 0.5 of a point. Rico Haybittle (Burleigh Heads, QLD) has won the 12 and under boys division, defeating Ren Okano (Japan), Jake Feher (Matraville, NSW) and Ocean Lancaster (Merewether, NSW) respectively. Haybittle managed to put together a near-excellent 7.77 combined with a 6.9 for a combined heat total of 14.67 to take the win today.
All results from the event can be found here.
The Rip Curl Gromsearch series started as a one-day surfing event at Victoria’s Jan Juc Beach in 1999, and has since developed into a worldwide series of events designed specifically for the 16 years and under surfer, commonly known as ‘grommets’.
The Rip Curl GromSearch series is designed to provide events for groms to enjoy and meet crew from around the country, whilst developing their competitive game. As the series progresses to the finals, the elite level of competition comes into play, with many previous GromSearch competitors going on to the WSL world tour. Some of these names include Owen and Tyler Wright, Gabriel Medina, Steph Gilmore, Jordy Smith, Sally Fitzgibbons, Kolohe Andino, Caroline Marks and Filipe Toledo.
2019 Rip Curl GromSearch Series:
EVENT 1 - Jan Juc, VIC – Sept 21-23, 2019
EVENT 2 - Newcastle, NSW - Oct 5-8, 2019
EVENT 3 - Yorke Peninsula, SA - Nov 2-3, 2019
EVENT 4 - Sunshine Coast, QLD – Dec 16-19, 2019
National Final - Woonona, NSW – Jan 14-16, 2020
The Sunshine Coast leg of the 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch serious is proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast, Official Destination Partners For The Event, H2Coco, Mercedes Benz Gold Coast, Surfing World Magazine, Coastal Watch Plus, AirAsia, Surfing Australia, The Queensland Government and Surfing Queensland.