2023 Jan Juc Rip Curl Gromsearch Commences With Sun, Waves And High Scores

Published on 16/09/2023

The 2023 Jan Juc Rip Curl Gromsearch commenced today in epic 2-foot waves and amazing Victorian sunshine. It was a full day of surfing with the opening rounds of all divisions taking to the water and making the most of the good weather and waves.

From start to finish the groms frothed out and ripped the waves apart, however Rose Holland (Dromana, VIC) stood out as a highlight and therefore received the #Gromsearch wave of the day. In her quarterfinal, she chased the lead throughout the whole heat hoping to take it off Miller-May Berg (Miami, NSW).

It wasn’t until the dying moments that Holland found her way onto a set wave that allowed her to go huge on two turns and receive the 8.00 point ride (out of a possible 10 points) she needed.

“It was amazing, I love surfing with all the competitors!” exclaimed Holland.

“I was stoked to get that 8 point ride to win the heat,” she continued.

The Under 14 boys division saw some close battles including the one between Ashton Crowley (Port Noarlunga South, SA) and Ashton Mekisic (Wollongong, NSW). 

Mekisic started strong with a 6 point ride, gaining him the early lead. The momentum stayed with Mekisic throughout the first half of the heat until Crowley turned the heat around with a forehand re-entry out the back of the lineup, collecting a 7.33 point ride. 

This gave him the lead for a short amount of time before Mekisic was able to steal it back off him with his highest score of the heat, a 6.66 point ride. This gave Crowley the drive to push even harder as he took off on a nicely shaped right hand wave. After a series of critical hits, he earned himself the win with a 6.43 point ride.

“I was just sitting out the back hoping for the best wave to come and then I found a nice corner on one and got a couple of cracks in,” said Crowley.

“It was such a sick and fun day down here,” he added.

With all the groms down out the comp fired up to go rip some waves, FCS held day one’s Expression Session with prizes going to the best performing and best creative groms. The lineup was hit with a flurry of kids trying to vie for the judge’s attention and claim a prize.

After plenty of party waves, progressive manoeuvres and good vibes Lachlan Arghyros (Kingscliff, NSW) and Olive Hardy (Gnarabup, WA) took out the Performance award with Arghyros scoring a new set of FCS MF fins whilst Hardy received a Rip Curl backpack. Hemi O’Brien (Palm Beach, NSW) and Leila Fraser (Gnarabup, WA) picked up the most creative award.  

Moving onto one of the final divisions of the day, Under 16 Boys surfer Locana Cullen (Avalon Beach, NSW) pulled out all the stops in his heat scoring a 9.33 on his first wave with a range of three enormous forehand re-entries. 

He didn’t waste any time catching another wave and completed a progressive blowtail reverse. To top it off Cullen went airborne stomping a lofty air reverse to earn himself another 9 point ride. 

“The Rip Curl Gromsearch is just one of my favourite comps and the conditions today were pretty fun as well,” said Cullen.

This incredible performance is sure to put Cullen in the running for the DHD Ultimate Grom Award which will be decided at the end of the finals, with the winner receiving a DHD surfboard.

With a swell increase and light winds forecasted for finals day, the groms are expected to end the competition tomorrow with a bang. 

Schedules and Live scores can be found via www.surfingvic.com/live 

The 2023 Rip Curl GromSearch Series is supported by DHD Surfboards and FCS.

EVENT 1 – Jan Juc, Vic – Sept 16-17, 2023
EVENT 2 – Newcastle, NSW – Sept 28- Oct 1, 2023

Age divisions in the GromSearch Series are:
Under 16 Girls and Boys
Under 14 Girls and Boys
Under 12 Girls and Boys

Former GromSearch finalists competing on the 2023 WSL World Tour include:
Tyler Wright, Steph Gilmore*, Carissa Moore*, Molly Picklum, Tatiana Weston-Webb*, Caroline Marks, Brisa Hennessy* & Isabella Nichols. (Note: GromSearch competitors have won the last 14 WSL women’s World Titles).

Former GromSearch finalists competing on the 2023 WSL World Tour include:
Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo*, Italo Ferreira*, Jack Robinson*, Kanoa Igarashi*, Ethan Ewing*, Leonardo Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary, Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto, & Sammy Pupo. (*Note: 9 out the to 10 surfer competing in the 2022 WSL finals were former GromSearch finalists, including both world Champions).

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