TURF: Rip Curl GromSearch Presented By mophie; New Smyrna Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, FL; August 11th, 2013.
ENERGY: The Rip Curl GromSearch headed East for its third stop of the year and first on the Right Coast on August 11th in New Smyrna Beach, FL. With 95º air temperatures, waist- to shoulder-high surf, and 84 frothing contestants putting on a show for the packed beach of spectators, even the sharks swimming in the shallows couldn’t slow the contest down.
SLIDE: With 16 Rip Curl GromSearch National invite spots on the line, young men and women from across the East Coast, the Caribbean, and even California showed up ready to do battle. In the Boys 16 & Under division, last year’s defending champion, Daniel Glenn, was the clear standout from the start of the day. Glenn surfs the beachbreaks of NSB on a daily basis and had the lineup figured out, finding himself on quality waves heat after heat. Not only did Glenn take the marquee division win but he was also awarded the “mophie Maneuver Of The Event” for a critical blowtail reverse on a solid set wave. Glenn walked away with $50 from mophie, $250 for his 1st-place finish, a custom embroidered backpack full of swag, and a berth in the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final, on the books for October 26th at Upper Trestles in Southern California.
Although Glenn defended his title, the boys from Barbados made a loud statement in 2013, with Ché Allan finishing 2nd and Dane Mackie taking 3rd-place in Boys 16 & Under. Rounding out that final was Ponce Inlet local Cobie Gittner in 4th-place.
In Girls 16 & Under, the gathered competitors duked it out all day. But New Smyrna Beach native Sydney Herring made a statement of her own in the final, teeing off on her backhand to nail an 8.33 and leave the rest of the girls searching for scores. The youngest finalist, Caroline Marks, scored the 2nd-place spot, followed by San Diego, CA’s, Malia Osterkamp in 3rd and Rachel Presti in 4th.
In the Boys 14 & Under division, the final came down to the “Battle Of The Lukes” that East Coast surf fans are accustomed to. In the end, Melbourne Beach, FL, charger Luke Marks went for broke and overcame Pawleys Island, SC, ripper Luke Gordon to take the win. Marks mixed it up with a huge layback hack to earn a 7.5, backing that up with a big air for an 8.33. Gordon actually earned the highest single-wave score of the event, a 9.77 in the early rounds, but couldn’t muster enough in the final to jump out of 2nd-place. Aerial master DJ Buchanan took 3rd, and rounding out the final was Barbados’ Ché Allan, who was also the event’s only double finalist.
In the supergrom division, Boys 12 & Under, the pint-sized rippers continued to show how much they step up their game year after year. In the closest final of the day, North Florida’s Robbie McCormick barely edged out Space Coast rival Tommy Coleman by a mere .3 points. Meanwhile, Barbados groms Zander Venezia and Jacob Burke brought it for the Bajans by rounding out the final in 3rd- and 4th-place, respectively.
THE PAIN: All four finalists of each division qualify for the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final at Upper Trestles on October 26th, and the National Champion of the Boys and Girls 16 & Under division both win an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the International Final held in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2014. So it’s safe say no one who made his or her respective final fours was feeling any pain after this great day of competition.
THE MEN AND WOMEN: Rip Curl would like to thank all of the families and locals for providing such an amazing atmosphere for the event, and we hope to return to New Smyrna Beach for years to come. That includes water patrol kingpin and beach marshal Evan Geiselman; the rest of his hardworking and hard-charging crew; and all of Rip Curl’s official sponsors: mophie, Smith Optics, Kicker Audio, Futures Fins, Waterman’s Applied Science, Hubert’s Lemonade, Banzai Bowls, Surfing Magazine, Surfline.com, and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. A big thanks also goes out to Famous Surf Wax for providing GromSearch contestants with custom wax this year. Next weekend, the GromSearch series heads up the coast to Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC, on August 17th-18th. There are still openings in the Boys 16 & Under division, and you can sign up at www.RipCurl.com/GromSearch.
YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB: “The Rip Curl GromSearch is a very respected contest, and the level of competition is always high. Plus, you can always expect a lot of media coverage. I’ve been competing for nine years now, and it’s something I look forward to every year. I’m super excited to compete in California for the Nationals and possibly win a spot to Bells. I think that’s very cool!” –Boys 16 & Under defending champion Daniel Glenn
FINALS RESULTS FROM STOP #3 OF THE 2013 RIP CURL GROMSEARCH PRESENTED BY MOPHIE:
BOYS 16 & UNDER
1. Daniel Glenn
2. Ché Allan
3. Dane Mackie
4. Cobie Gittner
GIRLS 16 & UNDER
1. Sydney Herring
2. Caroline Marks
3. Malia Osterkamp
4. Rachel Presti
BOYS 14 & UNDER
1. Luke Marks
2. Luke Gordon
3. DJ Buchanan
4. Ché Allan
BOYS 12 & UNDER
1. Robbie McCormick
2. Tommy Coleman
3. Zander Venezia
4. Jacob Burke
MOPHIE MANEUVER OF THE EVENT