Big News! 2020 O’Neill E.C. Grom Tour Event # 1 Contest Report & Photo Gallery

January 28, 2020 • Competition, East Coast Contests

Story by Phil Jackson, Photos & captions by Tom Dugan

It was surf stoke and sun start to finish at event #1 of the 2020 O’Neill East Coast Grom Tour along with perfect 3-5 foot waves. The kind of postcard perfect, Florida winter day – and surf conditions – the Chamber of Commerce prints on brochures, billboards and airport posters from Miami to Pensacola Beach to Jacksonville.

With water in the low 70’s and air in the low 80’s it was a beautiful day for the beach mid-January in Florida. PHOTO : DUGAN

The OECGT kicked off their 2020 season at Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida in epic surf. From the start it was clear the groms were there to do business and take advantage of the clean chest to head high conditions. Sun Bum was there to keep everyone protected from the hot Florida sun, Catalyst Surf Shop provided pizza and the Live Heats scoring system was a big hit with the competitors and parents. Here’s how it went down.

Tristian Clarke surfed his way to a first place in Open Shortboard and a second in Boys 14-17. PHOTO : DUGAN

Teddy Whitemann started off the day dropping a 7.33 just 5 minutes into the first open heat. Tristan Clarke needing a mid-range 5 took off on a bomb and got a 5.47 to take out the Open Final. On the Girl’s side of the draw the standout of the day in shortboard was Nijah Rosen putting on a backhand clinic and earning the highest heat total of the day with a 14.83.

Perfect waves all day long let surfers express themselves. Niyah Rosen took her surfing to the next level, putting her into the top spot, a first in the Girls 17 and under. PHOTO : DUGAN

The waves got really playful for the Open Girls longboard final and Kaylin Weinrich started off strong and never looked back. Easton Green cruised through the Boys Open Longboard final with stylish nose rides and drop knee cutbacks. The Boys 11-13 final saw a stacked heat of Florida standouts and at the end of the day Logan Radd edged out Benji Lange with a heat total of 10.50. The Boys 14-17 final was one of the most competitive heats of the day.

Central Florida local Logan Radd is no stranger to this beach, he surfs it often. That gave him a bit of an edge knowing the wave so well and once again he took home the win in Boys 11-13 PHOTO : DUGAN

Tristan Clarke held the lead for most of the heat then Rob Schweizer took off at the buzzer needing a 2.9 and he got a 3.07. That was enough to take the lead and the title. Now it was time for the mini groms to take the water. Cash Nipper took to the outside with patience and landed a nice end section floater to secure his win and bragging rights over Luke Lopez, Everett Nipper and Rad Regar.

What the O’Neill Grom Search is all about. The Boys / Girls 10 and under heading out. Can you say STOKED? PHOTO : DUGAN

Our favorite division is always the parent assist push in division. The mom and dads braved the chest to head high conditions and sent the groms over the ledge on some bombs. In the end it was Luke Carbone taking the win. The Ben Gravy / Wave Bandit Open Soft top division was a fun one to watch. No fear and big drops were on hand and Jaxson Weese walked away with the win and a brand-new Wave Bandit Bodyboard.

The push-in was something to see this year. With waves coming thru in the solid 4ft range, it was so cool to see the groms go for it all the way to the beach. Colby Taylor taking a nice drop. PHOTO : DUGAN

We could not have asked for a better day in Florida said Competition director Phil Jackson. I love seeing all the families come out and enjoy a day at the beach. Our with this series is to get more kids into surfing and show them the fun aspect along with teaching them about competition. The Live Heats computer scoring system is next level and it really makes the kids feel special.

Another local, ESA All-Star Abbie Yates, surfed to a 3rd in the semifinal, putting her out of the final round but along the way she got a few nice waves. PHOTO : DUGAN

We would like to thank all the parents, surfers, volunteers, sponsors and local photographers for helping make this event a success.

For more info on registration, schedules and info please visit www.eastcoastgromtour.com

Final Results:

Open Shortboard

1 Tristian Clarke

2 Benji Lange

3 Teddy Wittemann

4 Reef Coote

With waves as good as this, it was a blast for all the contestants. Benji Lang was on a tear and got some of the best waves of the day. Benji ended up 2nd in Boys 11-13. PHOTO : DUGAN

Boys Open Longboard

1 Easton Greene

2 Shane Konrad

3 Gavin Idone

4 Rob Schweizer

Eaton Greene rail grabs the drop backside for the win in Boys Open Longboard. PHOTO : DUGAN

Girls Open Longboard

1 Kaylin Weinrich

2 Abbie Yates

3 Fiona Sargente

4 Emma Binder

Kaylin Weinrich on her way to a1st in Girls Open Longboard. PHOTO : DUGAN

Girls 17 and under

1 Niyah Rosen

2 Grace Knoecheo

3 Alana Lopez

4 Carly Eastwood

Down from North Florida, Grace Knoecheo bangs the lip for a 2nd in Girls 17 and Under. PHOTO : DUGAN

Boys 14-17 

1 Rob Schweizer

2 Tristian Clarke

3 AJ Jackson

4 Zachery Piagetti

5 John Neal

This is what the ocean looked like from sun-up till sundown. Without a doubt one of the best day of waves for any East Coast surf contest. Owen Anthony competing in the Ben Gravy Open Soft Top Division watches as a perfect wave goes by unridden. PHOTO : DUGAN

Boys 11-13

1 Logan Radd

2 Benji Lange

3 Gabe Griffin

4 Reef Coote

5 Ty Jansen

Starting to make a name for himself and along the way making a few finals, South Florida’s Reef Coote about to float the lip into a 4th place in Boys 11-13. PHOTO : DUGAN

Boys / Girls 10 and under

1 Cash Nipper

2 Luke Lopez

3 Rad Regar

4 Everett Nipper

Luke Lopez drops into a nice left that got him a 2nd in the Boys / Girls 10 Under. PHOTO : DUGAN

Ben Gravy / Wave Bandit Open Soft top 

1 Jaxson Weese

2 Gabe Griffin

3 Caleb Calandor

4 Luke Gray

5 Owen Anthony

6 Noah Poteate

4 Teddy W

Parent assist Push in

1 Luke Carbone

2 Owen Taylor

3 Kai Peters

4 Colby Taylor

5 Maximus Carbone

Girls 17 and Under winner Niyah Rosen gets chaired up the beach on her way to the winners’ podium. PHOTO : DUGAN

Heading out for the first heat of Boys Open Longboard (Left to Right ) Rob Schweizer , Tristian Clark , Shane Konrad and Gabe Griffin. Note the baggies mid-January. PHOTO : DUGAN

Ty Jansen got some great waves that put him into the Boys 11-13 final where moves like this helped Ty land a 5th place. PHOTO : DUGAN

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