Story by Jason Hoover @hoovtangclan with all photos and captions by Tom Dugan @tomduganphotos:

If you were lucky enough, there were a few nuggets to be found during a few heats. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The fifth season of the O’Neill East Coast Grom Tour kicked off the new year in Melbourne Beach, Florida.  The under-17 competitors from up and down the East Coast were battling to take an early lead in the ten-month long season. Some of the highlights in the water included Alyssa Gilreath earning a victory in the push and go division, with Virginia Beach local Asher Craft, Emery Bryan, and Zoey Honda also earning podium spots.

So, who’s your coach? For Luke Lopez it’s his Teahupo’o charging, World Tour legend father, Cory.  For the Clan Lopez  it was a family affair at his dad’s long time sponsor’s event with his two very talented children competing. Luke & Cory Lopez stoked with Luke getting a 3rd in the Open & a 3rd in Boys 11-13, along with daughter Alana’s 2nd in Girls 17 & Under. Seriously, these two mini groms bear watching for sure. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

In a frenzied three-way battle for the top spot in the Ben Gravy division, South Carolina’s Mako Musilunas earned a tie break win over Open Shortboard winner, Justin Pras, and AJ Jackson. All three were charging and had the spectators howling!  In the longboard divisions, Shane Konrad styled his way to first place, followed by Gavin Idone and Mako Musilunas. On the Girls’ side, Kaylin Weinrich edged out Fiona Sargente in a battle for the top spot, with Marina Zappone earning third.

Girls Open Longboard winner Kaylin Weinfich hangs on the nose on a little inside runner. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

In the Girls’ shortboard final, Daya McCart carved and slashed her way to victory over Alana Lopez and Kylie Pulcini. In the Boys’ 11-13 division, Beckham McCart held off New Jersey local Cooper Jewell, and up and coming Florida local, Luke Lopez. Tristan Clarke surfed well all weekend and snatched a win in the Boys’ 14-17 over DC Lewis and Noah Allen. Rounding out the action in the water was the always exciting u10 final, after a high action six-person heat, Owen Anthony, Sebastian Peters, and Athan Robertson earned the top three spots.

Boys 11-13 Winner Beckham McCart off the top. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

After the awards were done, and co-founders Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy had a moment to reflect on their fifth year’s kickoff, they were happy to be starting off the 2021 season with a fantastic event. Phil mentioned “It felt good to run some heats, spread some stoke and see all of the groms frothing again. We are looking forward to another great season and are extremely thankful for all of the families that participate. We’d also like to give a huge thank you to O’Neill, Dragon, Wave Bandit, and Sun Bum for their continued support, we couldn’t do it without you!”. To view the actual heat by heat breakdown with all scored rides and scores click here and scroll down to see more photos and all finals placings. For more info on upcoming 2021 ECGT events and online registration please click here – Jason Hoover –

And the party is just getting started! Next up is the OECGT event #2 at Ponce Inlet FL!

2021 O’Neill East Coast Grom Tour Event One Results:

Ben Gravy open soft top
1 – Mako Musilunas

2 – Justin Pras

3 – A.J. Jackson

Ben Gravy Open Soft Top – ( L to R ) 6th Owen Anthony, 5th Finnley Allen, 4th Athan Robertson, 3rd AJ Jackson, 2nd Justin Peas, 1st Mako Musilunas. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Parent Assist Push n Go
1 – Alyssa Gilreath

2 – Asher Craft

3 – Emery Bryan

Parents Assist Push In – ( L to R ) 4th Zoe Honda, 3rd Emary Bryan, 2nd Arher Craft, 1st Alyssa Gilreath. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Open Shortboard
1 – Justin Pras

2 – Athan Robinson

3 – Luke Lopez

Open Shortboard – (L to R ) 6th Shane Konrad, 5th Ian Honda, 4th Tristan Clarke, 3rd Luke Lopez, 2nd Athan Robertson, 1st Justin Pras. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys’ Open Longboard

1 – Shane Konrad

2 – Gavin Idone

3 – Mako Musilunas

Boys Open Longboard – (L to R ) 1st Shane Konrad, 2nd Gavin Idone, 3rd Mako Musilunas, 4th Mitchell Zappone, 5th Olen Powalie, 6th Palladin Pelliccia. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls’ Open Longboard

1 – Kaylin Weinrich

2 – Fiona Sargente

3 – Marina Zappone

Girls Open Longboard – ( L to R ) 1st Kaylin Weinrich, 2nd Fiona Sargente, 3rd Marina Zappone, 4th Malia Womble ( Not Pictured ). PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls 17 & Under

1 – Daya McCart

2 – Alana Lopez

3 – Kylie Pulcini

Girls 17 and Under – ( L to R ) 6th Marlynn Glaub, 5th Sofia Gamboa, 4th Kora Passarelli, 3rd Kylie Pulcini, 2nd Alana Lopez, 1st Daya McCart. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys’ 14-17

1 – Tristan Clarke

2 – DC Lewis

3 – Noah Allen

Boys 14 – 17 ( L to R ) 6th Olen Powalie, 5th August Powalie, 4th Aj Jackson, 3rd Noah Allen, 2nd DC Lewis, 1st Tristian Clarke. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys’ 11-13

1 – Beckham McCart

2 – Cooper Jewell

3 – Luke Lopez

Boys 11 to 13 – (L to R ) 6th DC Lewis, 5th Ian Honda, 4th Teddy Wittemann, 3rd Luke Lopez, 2nd Cooper Jewell, 1st Beckham McCart PHOTO. : @tomduganphotos

Co-ed 10 & under

1 – Owen Anthony

2 – Sebastian Peters

3 – Athan Robertson

Boys / Girls 10 & Under – ( L to R ) 6th Marlynn Glaub, 5th Kai Peters, 4th Tyco Tran, 3rd Athan Robertson, 2nd Sebastian Peters, 1st Owen Anthony. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Kylie Pulcini killing the lip in the Girls U17 on her way to a 4th place. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

As local as you can with the contest venue being one of his go to spots at home to surf, Sebastian Peters used his knowledge of the break to get a 2nd place in the 10 and Under division. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls 17 & Under 4th place finisher Kora Passarelli. This is her home break and she is seen weekly snapping backside turns like this when waves permit. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The Lopez family’s legacy is in good hands with Shea and Cory’s kids starting to hit the competition ranks. Cory’s son Luke with a nice backside zipper on his way to two finals, getting a 3rd in the Open and a 3rd in 11-13 Division. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Savvy contest warriors David Speir and Jason Motes have been buds for over 32 years and were on the beach for a bit of coaching and to encourage the competitors throughout the day. These guys could teach a master class in amature and pro surfing tactics and it is great to see these two vets selflessly passing it on to the groms. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Ben Gravy Open Soft Top 4th place winner Athan Robertson. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

A few ESA All Stars were on hand to compete and train with team coach Jason Motes. From left to right, Josh Motes, Grace Knoechel, Mia Gallagher, Teddy Wittemen, Athan Robertson and coach Motes. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

A small tuck and run for Gavin Idone on his way to a 2nd in the Boys Open Longboard. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

This guy is what the Grom Search is all about. Tyco Tran with a clean backside snap on his way to a 4th place in the Boys / Girls U10. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Ethan Lowe throws some chunks on his rebound on the inside. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Mitchell Zappone on a clean insider. Although this board looks a bit short for his trophy heat, he did end up with a 4th in Boys Open Longboard. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The comp site for the opening event of the 2021 O’Neill Grom Search, Paradise Beach, Indialantic, FLA. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Cooper Jewell with a speed run floater that got him a 2nd in Boys 11-13 . PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

A few spectators checking out Teddy Wittemann driving down the line grabbing a 4th in the Boys 11-13 Division. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

DC Lewis with a clean zipper going into the Boys 11-13 Finals and getting a 5th place overall. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Noah Allen with a clean snap. The waves had just enough size and shape to get some motion going throughout both days. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The two who make it happen …Seth Broudy & Kelly Slater ( AKA – Phil Jackson ) PHOTO : @tomduganphotos