Many locals may have attended the first Ripcurl Gromsearch series event in Jan Juc several weekends ago.
Billy Harrison of Barwon Heads will be one of many local finalists competing in the Rip Curl Gromsearch National Final after placing second in the first series event, held 20-21 September in Jan Juc.
Harrison was leading in the final heat of the day after catching a wave in the final 5 minutes, however Reef Hazelwood (Moffat Beach/QLD) took off on the inside right, executing a series of strong turns to take the lead in the final minutes.
Harrison fell painfully short with a heat total of 13.24 against Hazelwood’s 13.30 total, however both competitors will go head to head in North Narrabeen, NSW in January.
Hazlewood was not confident he had done enough to move into first place.
“I didn’t think I had the score, but the judges must have seen it differently,” he said.
“I’m stoked with the win, it was a really hard final with Billy getting that wave in the final 3 minutes.”
In the first male 14 and under heat of the day, Harrison also placed second to Caleb Tancred (Avoca/NSW), who dominated the heat final with a total of 15.50
Tully Wylie (9.53 points, Jan Juc/VIC) & Tane Bowden (8.90 points, Jan Juc/VIC) could not find the waves needed and placed in third and fourth respectively.
Interstate competitors dominated the female heats, with Kirra-Belle Olsson (Copacabana/NSW) claiming her second title at the Jan Juc event.
Ecstatic with the win, Olsson was just happy to make the final in the older age division.
“I’m so happy. Just to be through to the finals in the 16 & Under Division is an awesome achievement for me.”
“I was trying to just be confident in the water and not let any of the other girls hassle me in the water.”
Only catching 4 waves in the final, Olsson put the rest of the surfers in a combination situation with a 15.83 total heat score on her first two waves.
Alyssa Lock (Tweed Heads/NSW) was the next placed surfer finishing with 8.66 points.
Kobie Enright (7.67 points, Tweed Heads/NSW) and Lucy Callister (5.17 points, Palm Beach/QLD) finished in third and fourth respectively.
Tancred was awarded with the best overall performance of the event, claiming a brand new FireWire surfboard.
The “Surfing Life Rising Star” award went to Billy Harrison and Kirra-Belle Olsson for their epic performances across multiple age divisions. Both received subscriptions to Surfing Life magazine.
Working in conjunction with Surfing Australia, the Rip Curl GromSearch includes boys’ and girls’ divisions in 16 and under, 14 and under, and 12 and under. The series includes a National Ratings system, which will be used to qualify surfers for the National Final at North Narrabeen.
Check out the video below to see the sufers in action:
Current ASP World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch finals include:
– Male: Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Owen Wright (Australia), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Matt Wilkinson (Australia).
– Female: Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia). Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Laura Enever (Australia), Alana Blanchard (Hawaii).
Full Results from the event can be found here.
Did you know any of the competing grommets? How did they go?