Tricky Conditions Greet Competitors On Day One Of Rip Curl GromSearch National Final Presented By Flight Centre

WOONOONA BEACH, WOLLONGONG (Monday 15 January 2018): The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre National Final endured a day of challenging and windy four foot waves as competitors went hell-for-leather in their opening rounds of competition.
 
Winter Vincent (Manly, NSW) got the day off to a flying start in the 12-and-Under Boys, posting two excellent scores, a 9.33 and 8.67 to give him an accumulative two-wave heat total of 18.00 points. Vincent surfed with a maturity beyond his years, nailing a chain of giant frontside hits to post the aforementioned score and seal a position straight into the quarterfinals.
 
After taking out two GromSearch National Finals over the last two years, Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) looked set to continue the same momentum, taking out her 14 Girls heat with a solid display of powerful rail surfing. Ryan nailed a barrage of mammoth frontside snaps to make her mark on the round one heat, posting a giant 15.67 two-wave heat total to leave her closest rival, Lily Macdonald (Freshwater, NSW) chasing a near-perfect 9.85 wave score. Ryan will make her next appearance in the quarterfinals.
 
South Coast native Harry Phillips (Broulee, NSW) flew the flag for the south coast surfers, putting on a dominant display of critical snaps over dredging sand to notch up a 15.94 heat total. Phillips' repertoire of mammoth snaps allowed him to gain the upper hand against Finn Hill (Avoca, NSW) and Taj Stokes (Buddina, Qld).

The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre will commence each day at 7:30 am with the call for the day's schedule and location confirmed via the event hotline at 6:45 am. The event hotline number is 0458 247 212 which will leave a voice recorded message each morning of the event.
 
All Rip Curl GromSearch events include boys’ and girls’ divisions in 16 and under, 14 and under, and 12 and under age groups. Surfers receive points for their results in each event, which then count towards a National GromSearch ratings system, allowing surfers from around Australia to compare their results with contemporaries. Leaders on the National Ratings will then qualify for the last event of the series, the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final, to be held at Woonoona, NSW on January 15-17, 2018.
 
The Rip Curl GromSearch series started in 1999 as a one-day event at Jan Juc in Victoria. Since then it has developed into the strongest international series for 16 year and under surfers in the world. With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch series in over 10 countries, it has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of elite junior surfers.
 
The list of previous GromSearch competitors highlights the elite level of competitors that make up the Rip Curl GromSearch series.
 
Current WSL World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch include:
 
Male: Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Nat Young (USA).
 
Female: Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Aust), Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Aust), Nikki Van Dijk (Aust), Tatiana Weston Webb (Hawaii).
 
The Rip Curl GromSearch series is presented by Flight Centre with managing partner Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW.
 
Rip Curl GromSearch 2017/18 Events:
EVENT 1 - Jan Juc, VIC - Sept 23 - 25, 2017
EVENT 2 - Maroubra, NSW - Sept 30 - Oct 3, 2017
EVENT 3 - Trigg / Scarborough WA - Oct 6 - 8, 2017
EVENT 4 - Yorke Peninsula, SA - Nov 4 - 5, 2017
EVENT 5 - Sunshine Coast, QLD - Dec 11 - 15, 2017
National Final – Woonoona, Wollongong, NSW - Jan 15 - 17, 2018