Six new champions have been crowned at the third stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch Series presented by Flight Centre today in Western Australia.
In the cleanest and most consistent waves of the event, some of the country’s best junior surfers ripped into punchy peaks, allowing competitors to display a full repertoire of committed and progressive manoeuvres.
Finn Cox (Margaret River, WA) was in great form all event and claimed victory in the 16 & Under Boys final. Using a mix of innovative and powerful surfing, Cox earned his spot into the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final after posting a heat high 7.33 (from a possible 10), finishing on a combined total of 14.00 (from a possible 20).
Cox disposed of arguably three of the best surfers of the event Jed Gradisen (Gracetown, WA), Danny Benedetti (Margaret River, WA), and Harrison Green (West Beach, SA), in what was an enthralling top of the table battle.
“I’m really stoked to have won and I’m even more excited to have qualified for the GromSearch National Final,” said Cox. “Its has been a great event and thanks to everyone down here supporting us.”
Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) kept the winning streak running for the Cox household, matching her older brother’s efforts by winning the 16 & Under Girls division.
Cox was a popular winner and took down some quality opposition on her way to the title. Cox defeated Zali Hewson (Margaret River, WA), Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) and Taiana Duncan (Kalbarri, WA).
“This is definitely my biggest win ever,” said Cox. “I just want to thanks all the girls in the final and all my friends and family for their support.”
Ethan Huxtable (Torquay, VIC) shone in the 14 & Under Boys final, using great wave selection and sharp rail turns to post the highest two-wave combined total of the day with a 16.16 (from a possible 20) that included an 8.83 and a 7.33.
Despite the best efforts of Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown, WA), Jack Mickle (Trigg, WA) and George Simpson(Gracetown, WA), it was Huxtable that came out on top when the finals siren sounded.
“I love coming over here to WA, this is my third time to WA I’m pretty sure and its always good fun and a great event,” said Huxtable. “Thanks to everyone over here and I’m stoked to be taking a win home for Victoria.”
Zali Hewson (Margaret River, WA) battled hard to the win in the 14 & Under Girls final. With winds swinging onshore during the final, Hewson did all she could to amass a combined total of 10.27 (from a possible 20), surpassing Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA), Skyla Tothill (Sorrento) and Milla Clifford (Margaret River, WA).
“I went to last years GromSearch National Final and I can’t wait to get back for it again,” said Hewson. “It’s so great surfing in a final with some of my best friends in the water with me.”
Macklin Flynn (Dawesville, WA) used his smooth and flowing style to notch up a win in the 12 & Under Boys division.
After placing equal fifth at the second stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch in Newcastle last week, Flynn fought hard to secure the win, which came on the strength of a combined total of 11.50 (from a possible 20).
“It’s been a sick comp, surfing and hanging out with your mates is the best,” said Flynn.
Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) proved she’s a star on the rise dominating the 12 & Under Girls final.
“The waves were really fun out there today and I think this is my favourite trophy ever," said Hardy.
Dylan Vernon (Yallingup, WA) and Lilli Cox (Margaret River) were announced as the Flight Centre Rising Star recipients, while Margaret River duo Finn Cox and Zali Hewson were awarded the ‘Outstanding Performance Awards' for their amazing surfing throughout the event. 
After events in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, the Rip Curl GromSearch continues next in Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. 
2018 marks the Rip Curl GromSearch's 20th anniversary, making it one of the longest junior surfing series on the world. Over the years it has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of junior surfers across the planet.
The list of previous GromSearch winners illustrates the significant history of the series, with World Surf League (WSL) competitors Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Tyler Wright (Australia), Owen Wright (Australia), Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Kolohe Andino (USA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) among the list of former competitors and GromSearch International Final Champions.
After the last event in Queensland, the top-ranked surfers qualify for the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final (in their respective divisions), where they then compete for the chance to become the Australian GromSearch Champion. The National Champion then represents Australia at the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final, held at a new location around the globe each year, against the best junior surfers in each participating country. 
16 & Under Boys:
1 – Finn Cox (Margaret River, WA) 14.00
2 – Jed Gradisen (Gracetown, WA) 10.46 
3 – Danny Benedetti (Margaret River, WA) 8.00
4 – Harrison Green (West Beach, SA) 6.54
16 & Under Girls:
1 – Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) 9.77
2 – Zali Hewson Margaret River, WA) 9.10
3 – Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) 8.43
4 – Taiana Duncan (Kalbarri) 7.06
14 & Under Boys:
1 – Ethan Huxtable (Torquay, VIC) 16.16
2 – Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown, WA) 13.07
3 – Jack Mickle (Trigg Beach) 10.64
4 – George Simpson (Gracetown, WA) 8.73
14 & Under Girls:
1 – Zali Hewson (Margaret River, WA) 10.27
2 – Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) 10.27
3 – Skyla Tothill (Sorrento, WA) 5.83
4 – Milla Clifford (Margaret River, WA) 5.10
12 & Under Boys:
1 – Macklin Flynn (Dawesville, WA) 11.50
2 – Phoenix Wilson (Wannanup, WA) 8.07
3 – Maverick Wilson (Wannanup, WA) 7.86
4 – Jesse Siedmiogrodzki (Floreat, WA, WA) 4.14
12 & Under Girls:
1 – Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) 23.84
2 – Paige Sanders (Dawesville, WA) 12.50 
3 – CJ Shaehen (Margaret River, WA) 7.46
4 – Lylah Macpherson (Wembley Downs, WA) 7.46
5 – Olive Hardy (Margaret River, WA) 4.07
Dates and locations for the 2018/19 GromSearch Series are:
EVENT 1 – Jan Juc, VIC - Sept 22 – 24, 2018
EVENT 2 – Newcastle, NSW - Sept 29 – Oct 2, 2018
EVENT 3 – Perth, WA - Oct 5 – 7, 2018
EVENT 4 – Yorke Peninsula, SA - Oct 27 – 28, 2018
EVENT 5 – Sunshine Coast, QLD - Dec 14 – 18, 2018
National Final – Dates and location TBC
The 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch series is presented by FLIGHT CENTRE, and proudly supported by Surfing Australia and Surfing WA.
About the Rip Curl GromSearch:
The Rip Curl GromSearch series has been a great stepping stone for the recent champions of our sport. Former International GromSearch competitors who are currently competing on the WSL Championship Tour include: Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, Felipe Toledo, Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright, Malia Manuel, Laura Enever and Alana Blanchard. More information at