The third event of the Rip Curl GromSearch Series presented by Flight Centre kicked off along Perth’s metropolitan coastline today, with Scarborough Beach turning on fun 2 feet peaks for the opening day of competition.
Non-elimination heats set the tone for an exciting weekend of surfing to come, with the 14 & Under Boys division hitting the water first up.
Dylan Vernon (Dunsborough) set the standard for others to follow with an impressive display of backhand surfing. Vernon sliced and diced his way to an imposing heat total of 17.33 (from a possible 20), which included a 9.00 and 8.33.
“I surfed here at Scarborough at couple of weeks ago for the Surf League event and the waves were really fun,” said Vernon. “It’s always tricky being in the first heat of an event but I’m happy with how I went.”
Willow Hardy (Margaret River) was the best of the 14 & Under Girls surfers this morning, winning her opening heat with some powerful and committed top turns. Hardy scored a 7.17 (from a possible 10) and backed it up with 5.67 to finish on a two-wave combined total of 12.84 (from a possible 20).
“It’s always nice to surf at heat and knowing that you won’t be knocked out,” said Hardy. “The conditions look like they’ll be fun for the next few days and I’m excited to surf again.”
Other surfers that excited the judges and spectators alike were Otis North (Yallingup), Ryder Vernon (Dunsborough), Finn Sunderland (Margaret River), Jack Mickle (Trigg) and Toby Jenkins. 
These surfers confirmed their place on top of the Rip Curl GromSearch leader board after day one and will face seeded surfers when competition continues tomorrow.
“It’s going to be a great weekend of surfing coming up for grommets from right across WA, as well as those who have travelled here from NSW, SA and VIC,” said Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks. “It’ll be fun in the sun as we roll through the third event of the Rip Curl GromSearch here in West Oz.”
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.
Participants can look forward to activities, giveaways and the chance to meet surfers from all over the country at each event, as well as hone their skills in the water. Athletes will gain valuable experience with the same system of priority and judging used across all elite surfing events.
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. 
If you missed any of the action from the 2017 Rip Curl GromSearch in WA, you can watch the highlights package via the Surfing WA Vimeo Channel:
Surfing WA will be streaming live heat scores and results from the Rip Curl GromSearch so people can to follow the event anywhere on the planet. Be sure to check out to follow all the action as it happens.

For more information on the Rip Curl GromSearch or any other surfing event in WA be sure to check out
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