Days before the final stop of the 2005 Rip Curl GromSearch Tour presented by Nintendo went off, all eyes were on the weather maps. With hurricane Katrina getting dizzy about a thousand miles away, the question remained: will the final stop of the G-Search be cancelled?
One thing is for sure, the threatening natural disaster didn’t discourage any Sunshine State talent from showing face. Not only was this the most attended stop on the tour, but this was possibly the most entered amount of groms in U.S. GromSearch history. Over 120 youngsters made their way to Bethune Beach in New Smyrna, Fl. on August 27 for what quickly became a clear-cut finale for the successful GromSearch season.
The ‘cane spinning south provided fun, waist to chest high peaks that gave all groms a level playing field to showcase their respective skills. In the Boys’ 12 and under division, two mini-shredders straight up put their country on the map. Waving the flag for Barbados, Bruce Mackie and Lewis St. John made the over-seas voyage to bring some imported first class shredding to the unsuspecting Florida juniors. Ultimately, Mackie walked away with the platinum-resembling Rip Curl trophy, a whole slew of unbelievable prizes, and some old-fashioned national pride to bring back to Barbados.
“The GromSearch was so much fun, released a pumped up Mackie. “This was the first contest I have ever competed in outside of Barbados. I think it’ safe to say that this won’t be the talent’s last either.
In the Boys’ 14 and under, Evan Thompson surfed a shutout, refusing to accept anything less than 1st place in each of his heats. Overcoming a field of 36, Thompson linked up countless combos in the final to edge out a fired up Chad Ellingham, proving he was the young man to beat from start to finish.
In the 16 and under ladies division, the young Wahines stepped up to show that the East Coast talent pool ran in both genders. Rip Curl team rider Amy Nicholl had no mercy in the final, as she smashed each and every wave on her way to victory, in the process also winning the “Nintendo Freakshow Maneuver of the Day Award for a vertical, lightning quick snap that had the beach gabbing about the Florida native.
Big props have to go out to Boys 16 and under champ Tyler “Crawdaddy Crawford, who pushed the limits all day. The Crawdad nabbed the lead for the “Nintendo Freakshow Maneuver of the Day Award early in the comp with a frontside, fins-out lipslide, but he decided to up the ante in the final en route to capturing GromSearch gold. Midway through the final, nurturing a comfortable lead, Crawford approached a small, bowly section and committed to a tweaked out air reverse to full recovery. The Ormond Beach native accepted the pair of awards graciously and flashed his 1st place trophy, which is undoubtedly heading to the top of his growing collection.The 8th stop of the 2005 Rip Curl GromSearch tour caps an exciting season that reached local groms everywhere from Puerto Rico to Hawaii. The national champions will be determined on November 5 at Salt Creek, Cali.
Full results at www.ripcurl.com.
Special thanks go out to Rip Curl GromSearch sponsors for making this tour blow up: Nintendo, Monster Energy, FCS, Sticky Bumps, Surf One, and ADD marketing.