New Smyrna Beach in Florida placed host to the final East Coast Rip Curl Gromsearch event over the weekend – the fifth stop on this year’s national Gromsearch Tour.
Fun, two foot, wedgy peaks, beautiful white sand, and tropical Florida weather greeted competitors on Saturday morning, for yet another full capacity event with over 100 competitors.
The main contest bank saw all the groms competing down at New Smyrna Inlet, and solid wave consistency allowed each grom to showcase their progressive surfing skills. Many spectators took advantage of New Smyrna’s car access, by driving right down to sand level at the contest site. The unique set up produced an energetic vibe to help elevate the standard of performance all round.
The early morning rounds showcased some of the best surfing from groms seen on the East Coast, and the action continued all day long, but it was the semi-finals and finals where things began to really ramp up. As the tide pushed in, competitors were able to combine multiple maneuvers on some of the better set waves and maximize their wave scores.
Ripping their way into the Girls 16 & Under final was Christa Aves (6th place), Courtney Dowling (5th place), and Courtney Andren (5th place). Rising above the rest of the highly competitive girls final and securing a spot in the National Final was Amy Nicholl (3rd place), Jamie Foley (2nd place) and taking the win was Abeco Schweitzer.
Moving onto the Boys 16 & Under Final was Chris Duff (6th place), Chad Bagwell (5th place), and landing a solid 4th place finish was Andrew Gregorie. Earning a spot in the National Final was Mike Powell (3rd place), Brady McKenzie (2nd place) and ripping his way to a first place finish was Jason Dyer.
Halfway through the Boys 14 & Under final things really began to light up as a massive thunderstorm blasted strikes of lightning over the Gromsearch contest site. The New Smyrna Beach lifeguards quickly came and forced the event to a standstill for safety reasons. This brought about the end of competition for Saturday.
Competition quickly resumed Sunday morning and the 14 & Under Final results were as follows : Matt Sabatino (6th place), Aaron Corn (5th place), and Liam Michelbrink (4th place). Moving into the National Final was Caleb Johnston (3rd place), Ben Powell (3rd place), and taking the win was Eric Templeton.
In the boys 12 & Under Final it was Pierson Momtanelli (6th place), Alex Gregorie (5th place), and Kyle Baffrey (4th place). Pushing their way into the National Final was Tommy Lee Orsini (3rd place), New Smyrna’s own Evan Geiselman in 2nd, and taking the win was Evan Thompson.
Once again all contestants and event finalists received a load of cool prizes from this year’s Rip Curl Gromsearch partners: Transworld Surf, Dragon Optical, Reef, and Hansen’s Energy Drink.
Then next stop of the Rip Curl Gromsearch USA will take place at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California, this coming Saturday, August 30.
Pleasure Point will wrap up the regional series for Gromsearch 2003.
After that it’s onto the Rip Curl Gromsearch USA National Final being held at Salt Creek in Dana Point, California – October 4-5.
Be sure to check out all the latest Rip Curl Gromsearch info at:www.ripcurl.com & www.transworldsurf.com
Girls 16 & Under
1) Abeco Schweitzer
2) Jamie Foley
3) Amy Nicholl
4) Courtney Andren
5) Courtney Dowling
6) Christa Aves
Boys 16 & Under
1) Jesse Dyer
2) Brady McKenzie
3) Mike Powell
4) Andrew Gregorie
5) Chad Bagwell
6) Chris Duff
Boys 14 & Under
1) Eric Templeton
2) Ben Powell
3) Caleb Johnston
4) Liam Michelbrink
5) Aaron Corn
6) Matt Sabatino
Boys 12 & Under
1) Evan Thompson
2) Evan Geiselman
3) Tommy Lee Orsini
4) Kyle Baffrey
5) Alex Gregorie
6) Pierson Montanelli