Moniz And McGill Win GromSearch Kewalo Basin

Moniz & McGill Defend Their Home Turf at the Rip Curl GromSearch Kewalo Basin

Costa Mesa, CA (July 15th, 2013): This past Sunday, July 14th, the second stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch series presented by Mophie was full of aloha spirit, as 84 competitors between the ages of 8 – 16 took to the warm beautiful waters of Kewalo Basin on the South Shore of Oahu. With a strong ESE trade swell in the water, competitors were greeted with clean 2-4 foot conditions all day long, providing highly rippable lefts as well as wedging rights into the 'air wind.' With 16 RCGS National Final invite spots on the line, the young boys and girls from across the Hawaiian Islands showed up ready to do battle.

In the premiere 16 & under boy's division, Kewalo's local and the event's #1 seed, Seth Moniz, was a clear stand out from the first heat of the day. Seth's local knowledge came to play time and time again, as he found himself in the best position for the waves offering the most scoring potential. After going to the skies in his first few heats, Moniz stuck to his backhand during the Final scoring multiple rides in the excellent (8-10) point range.

"Coming home from the NSSA & Surfing America events, it's good to just compete in a fun event. I didn't have any coaches telling me what to do; I just went out and had a good time with my good friends," Moniz explained of how he perceived the GromSearch Series. "Not many amateur events put money in for the kids, so that's another cool thing Rip Curl does for the kids. Thanks Rip Curl!"

With the win, Moniz, as well as the other 16 & Under finalists: Kauai future star Dorian Blanchard in 2nd; Cole Alves of Maui, who surfed in all three age divisions in in 3rd, and last year's defending champ, Elijah Gates of Oahu, in 4th, have all earned invites to compete in the RCGS National Final October 26th at Upper Trestles, San Clemente. The champion in both the Boys & Girls 16 & under at Trestles, will win an all expense paid trip to compete in the International GromSearch Final held in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, 2014.

The girl's 16 & under division was exciting all day as the Hawaiian girls brought their shred sticks to the Kewalo walls. Rip Curl's newest team rider, Brisa Hennessy, Kailua, Oahu, took the early lead in the final with an array of powerful backhand snaps. However, ISA World Champion, Dax McGill, Hale'iwa, Oahu, sat patiently on the outside as she collected two set waves and absolutely dismantled each section that appeared. McGill took the win, with Hennessy in 2nd; 3rd went to Brittany Penaroza; and 4th to Summer Macedo. These four girls have earned their invites to the National Championships. Rounding out the final in 5th was Kealohi Sabate, and 6th Julie Nishimoto.

The boy's 14 & under final was a full on airshow as the eventual champion, Kaulana Apo, boosted on his backhand to earn himself a 9 point ride for a clean air reverse. The air not only helped him secure the win and a $250 check from Rip Curl, but also the Mophie Maneuver of the event! Mophie awarded Kaulana a custom embroidered backpack full of $50 in single dollar bills, as well as a huge prize pack of Mophie goodies. Coming up just short was Noa Mizuno in 2nd, Barron Mimiya in 3rd, and 4th Loa Ng.

Finally, the super groms of the 12 & under boy's surfed well beyond their years and blew the minds of spectators, announcers, and judges alike. Hawaii is well known to breed outstanding surfers at a young age and they did not disappoint. Battling it out all day was Wyatt McHale and Cole Alves, as both surfers pushed their limits with big moves and combinations. In the end Wyatt McHale held onto the GromSearch title, with Alves in 2nd, Reef Tsutsui, in 3rd, and rounding out the final in 4th was last year's defending champ, Dylan Franzman.

Rip Curl's Official Retail Partner of the GromSearch Kewalos, Hawaiian Island Creations, also gave out a special award to the surfer who demonstrated the best sportsmanship, and aloha spirit. This went to the young Diego Ferri, who was most deserving grom of the day. Congrats Diego!

Rip Curl is ecstatic to hold such a fun event at such a quality wave in Hawaii, featuring the best 16 & under talents across the Island chain. Rip Curl would like to thank all of the Kewalo's locals for allowing the GromSearch to compete and keeping the lineup clear. We would also like to thank our official sponsors: Mophie, Smith Optics, Kicker Audio, Futures Fins, Waterman's Applied Science, Hubert's Lemonade, Banzai Bowls, Surfing Magazine,, and Wahoo's Fish Tacos. A big thanks goes out to Famous Surf Wax for providing GromSearch with custom wax this year, as well as HIC, the Official GromSearch Hawaii Retail Partner. We hope to see you at our next GromSearch event August 10th or 11th, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Sign up at


Boys 16 & Under
1. Seth Moniz
2. Dorian Blanchard
3. Cole Alves
4. Elijah Gates

Girls 16 & Under
1. Dax McGill
2. Brisa Hennessy
3. Brittany Penaroza
4. Summer Macedo
5. Kealohi Sabate
6. Julie Nishimoto

Boys 14 & Under
1. Kaulana Apo
2. Noa Mizuno
3. Barron Mimiya
4. Loa Ng

Boys 12 & Under
1. Wyatt McHale
2. Cole Alves
3. Reef Tsutsui
4. Dylan Franzman

Mophie Maneuver of the Event
Kaulana Apo

HIC Sportsmanship Award
Diego Ferri