Rip Curl GromSearch National Final crowns six new national champions at Woonona today.
GromSearch National Final saw six new national champions crowned today following a handful of exciting finals in playful two-foot wedges at Woonona Beach.
In the 16-and-Under Boys, Mike Clayton-Brown (Port Stephens, NSW) followed the same pattern that saw him win the 14-and-Under Boys division back in 2017. The Port Stephens natural-footer went toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow, with fellow natural footer Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) in the exciting final with both surfers trading off a bunch of decent scores, however, Clayton-Brown was able to gain the upper hand thanks to a handful of scores in the high seven-point range. As a result, Clayton-Brown cemented his position in the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final.

Milli Allport (Shelly Beach, NSW) became the second Shelly Beach local in as many years to claim the 16 Girls division at the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final, mirroring the same result that Molly Picklum achieved last year. Allport gained the edge in the wave-starved final thanks to posting a respectable 10.97 two-wave heat total, which was awarded for a mix of powerful forehand carves. Runner-up Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads, Vic) put on a valiant effort but was unable to find the required 5.95 wave score needed to take away Allport’s lead. Allport will also contest the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final later in 2020.

The 14-and-Under Boys and Girls division was dominated by Buddina surfers, with Sunshine Coast duo Braxon Holstrom (Buddina, Qld) and Jahly Stokes (Buddina, Qld) taking out the top honours. Both surfers performed a series of technically sound snaps and carves to claim victories in their finals and ensure that the two titles would return to the Sunshine Coast.

Jake Feher (Maroubra, NSW) claimed the biggest win of his young career, taking out the 12 Boys division. The eastern suburbs natural-footer shone in the exciting final against Fletcher Kelleher (Manly, NSW). Both surfers went hammer-and-tong in the final with the duo trading off a series of excellent scores, however, Feher was able to claim the win by less than half-a-point margin thanks to his 16.57 two-wave heat total.

Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads, NSW) claimed her second 12 Girls final in as many years claiming victory against fellow event standout Ruby Trew (Manly, NSW). The north coast natural-footer put on a blistering display of rail surfing over the duration of the final, posting a giant 15.93 two-wave heat total to claim the win.

The main base for the National Final of the Rip Curl GromSearch was Woonoona and Sandon Point with backup locations of Bellambi, Port Kembla and Thirroul.

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.

The Australian series allows surfers from around the country to compete against their contemporaries in a fun and engaging environment. Each result in the four-event series is awarded points that count towards a surfer’s GromSearch National ranking, giving participants across the country the opportunity to compare their performances against their peers.

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 from each participating country.

Dates and locations for the 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch Series are:
RCGS - EVENT 1 - Jan Juc, VIC - Sept 21-23, 2019
RCGS - EVENT 2 - Newcastle, NSW - Oct 5-8, 2019
RCGS - EVENT 3 - Yorke Peninsula, SA - Nov 2-3, 2019
RCGS - EVENT 4 - Sunshine Coast, QLD - Dec 16-19, 2019
National Final – Woonona, NSW – Jan 14-16, 2020

The 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch series is supported by managing partners Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW.

16-and-Under Boys
1 – Mike Clayton-Brown (Port Stephens, NSW)
2 – Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld)

16-and-Under Girls
1 – Milli Allport (Shelly Beach, NSW)
2 – Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads, Vic)

14-and-Under Boys
1 – Braxon Holstrom (Buddina, Qld)
2 – Dom Thomas (Swansea Heads, NSW)

14-and-Under Girls
1 – Jahly Stokes (Buddina, Qld)
2 – Oceanna Rogers (Shellharbour, NSW)

12-and-Under Boys
1 – Jake Feher (Maroubra, NSW)
2 – Fletcher Kelleher (Manly, NSW)

12-and-Under Girls
1 – Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads, NSW)
2 – Ruby Trew (Manly, NSW)