Goofy-footers shine on the opening day of Rip Curl GromSearch at Merewether

The world-renowned Rip Curl GromSearch series got off to a flying start today with competitors going toe-to-toe in beautiful four-foot surf at Merewether Beach.
Reigning NSW Junior Champion Rosie Smart (Sawtell) showed she hadn’t lost any momentum since winning the junior state titles earlier this year, dominating her opening Under-16 Girls exchange. The talented goofy-footer performed an eclectic mix of snaps and carves to post a solid 13.34 two-wave heat total and earn her spot into the quarterfinals.
Koda Killorn (Maroubra), Lennix Smith (Barrack Point) and Zac Tinson (Merewether) all made light work of their opening 16 Boys heats, with all surfers posting heat totals in excess of 12.00. All three surfers surfed well beyond their years in their respective heats to earn themselves a spot into the second round.
Nate Hopkins (Noraville) notched up another highlight-reel performance for the goofy-footers nailing his first-round heat in the 14 Boys division. The Central Coast surfer shone in the overhead conditions, nailing an array of technical backside snaps and carves to finish the heat with a giant 17.83 two-wave heat total.
The main base for the National Final of the Rip Curl GromSearch is Merewether with backup locations of Bar Beach, Dixon Park and Newcastle Beach.
All competitors are advised to ring the event hotline (0458 247 212) by 6.45am on the days of competition to confirm location and running order.
In an uncertain year, organisers have deemed the easiest way for families to plan ahead is to allow entry for each event to be available for state residents only. This alleviates the uncertain issues regarding interstate travel, whilst still providing an opportunity for participants to surf against others from their state.
Each event will be run in conjunction with the state surfing associations and adhere to all appropriate health and safety regulations. In accordance with Victorian regulations, the Victorian event has been moved to November 14-15 at Jan Juc Beach, better aligning with regional restrictions to allow surfers to attend.
The 2020 series will culminate with a GromSearch National final at URBNSURF Melbourne in March 2021. Finalists will be determined from the top-ranked surfers out of each of the three events in the series (in their respective divisions). GromSearch organisers will be working with surfing associations from states where events cannot be held, to try and incorporate surfers from each of those states.
More information on individual events, entry dates and procedure, allocations for National Final and any other updates to follow.
UPDATED 2020 Rip Curl GromSearch Series dates:
*all dates and locations to be confirmed, pending Covid-19 restrictions and regulations.
Event 1 – Newcastle, NSW – Oct 1-4, 2020
NEW DATE Event 2 – Jan Juc, VIC – Nov 14-15, 2020.
EVENT 3 – Coolum, Qld – Dec 14-16, 2020
National Final – URBNSURF, Vic. March, 2021
16 and Under Girls, 14 and Under Girls, 12 and Under Girls
16 and Under Boys, 14 and Under Boys, 12 and Under Boys.
The GromSearch series provides the opportunity for groms to surf with their friends whilst developing their competitive skills. As participants progress through to the finals they gain valuable experience competing against elite-level talent.
The impressive list of previous GromSearch competitors that are currently on the WSL world tour is testament to the quality of the series.
Current WSL World Tour athletes that were GromSearch finalists include:
Tyler Wright*, Steph Gilmore*, Carissa Moore*, Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel, Nikki Van Dijk, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Bronte McCaulay, Caroline Marks, Macy Callaghan, Brisa Hennessy, Isabella Nichols & Bethany Hamilton. (*Note: GromSearch competitors have won the last 13 WSL Women’s World Titles).
Current Men’s WSL World Tour athletes that were GromSearch finalists include:
Gabriel Medina*, Owen Wright, Italo Ferreira*, Jordy Smith*, Kolohe Andino*, Filipe Toledo*, Kanoa Igarashi*, Wade Carmichael, Ryan Callinan, Leonardo Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary, Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto & Morgan Cibilic.
(*Note: the top 6 surfers of the final 2019 WSL World Tour rankings are all former GromSearch finalists).