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Big upsets & tricky conditions rule national grom final in Oz

Noah Stocca © Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW




Rip Curl GromSearch
presented by Flight Centre National Final

North Narrabeen Beach, NSW, Australia
16 - 18​ January, 2017

Local event wildcard Sophia Chapman eliminates favorite Kirra-Belle Olsson in the 16-and-Under quarters

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 January, 2017 - The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre National Final saw a day of tricky conditions and massive upsets as competitors fought to cement a position into tomorrow’s final rounds.
Local event wildcard Sophia Chapman (Narrabeen, NSW) caused one of the biggest upsets of the event, eliminating top seed Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca, NSW) in the 16-and-Under quarterfinals. Chapman used her local knowledge to muster up a respectable 13.33 heat total (out of a possible 20 points) and eliminate the former event runner-up from the competition. Chapman will face Sasha Baker (Mudjimba, Qld) in tomorrow’s semi-final after Baker eliminated local ripper Tru Starling (Narrabeen, NSW) in the second quarterfinal.
Fellow Northern Beaches local Bodhi Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW) was also eliminated in the quarterfinals by Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) after Leigh-Jones was unable to find a near-perfect 9.44 scoring wave to better Harrison’s impressive 13.93 heat total.
Hot off a recent victory in the 2016 Surf, Dive ‘N’ Ski Australian Junior Titles at Phillip Island, Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic) was unable to find the same form and fell victim to the deadly forehand attack of Noah Stocca (Peregian Beach, Qld). Huxtable retained priority for nearly 60 percent of the heat, but was unable to find more than one scoring wave and as a result was knocked out of the competition by Stocca who posted a decent 12.50 heat score.
While Xavier experienced the lows of competitive surfing, brother Ethan Huxtable walked away from day two of competition on a high after dominating the second round of the 12-and-Under Boys. Ethan remained busy over the duration of the heat catching multiple waves and notching up a 14.60 heat total. 

The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre will commence each day at 7:30 am with the call for the day's schedule and location confirmed via the event hotline at 6:45 am. The event hotline number is 0458 247 212 which will leave a voice recorded message each morning of the event.

All Rip Curl GromSearch events include boys’ and girls’ divisions in 16 and under, 14 and under, and 12 and under age groups. Surfers receive points for their results in each event, which then count towards a National GromSearch ratings system, allowing surfers from around Australia to compare their results with contemporaries. Leaders on the National Ratings will then qualify for the last event of the series, the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final, to be held at North Narrabeen, NSW on January 16-18, 2017.

The Rip Curl GromSearch series started in 1999 as a one-day event at Jan Juc in Victoria. Since then it has developed into the strongest international series for 16 year and under surfers in the world. With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch series in over 10 countries, it has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of elite junior surfers.

The list of previous GromSearch competitors highlights the elite level of competitors that make up the Rip Curl GromSearch series.

Current WSL World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch include:

Male: Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Nat Young (USA).

Female: Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Aust), Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Aust), Nikki Van Dijk (Aust), Tatiana Weston-Webb (Hawaii).

The 2016 Rip Curl GromSearch series is presented by FLIGHT CENTRE with managing partner Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW.

Citroen is the official vehicle partner of Rip Curl Australia.

2016 Rip Curl GromSearch Series
EVENT 1 - Jan Juc, VIC - Sept 17 - 19, 2016
EVENT 2 - Maroubra, NSW - Sep 24 - 27, 2016
EVENT 3 - Trigg / Scarborough WA - Oct 7 - 9, 2016
EVENT 4 - Yorkes Peninsula, SA - Nov 12 - 13, 2016
EVENT 5 - Sunshine Coast, QLD - Dec 12 - 16, 2016
National Final - North Narrabeen - Jan 16 - 18, 2017

Ethan Smith

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