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New Zealand’s best set for coming RipCurl GromSearch


Johnny Hicks : photo NZ Surfing Magazine

Rip Curl GromSearch #2

Gisborne New Zealand
19 - 20 July 2008

New Zealand’s best set for Gisborne RipCurl GromSearch

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 July, 2008 : - - Some of New Zealand’s best young surfers return from Australia this week to compete in the second event of the Rip Curl GromSearch being held at Gisborne (19-20 July).  After competing in two major events in Australia surfers such as Johnny Hicks (Gis), Alex Dive (Mnt) and Alexis Poulter (Rag) along with another ten of the countries top surfers will have to quickly acclimatise before putting their skills to the test.
A small south swell is forecast for the weekend and local boy Johnny Hicks could be in line to take his second win of the series this year.  Hicks, who will be contesting the under 16 boys division will be fresh back from Australia where he has been competing.  Prior to that Hicks surfed his way to seventh at the World Junior Championships in France during May.
The Rip Curl GromSearch has always been a proving ground for young surfers.  This weekend, Hicks will lead a strong field of surfers from the Gisborne region.  A recent push on junior development in the region has seen the number of young surfers skyrocket.  There have been development camps as well as a regional development series of events for young school age surfers.  The results are telling with Gisborne surfers scattered throughout all divisions of the event. 
As well as the many newcomers to the event this weekend, Gisborne will also bring to the table a lot of title challengers.  Jayda Martin-Fitzharris will be fresh back from Australia.  There will also be the likes of Reno Marriott, Gabe Marriott, Korbin Hutchings, Jules Craft and Hannah Kohn.
The local Gisborne crew will be joined by 80 surfers from all over the North Island.  One of the big draw cards for the top surfers is the chance to secure a berth in the national final of the under 16 boys and girls divisions.  The winners of the final receive entry into the international final held at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach to potentially unleash their talents on the world’s best.
Alex Dive (Mnt) will be out to secure one of these finals berths.  Dive was a shock elimination in the semifinals of the first event of the series held at Back Beach, Taranaki in May.  With Hicks having already secured his place in the finals, Dive will be joined by the likes of Blake Myers (WGM), Tane Wallis (Piha) and Ben Poulter (Rag) in the race for the second berth.
In the under 16 girls division Alexis Poulter (Rag) has already nailed down her place in the final.  However that is unlikely to stop her tackling nothing short of a win this weekend.  First event runner-up Rosa Thompson (Auck) will be out to even the ledger and try and lock in a finals berth of her own.  Both Hicks and Thompson represented New Zealand at the Rip Curl GromSearch international final earlier this year.
Many aspiring groms will also be out to win titles in their respective divisions.  The four event series spans across New Zealand with events in Taranaki, Gisborne, Dunedin and Piha Beach, Auckland.  A good result by any surfer will go a long way to winning the series for 2008.
The contest venue will be posted at Stockroute, Wainui at 7.30am on Saturday morning with the likely venues to be Midway Beach in town or Makorori.  The event will commence at 8.00am.  For further information regarding the Rip Curl GromSearch, please contact Leon Parkin on 021 386 473, or Ben Kennings at Surfing New Zealand 021 2278732,
Upcoming Events
Rip Curl GromSearch 3: Dunedin – 4th – 5th October
Rip Curl GromSearch 4: Piha – 6th – 7th December

The 2008 Rip Curl GromSearch is sponsored by Rip Curl and New Zealand Surfing Magazine.



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Ben Kennings

Groms - Surfersvillage


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