As challenging conditions prevailed in Coolum on day three of the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Posca, competition turned up a notch with competitors now battling it out in elimination rounds.
In one of the most exciting heats, an in-form Sophie McCulloch (Alexandra Headland, QLD) posted a 19.97 heat total for the highest heat total the Rip Curl GromSearch has seen in recent memory.
“This is definitely the highest heat total I’ve ever posted,” said McCulloch.
“Obviously I would have loved to have scored my first perfect heat but I’m not complaining with the result that I got, especially when I got the scores from my first two waves. Because the 16 and under girls division is stacked with so much talent, it’s hard to rule out anyone from winning this event.”
Sophie has guaranteed herself a spot in tomorrow’s hotly contested semi-final against Lucy Callister (Burleigh Heads, QLD), Alyssa Lock (Coolangatta, QLD) and Kirra-Belle Olsen (Copacabana, NSW).
Also proving a standout in day three of competition was Hinata Aizawa (Currumbin, QLD) who progressed not only through his round two heat in the 16 and under boys division but also a tight round three heat against Dextar Muskens (Tweed Heads, NSW), Kai Tandler (Coolangatta, QLD) and Logan Steinwede (Wagstaffe, NSW). Hinata walked away with a second place to Muskens in round three, which is all that was required to secure a spot in tomorrow’s quarter-final.
As things wrapped up towards the end of the day, Laura Poncini (Moffat Beach, QLD) brought her firm backhand surfing to the table defeating fellow local Jaleesa Vincent (Coolum Beach, QLD) and young gun Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, QLD) in the 16 and under girls round two. Poncini and Vincent have progressed through to tomorrow’s semi-final.
Competition is set to resume tomorrow at Coolum beach with the 16 and under boys round three first out in the water closely followed by the 16 and under girls round three.
The Australian Rip Curl GromSearch series includes five events at key surfing locations around the country followed by a National Final at Sydney’s famous North Narrabeen.
This year the National Final has been expanded to a 3-day event allowing all divisions to surf it out for the National Title. Winners in the 16’s division will go on to represent Australia against the rest of the world at the Grom Search International Final.
Current ASP World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch finals include: Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Owen Wright (Australia), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia), Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Laura Enever (Australia) and Alana Blanchard (Hawaii).
2014 Australian Series – Dates and locations
Event 1: Jan Juc, Vic. Sept 20-22, 2014
Event 2: Cronulla, NSW. Oct 2-5, 2014
Event 3: Trigg, WA. Oct 10-12, 2014
Event 4: Yorke Peninsula, SA. Nov 15-16, 2014
Event 5: Sunshine Coast, QLD. Dec 15-19, 2014
National Final: January 12-14, 2015 – North Narrabeen, NSW
Boys – 16 and Under, 14 and Under, 12 and Under
Girls – 16 and Under, 14 and Under, 12 and Under
The 2014 Rip Curl GromSearch series is presented by POSCA (Mitsubishi Pencil Australia), with managing partner Surfing Australia and associate partners FireWire surfboards, Shapers Fins and ASL magazine.
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