2018 Rip Curl GromSearch to Kick Off Tomorrow on the Sunshine Coast

Ashton Pignat
Ashton Pignat
Ashton Pignat (Mount Coolum, QLD) is coming in hot to the Rip Curl GromSearch. Credit: Ben Stagg / Surfing Queensland thanks to Camera House

Over 180 grommets from all over Australia and several international surfers will congregate on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow for the fifth and final stop of the 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch Series, to kick off tomorrow (Friday 14th) and run through to Tuesday (18th). The event will see surfers compete in their last chance at securing series ratings points across six divisions, ranging from the 12 and under girls through to the blue ribbon 16 and under boys.

Event officials are keeping a close eye on an inclement weather system that is currently tracking down the East Coast of Australia. Surfing Queensland in conjunction with Surfing Australia and RipCurl are working to find the best conditions for competitors, with safety as top priority.  

Gold Coast local Scott Arderne (Tugun, QLD) is excited about the event and has his eyes on a great result in the 12 and under boys division. Arderne had a stellar 2018 of surfing, including a runner-up finish in the 2018 Queensland Grommet Titles – being pipped at the post by fellow Gold Coaster Rico Haybittle (Burleigh Heads, QLD) in the series ratings.    

“I’ll just be glad to make the final,” said Arderne. “I’ll definitely be aiming for the best result I can, I’ve been free surfing heaps and training hard. The event will be lots of fun.”

The Green sisters of the Sunshine Coast, Stella (10) and Tayla (12) (Buddina, QLD) will be looking forward to the event after a huge year of surfing with some great results. Stella was crowned 2018 Queensland Grommet champion earlier in the year, and also won first place at the Billabong Parko’s Grom Stomp – she will definitely be one to watch at this event.  

“I’m pretty excited for the GromSearch,” said Stella. “It means a lot for me this year because I’m finally old enough to enter. I’m pretty confident, after winning the State Grommet Titles and the Parko’s Grom Stomp as well, when I won a new board!”

14-year-old Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, QLD) is a competitor to keep an eye on at the event, after taking out the Blue Ribbon 16 and under boys division last year at only 13 years of age. The Gold Coast local has had a big year of results and is showing no signs of slowing down.  

Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) has stepped up to the 16 and under girls division, after taking first place in the 14 and under girls division last year. The step-up will definitely bring tougher competition for her. 

The Sunshine Coast’s own Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD) will be coming in hot to the event this Friday, after taking a first-place finish in the under 12 boys division at the Sunshine Coast leg of the Woolworths Surfer Grom Comp series presented by Pic’s Peanut Butter on Sunday.

New Zealand surfer Brie Bennet (Raglan, NZ) will be making the trip over to Australia to compete at the event, as well as other international surfers Ava

Henderson (NZ), Hiroto Mori (JPN) and Yuma Nagasawa (JPN).

“The Rip Curl GromSearch is a highly prestigious series for junior surfers worldwide. We’re always stoked to host part of the series in Queensland, and we should see some great waves for this year’s event on the sunshine coast,” said Surfing Queensland CEO Adam Yates. “Working closely with the team at Rip Curl, this event always attracts the best emerging talent from Queensland.”

The Rip Curl GromSearch is a worldwide series of events designed for grommets. The GromSearch Series runs in 10 different countries with over 5,000 competitors worldwide. Since it’s inception in 1999, The Australian Rip Curl Gromsearch Series has allowed junior surfers from around the country the opportunity to compete in a fun and engaging environment.

With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch Series in over 10 countries, the series has become a crucial stepping-stone in the development of junior surfers right across the globe. The list of previous GromSearch winners illustrates the prestigious 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 Fitz gibbons (Australia) among the list of former competitors and Grom Search International Final Champions.

The Australian series is made up of five events as well as a National final. Participants for the National final are determined from the GromSearch ratings, counting a surfers best 2 results across the series. In 2018 the winner of each division in each respective event of the series will be guaranteed entry into the National final, their seed in the National final will be determined by their best 2 results total on the 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch Rankings.

The 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch is presented by Flight Centre, with managing partner Surfing Australia. Proudly supported by the Naturally Refreshing Sunshine Coast City Council.  

2018 Rip Curl GromSearch Presented by Flight Centre Series Schedule:

EVENT 1 – Jan Juc, VIC – Sept 22 – 24, 2018

EVENT 2 – Newcastle, NSW – Sept 29 – Oct 2, 2018

EVENT 3 – Trigg / Scarborough, WA – Oct 5 – 7, 2018

EVENT 4 – Yorke Peninsula, SA – Oct 27 – 28, 2018

EVENT 5 – Sunshine Coast, QLD – Dec 14 – 18, 2018

NATIONAL FINAL – Wollongong Region, NSW – January 14 – 16, 2019