The second stop of the 2012 Rip Curl GromSearch surf series proudly presented by H2O Overdrive went off this past Sunday July 8th. 88 frothing competitors were met by 3-5 foot clean off shore conditions at the South Shore of Oahu's grommet hot spot Kewalo Basin. Groms ranging from 16 years old to as young as 7, battled the consistent and rippable A-frame peak for the coveted GromSearch titles.
In the boys 16 and under division, the most seasoned and mature groms of the pack put on an amazing display of above the lip rotating aerials, as well as powerful arcs that threw mountains of spray with the howling wind. In the tightly competitive final heat, which was decided by a 1-point differential, Elijah Gates who was surfing up a division took home the big win! Coming up just short was Kaoli 'The Fylin' Hawaiian' Kahokuloa, who was going huge all event with Dorian Blanchard and Kai Matsumoto finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.
Although Kaoli came up just short in the final, his tail-high, frontside slob grab air reverse earned him the H2O Overdrive Maneuver of the Event, and a custom backpack stuffed with 200 one dollar bills! With great risk, comes great reward…just ask Kaoli.
Watch the move of the event!
In the girls 16 and under division, the final was hot with action, as sets poured in one after another. Defending International GromSearch Champion Tatiana Weston – Webb was the clear favorite and it showed. Tatiana nailed 9.5 and an 8-point ride to take a commanding victory. Tatiana will do her best to defend her International title. Coming in 2nd was Honolua Bloomfield who impressed the crowd all day long. 3rd place went to Zoe McDougall and 4th was Emily Nishimoto; both girls are invited to the National championships. Rounding out the heat was Sierra Lerback in 5th and Sierra Larson 6th.
In the 14 and under final it was a battle of the Elijah's, which both were surfing in two divisions throughout the day. In this final the younger of the two Eli's took down the victory, Elijah Fox! The 13-year-old overcame the odds to beat the older kids and took the title. Elijah Fox is also Rip Curl's newest addition to the team and Rip Curl couldn't be more stoked for the grommet. 2nd place went to the 16U champion Elijah Gates, coming in 3rd was Hunter Johnson and in 4th Chris Bluhardt.
And finally in the super grommet division of the 12 and unders, the kids really stepped up their game and brought some high risk new school moves to the table. Standing out from the field was 9-year-old North Shore, Oahu native Dylan Franzmann. His polished and committed surfing was very deserving of the win. 2nd place went to the 14U champ Elijah Fox, placing 3rd was Hunter Lora, and rounding out the heat in 4th Connor Kennedy.
Hawaiian Island Creations the official retail partner of the Rip Curl GromSearch Hawaii offered up a very special award for this event. They wanted to award the surfer with the best sportsmanship a free custom HIC surfboard! At the end of the day the answer was unanimous, the award went to the ever stoked and smiling Jimmy 'Ulu-boy' Napeahi. Jimmy was rewarded for his politeness, good vibes, and aloha spirit.
Rip Curl would like to thank all of its sponsors Kicker Audio, Dragon Eyewear, Futures Fins, Waterman's Applied Science, Hawaiian Island Creations, and Famous Wax. Rip Curl would like to announce a special thanks to Wahoo's Fish Tacos for supplying another delicious lunch for all of the competitors.
Also be sure to check out the GromSearch's media partners Surfline.com and Surfingmagazine.com for post-event coverage and wrap-ups. Be sure to be on the look out for the Dragon Eyewear 'Frame of the Event,' where groms, friends, and parents will vote on the top photo from the event at facebook.com/DragonAlliance. The winner will receive $50 and a prize package from Dragon.
1st – Elijah Gates ($200)
2nd – Kaoli Kahokuloa
3rd – Dorian Blanchard
4th – Kai Matsumoto
1st – Tatiana Weston – Webb ($200)
2nd – Honolua Bloomfield
3rd – Zoe McDougall
4th – Emily Nishimoto
5th – Sierra Lerback
6th – Sierra Larson
1st – Elijah Fox ($200)
2nd – Elijah Gates
3rd – Hunter Johnson
4th – Chris Bluthardt
1st – Dylan Franzmann ($200)
2nd – Elijah Fox
2nd – Hunter Lora
4th – Connor Kennedy
H2O Overdrive Maneuver of the Event – Kaoli Kahokuloa ($200)
HIC Sportsmanship Award: Jimmy 'Ulu-boy' Napeahi
We still have 2 more stops in the GromSearch qualifying series, we're headed to the East Coast to New Smyrna Beach, Florida on August 11th and the Outer Banks, North Carolina on August 18th, hope to see you there! Sign up at ripcurl.com/gromsearch.