After two warm-up days enjoying the waves and beach life at stunning Playa Hermosa, Rip Curl GromSearch International finalists had a full day of competition surfing through qualifying and round one.
In quality, overhead (6-8 ft. faces) waves and beautiful sunshine the competitors relished the opportunity to let lose in the quest to secure a place straight into the quarter-finals.
Local surfers put on a show with Tao Rodriguez, Aarón Ramirez and Rubiana Brownell all having convincing wins against the International contingent, while skipping the dreaded round 2.
On the girl’s side, Molly Picklum made up for a slow start in her qualifier heat, by finding her groove on her next opportunity in round 1. Molly attacked her way with a dramatic finish on the shorebreak. Other girl’s standouts were Alyssa spencer, Mathea Olin, Juliette Lacome and Melania Suarez.
Competition will resume tomorrow with Round 2 of boys and girls, followed by girl’s quarter finals. This will set up an exciting finish during Saturday’s finals day where the 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch International champions will be crowned.
Qualifier Round Results (Seeding) – Boys
1st Taro Watanabe (USA), 12.67
2nd Kyllian Guerin (FRA), 12.17
3rd Afonso Atunes (PRT), 11.04
4th Finn Cox (AUS), 10.64
5th Will Masterman (ENG), 9.57
6th Aaron Ramiriz (CRI), 9.14
7th Sam Reidy (CR), 9.10
8th Tao Rodriquz (PAN), 7.80
9th Adur Amatrian (SPN), 7.27
10th Manny Valentin (PR), 7.06
11th Ryuki Waida (IND), 6.60
12th Jack Lee (NZ), 5.50
Qualifier Round Results (Seeding) – Girls
1st Melania Suarez (PRT), 14.84
2nd Alyssa Spencer (USA), 13.17
3rd Juliette Lacome (FRA), 13.00
4th Caity Simmers (USA), 9.43
5th Rubiana Brownell (CR), 8.50
6th Mathea Olin (CAN), 8.43
7th Concha Balsemao (PRT), 7.83
8th Molly Picklum (AUS), 7.50
9th Sophia Medina (BRA), 6.97
10th Valeria Ojeda (CR), 7.07
11th Brie Bennett (NZ), 5.50
12th Alys Barton (ENG), 2.16
Round 1 – Boys
Heat 1: 1st Tao Rodriguez 12.17, 2nd Taro Watanabe 11.74, 3rd Jack Lee 8.26.
Heat 2: 1st Finn Cox 12.27, 2nd Adur Amatrian 10.90, 3rd Will Masterman 3.84.
Heat 3: 1st Aarón Ramirez 13.57, 2nd Afonso Antunes 12.66, 3rd Manny Valentin 7.27.
Heat 4: 1st Ryuki Waida 13.10, 2nd Sam Reidy 13.03, 3rd Kyllian Guerin 9.66.
Round 1 – Girls
Heat 1: Molly Picklum 12.77, 2nd Melania Suarez 7.83, 3rd Alys Barton 4.27.
Heat 2: Rubiana Brownell 12.33, 2nd Caitlin Simmers 11.24, 3rd Sophia Medina 6.97.
Heat 3: Mathea Olin 11.73, 2nd Juliette Lacome 10.93, 3rd Valeria Ojeda 7.93.
Heat 4: 1st Alyssa Spencer 7.90, Concha Balsemao 5.84, Brie Bennett 3.07.
Round 2 – Boys
Heat 1: Taro Watanabe vs. Will Masterman.
Heat 2: Adur Amatrian vs. Jack Lee.
Heat 3: Afonso Antunes vs. Kyllian Guerin.
Heat 4: Sam Reidy vs. Manny Valentin.
Round 2 – Girls
Heat 1: Melania Suarez vs. Sophia Medina.
Heat 2: Caitlin Simmers vs. Alys Barton.
Heat 3: Juliette Lacome vs. Brie Bennett.
Heat 4: Concha Balsemao vs. Valeria Ojeda.
2019 Competitors, Rip Curl GromSearch International final.
Australia Molly Picklum, Finn Cox
Brazil Sophia Medina
Canada Mathea Olin
England Alys Barton, Will Masterman
France Juliette Lacome, Kyllian Guerin
Indonesia Ryuki Waida
New Zealand Brie Bennett, Jack Lee
Portugal Concha Balsemao, Afonso Antunes
Puerto Rico Manny Valentin
Spain Melania Suarez, Adur Amatriain
United States Alyssa Spencer, Taro Watanabe, Caitlin Simmers
Host nation, Costa Rica Rubiana Brownel,l Aarón Ramirez, Valeria Ojeda, Sam Reidy, Tao Rodriguez
The 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch International final is supported by Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica and The Backyard Beach hotel.
Previous Champions – Rip Curl GromSearch International final
Previous International Champions
2018 Xavier Huxtable (Aus) & Keala Tomoda-Bannert (Hawaii)
2017 Kade Matson (USA) & Caroline Marks (USA)
2016 Nolan Rapoza (USA) & Brisa Hennessey (Hawaii)
2015 Samuel Pupo (BRA) & Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica)
2014 Pat Curren (USA) & Brisa Hennessey (Hawaii)
2013 Leonardo Fioravanti (Italy) & Tatiana Weston-Webb (Hawaii)
2012 Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) & Tatiana Weston-Webb (Hawaii)
2011 Mitch Parkinson (AUS) & Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
2010 Gabriel Medina (BRA) & Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
2009 Thomas Woods (AUS) & Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
2008 Dale Staples (ZAF) & Malia Jones (HAW)
2007 Tyler Newton (USA) & Tyler Wright (AUS)
2006 Owen Wright (AUS) & Alana Blanchard (HAW)
2005 Mason Ho (HAW) & Nikita Robb (ZAF)
GromSearch International final – Locations.
The first GromSearch International final was held at Bells Beach, Australia as part of the 2005 Rip Curl Pro, WSL tour event.
Since 2014 the International final has been on ‘the Search’, looking for new and exciting locations to run the event.
2019 – Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica.
2018 – Raglan, New Zealand.
2017 – Maresias Beach, Brazil.
2016 – Ala Moana Bowls, Waikiki, Hawaii, USA.
2015 – Maresias Beach, Sao Paulo Brazil.
2014 – Lakey Peak, Sumbawa Indonesia.
2005 – 2013 – Bells Beach, Victoria Australia.
About the GromSearch:
Since Rip Curl developed the concept for the GromSearch events in 1999, the series has spread throughout the surfing world and now culminates with an International final held at a different location each year. The worldwide series is held for male and female surfers aged 16 years and under, commonly referred to as “groms”, with the aim of the GromSearch is to nurture and recruit the next generation of surfers at a grassroots level.
Former GromSearch champions include current WSL World Tour stars; Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson, Kanoa Igarashi, Kolohe Andino, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Brisa