The surfers may have been small in stature, but the surfing and atmosphere was larger than life over the weekend as Croyde played host to the first Grom Search event of 2016. The Rip Curl Grom Search series is renowned globally for being a concoction of all things wonderful in our sport and this event was no different. The competitions not only provides elite level international opportunity, but a friendly, welcoming and enjoyable experience for the youth of surfing.
Surf events in the summer are all about lucking into swell, and Mother Nature turned out to be in a generous but mischievous mood, leading to two full days of surf but a split location event.
Saturday was a day for the mass entry to enjoy with the biggest Grom Search entry to date, resulting in the 20 minute 4 man heats and action from the word go. The sun came out to say hello from time to time and the wind blew and blew as the surfers surfed and surfed some more. Surfers progressed through heats as the tide dropped and although challenging at times, the surf provided relentless scoring potential.
As the solid forecast became reality a call late in the day was made to relocate the entire event site to the nearby more sheltered beach of Puttsborough. An evening of setting up and watching the sets roll in increased the anticipation of what the finals day may hold, and boy did it deliver.
3-5ft pumping high tide surf was the case for most of the Sunday. Puttsborough is a natural and stunning amphitheatre which meant that surfers, staff and spectators could watch and admire the courage, commitment and skills of the young surfers from an elevated and close proximity. The competitors from under 12 to under 16 years of age were not only faced with waves way bigger that than themselves, but began to tame it and shred apart the open faces, arising to the challenge in true Grom Search style.
U16 girls winner Ellie Turner
We would like to congratulate Ellie Turner and Seth Morris on taking maximum points in the Under 16 divisions and who now go to Watergate Bay for the final event in search of the two 16’s boys and girl’s tickets to the European finals. Max Hudson and Kitty Brewer taking respective 2nd place finishes and to all the other surfers for earning their Grom Search ranking points.
We would also like to thank the surfers, parents, staff, land owners and supporters for making such an enjoyable and memorable event. We look forward to seeing you in Watergate Bay on August 20th & 21st where UK champions will be crowned.
Photos by Rob Tibble
U12 Girls: 1st Lauren Sandland 2nd Tegan Blackford 3rd Eva Blackford 4th Asha Sykes 5th Claudia Cosgrove
U12 Boys: 1st Sam Hearn 2nd Bertie Norman 3rd Thomas Reeves 4th Beau Betteridge
U14 Girls: 1st Ffion Hughes 2nd Bonita Whitelock 3rd Lauren Sandland 4th Tegan Blackford
U14 Boys: 1st Sol Hawkins 2nd Woody New 3rd Max Hudson 4th Sam Hearn
U16 Girls 1st Ellie Turner 2nd Kitty Brewer 3rd Mischa Maguire 4th Ffion Hughes
U16 Boys: 1st Seth Morris 2nd Max Hudson 3rd Kit Innes 4th Patrick Langdon Dark