Kade Matson and Caroline Marks Win The 2017 International Rip Curl GromSearch Final presented by Coconuts Hotel, Ellie Turner (UK) runner up and Yael Pena (SP) in the semi finals.

The United States has come out on top at the 2017 International Rip Curl GromSearch Final presented by Coconuts Hotel, with two San Clemente locals taking the top prizes.

On the women’s side, the winner Caroline Marks was impressive. Back in 2015, the last time the International Final was held at Maresias, Caroline finished third in a tight and high-scoring heat. Today, she took the momentum from that loss three years ago and channelled it into the best overall performance of the entire event. Posting a 9.5 on both day one and day two, she took claim to the highest heat scores each day of the event – between both men and women. And in the final, with the tide dropping out and conditions becoming more and more wonky, she managed to snag a heat total of 13.85 against her opponent Ellie Turner (UK), who finished the final heat with a 10.05 cumulative total.


“It’s been a really great event for me, and I was extra motivated because I came so close to winning here a few years ago,” Caroline said. “The waves were really similar too – it was almost déjà vu! But I’m so stoked that I won – I’ve worked really hard to get here, and I’m more than ready to relax a little bit and celebrate!”

After the final rounds had been run and done, the competitors headed back to Coconuts Hotel to be greeted by a crowd of locals looking to take part in the closing ceremony. Gabriel Medina attended and had the honour of giving the new International Rip Curl Gromsearch Final winners their trophies.

“It’s been so fun having all of you guys here this week,” Gabriel said, “and it’s great to see this next generation of surfers so motivated. The Interational GromSearch Final is a big deal – I won it, and a lot of other competitors on the CT have competed in it. Most of them, actually. So just know that you’re the next generation of surfers headed towards the World Tour. It’s been great having you, and congratulations!”

It’s been a great week of waves here in Maresias, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Rip Curl would like to thank the locals and the country of Brazil for being so welcoming.

Congratulations to all of the surfers, especially Kade Matson and Caroline Marks… winners of the 2017 International Rip Curl GromSearch Final!

Women’s Quarter Finals (first and second to semi, third eliminated)
QF1: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.75 (9.00), Ellie Turner (UK) 12.00 (7.25) def Louisie Frumento (BRA) 7.25 (5.60).
QF2: Sasha Baker (AUS) 12.50 (8.75) Elin Tawharu (NZL) 11.75 (7.00) def Dhea Nastasya (IND) 8.00 (5.50).

Women’s Semi Finals (first to final, second eliminated)
SF1: Caroline Marks (USA) 16.65 (9.50) def Elin Tawharu (NZL) 9.75 (5.75).
SF2: Ellie Turner (UK) 14.25 (8.50) def Sasha Baker (AUS) 7.75 (4.25).

Women’s Final
Caroline Marks (USA) 13.85 (7.5) def. Ellie Turner (UK) 10.05 (5.9)

Straight off the podium Rip Curl’s Joel Gray caught up with Ellie to get a few works about her success in Brazil.

I’m super stoked with 2nd place in Brazil. I think this is one of my best ever results for sure. And it’s been a long road from the first Rip Curl Grom Search events last year in the UK and then winning the European Finals in Spain. And now this in Brazil. Being on the podium with Gabriel Medina giving us our medals was pretty crazy. On the first day of the comp it was a couple foot and super fun and on the finals day it was pretty solid, like 4 foot, a bit like the finals in the Azores for the European Juniors last year. Although quite tricky conditions I felt confident. Maresias itself is a really nice place. This is my first time in Brazil and it’s amazing but haven’t seen much out of the resort yet as the contest has been running but I would love too.

I’m really happy to be representing England in any of these international events and so far this year Im really happy with my results. I got a 2nd in the first pro Junior of the year in Portugal. I had to pull out of the second event in France early (due to travelling to Brazil) which was a shame but Im fired up to make up for that. My plans for the rest of the year are to just do as many WSL Pro Juniors and international competitions as possible.

My favourite female surfers are Stephanie Gilmore and Coco Ho, purely because it’s just so nice to watch them surf with their styles. With my surfing I just hope to have a good style, that is my main aim! That matters to me a lot but sometimes in competition it’s hard to keep it. Wave selection is definitely something that I need to work on to become a better competitor.

One of my first surfing memories is at home with my parents pushing me into waves on an amazing day at Crooklets beach in Bude. A couple off my favourite waves abroad are Ulus and Trestles, super fun waves and very high performance. I’ve spent a lot of time in Indonesia over the last few winters with my family who all surf too. If I were to ever make the tour I’d love to compete at Snapper Rocks – it looks like such a good wave and to surf a heat in there with only a few off you out would be amazing.

Images courtesy Rip Curl