Hawaiian 16-year-old Mason Ho has outclassed Matt Wilkinson (Aus), Jordy Smith (South Africa) and Gian Carlo Zampiere (Brazil) to win the first-ever Rip Curl GromSearch International Final at Bells Beach.
Mason, who is the son of legend surfer Michael Ho, kickstarted his final campaign with a confident 7.25 ride in the messy Bells Beach swell. Smith all but levelled with Ho when he posted a 7.00 and then eventually took the heat lead when he locked in a 5.00 as his second-wave score.
Wilkinson, the current Under 16 World Champion, and Carlo Zampiere both tried to stamp their authority on the heat, but struggled to get high-scoring waves in the tricky Bells swell.
Ho, however, sat patiently at Rincon and picked off the best set wave for a second time, belting his way down the line and posting a heat-high 8.25 score.
Smith stayed in touch for the heat, drawing closer to Ho with a 6.00 and then a 6.25 late in the final. His efforts weren’t enough however and his 13.25 two-wave combined score fell short of Ho’s 15.50.
Boy’s GromSearch International Final Results
1. Mason Ho (Hawaii)
2. Jordy Smith (South Africa)
3. Matt Wilkinson (Australia)
4. Gian Carlo Zampiere (Brazil)
The girl’s Rip Curl GromSearch International Final was a four-way battle between South African Nikita Robb, Brazilian Bruna Shmitz, USA surfer Lexi Papillion and New Zealander-come temporary Australian Mischa Davis.
Like Smith, her South African team mate, Robb is a great competition surfer destined to have a very bright future. The 16-year-old proved this in the final, easily grabbing first place ahead of Davis, Papillion and Shmitz.
Girl’s GromSearch International Final Results
1. Nikita Robb (South Africa)
2. Mischa Davis (Australia)
3. Bruna Shmitz (Brazil)
4. Lexi Papillion (USA)