The 4th stop of the 2006 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy, came to Northern California, and the legendary right hand point break at Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz. Held in pumping one-foot surf, the groms had no complaints and no problems dismantling the knee-waist high wedges coming off 1st peak. With sunny skies, warm water, and glassy conditions, the crew of Nor-Cal mighty mites definitely put on a show for their East and West side homeboys.
In the 12 & under division, San Clemente grom Luke Davis made the venture north to seal his invitation to the GromSearch National Championships this November 6th at Salt Creek. In doing so, he would need to put up a serious fight against the local contingency of Noah Wegrich, Nic “H-Dez” Hernandez and Cole Walters. With a polished style, lightning speed and hyper quick cutbacks, Davis brought in a total score of 15 points, and handedly sealed the victory by leaving the rest of the pack needing a combination score.
In the Girls 16 & Under division, young Hawaiian Alisha Gonzalvez, in town for the US Championships, came north to test her skills against her California counterparts. However, it was Demi Boelstreli who has been born and bred on the right hand point break of Rincon that blasted strong open face turns and cutbacks on the biggest sets of the heat to take first prize.
Following a few wave starved heats, the ocean decided to come alive for the Boys 16 & Under Final. Spread out over the entire point, and with some of the biggest waves of the afternoon, the guys went to town on the bending waist high nuggets. With his mullet flying in the wind, Dylan Southworth impressed the crowd, but it was Nick Alheit who used the biggest wave of the final to his advantage by throwing down a series of huge gouges and tight cutbacks to bring in 1st prize.
The heat of the day was most definitely the 14 & Under Boys final. As soon as the horn sounded off, these groms were all business. Paddle battles, jockeying for position, and other guerilla style competitive tactics were the norm, as these groms were hungry to sink their fresh set of adult teeth into the few waves coming through. With H-Dez and Luke Davis surfing in their 2nd final of the day, and Dana Point heavyweight Riley Metcalf psyching to blow up in Nor-Cal, local boy Nat Young had his work cut out for him. With Metcalf nabbing a back door style head dip that only a pint-sized grom could fit in, and the flair and style of Davis, Young continuously squared off the bottom to unload a barrage of vertical backside attacks. Slamming the lip and tail out the back 5-6 times consecutively and hucking huge triangular fans, Young secured the wave of the event with an average wave score of 9.67 from the judges. Showered with cheers and praise from the hometown crowd, Nat took full advantage of home court en route to securing Under-14 GromSearch glory.