Dana Point, CA – The 2004 Rip Curl GromSearch National Championship saw the nations premiere talent take to the water this weekend at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point, California and the conditions proved almost flawless. For the past week weather forecasters predicted heavy rains for Southern California beaches; however, it was quite the contrary as beautiful clear skies, 75-degree weather, and peaky, drawn out 4-5ft waves painted the setting for GromSearch National Championship. Groms travelled to Salt Creek from all over the country to compete in Rip Curl’s prestigious event including places such as: San Diego, Huntington Beach, Santa Cruz, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Puerto Rico and more, all in hopes of winning a trip to Australia to compete in the 1st Annual International GromSearch Championships taking place at the WCT sanctioned Rip Curl Pro – Bells Beach in March of 2005.
Some of the nation’s hottest, up and coming surfers battled it out in perfect Salt Creek conditions; however it was Hawaii’s Mason Ho, son of legend Michael Ho, whose strong cutbacks and powerful lip bashes allowed him to out – surf the rest of the GromSearch talent pool. The early rounds of competition saw waves pour in with great consistency allowing Mason to immediately start his charge and seal numerous 6 point rides or better.
When it came down to the Main Event, Rip Curl’s own Wesley Toth (Puerto Rico) gave Mason a run for his money. Due to a lack of consistency in the final, Toth utilized the medium sized waves that peeled across the inside, knocking in back to back 5 point rides. In the end it was patience that paid off as Ho was able to lock into two flawless waves earning him a 7.0 and 7.5, more than enough to claim victory.
Another notable performance came from San Clemente’s Lexi Papillion who won the Girls 16 & Under GromSearch National Title. Lexi’s ability to out paddle her competitors allowed her to pick off solid set waves and secure high scoring rides on her backhand. Florida’s, Amy Nichol couldn’t have come any closer to winning the title, coming in 2nd and missing victory by only 0.01 of a point.
The Gromsearch Highest Scoring Wave of the Day presented by Surf One Skateboards went to Jeff Lukasik who posted an 8.0 in his 16 & Under Semi Final, and the Biggest Manuever of the Day went to 180 fins free frontside boost of Tommy Bursian.
The GromSearch National Championship Awards Ceremony took place at the Headquarters of event partner Surfing Magazine where groms, friends and family enjoyed good food, slide show and a tour of where all the magazine’s magic happens. Sticking with true Awards Ceremony tradition, Rip Curl surprised each division winner with healthy dousing of Apple Cider and an oversized plain ticket to the GromSearch International Final at Bells Beach, Australia.
The Rip Curl GromSearch is premier junior surfing program that goes around the globe in Search of the best amateur surfers in the world. Many thanks goes out to sponsorship partners Surfing Magazine, SG Mag, Surfline.com, FCS, Surf One Skateboards, Sticky Bumps, and ADD Marketing & Advertising for supporting another successful GromSearch season.
For more information on the Rip Curl GromSearch go to www.ripcurl.com
GROMSEARCH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
1ST PLACE FROM BOYS AND GIRLS 16 & UNDER DIVISION COMPETE IN INTERNATIONAL GROMSEARCH CHAMPIONSHIPS – RIP CURL PRO, BELLS BEACH AUSTRALIA – MARCH 2005.
BOYS 16 & UNDER
1) MASON HO – HAWAII
2) TYLER NEWTON – SAN DIEGO,CA
3) WESLEY TOTH – PUERTO RICO
4) AUSTIN SMITH-FORD – SANTA CRUZ, CA
5) JEFF LUKASIK – PACIFIC BEACH, CA
6) TOMMY BURSIAN – PUERTO RICO
GIRLS 16 & UNDER
1) LEXI PAPILLION – SAN CLEMENTE,CA
2) AMY NICHOL – FLORIDA
3) LACEY PFILBSEN – VISTA, CA
4) SARAH MEDOFF – HAWAII
5) SARA TAYLOR – HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
6) CATE FLEMING – FLORIDA
BOYS 14 & UNDER
1) JEFF LUKASIK – SAN DIEGO, CA
2) KALOHE ANDINO – SAN CLEMENTE, CA
3) ALEX SMITH – HAWAII
4) TYLER STANALAND – LAGUNA, CA
5) JOHN PRICE – HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
6) TYLER NEWTON – SAN DIEGO, CA
BOYS 12 & UNDER
1) KOKORO TOMATSURI – SUMMERLAND, CA
2) NAT YOUNG – SANTA CRUZ, CA
3) IAN BLOCH – NEW JERSEY
4) JC DILLON – FLORIDA
5) DAVID PRICE – HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
6) COLE MOODY – HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA