Published on 04/10/2020

The Rip Curl GromSearch saw six new champions crowned today following a day of exciting surfing and challenging conditions at Newcastle Beach.

2020 Havaianas NSW Grommet Champion Ben Zanatta Creagh (Dee Why) showed why he was reigning state champion, taking out the 12 Boys division. Zanatta Creagh nailed an array of flawless turns and caves over the duration of the final to take the victory by a meagre 0.4 margin ahead of Cronulla’s Kash Brown.

Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads) ensured a title would head north, taking out the 12 Girls division. Symonds posted a decent 11.70 two-wave total to gain the narrow edge over fellow junior dynamo Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head).

Perennial junior event standout Fletcher Kelleher (Freshwater) added another accomplishment to his portfolio of results, taking out the 14 Boys division. Kelleher put on a solid performance over the course of the final, posting a decent 12.30 two-wave total for a series of impressive turns.

Zahlia Short (Austinmer) claimed a title for the Illawarra region taking top honours in the 14 Girls division. Short executed a handful of powerful snaps and carves to take the win with a respectable 12.56 two-wave heat total.

Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon) continued to build on the momentum she showed yesterday taking out the 16 Girls division. Leigh-Jones posted a mammoth 15.07 two-wave heat total to get the win ahead of reigning NSW champion Rosie Smart (Sawtell).

Taj Simon (Port Kembla) joined Zahlia short in the Illawarra winners circle, taking out the 16 Boys division. The talented natural footer blitzed the wave-starved final, posting a giant 15.00 total for an array of decent backside snaps.

All results can be seen below.

Instead of trophies, Rip Curl GromSearch provided finalists with a certificate of donation to Bush Heritage Australia.

In an uncertain year, organisers have deemed the easiest way for families to plan ahead is to allow entry for each event to be available for state residents only. This alleviates the uncertain issues regarding interstate travel, whilst still providing an opportunity for participants to surf against others from their state.

Each event will be run in conjunction with the state surfing associations and adhere to all appropriate health and safety regulations. In accordance with Victorian regulations, the Victorian event has been moved to November 14-15 at Jan Juc Beach, better aligning with regional restrictions to allow surfers to attend.

The 2020 series will culminate with a GromSearch National final at URBNSURF Melbourne in March 2021. Finalists will be determined from the top-ranked surfers out of each of the three events in the series (in their respective divisions). GromSearch organisers will be working with surfing associations from states where events cannot be held, to try and incorporate surfers from each of those states.

More information on individual events, entry dates and procedure, allocations for National Final and any other updates to follow.

UPDATED 2020 Rip Curl GromSearch Series dates:
*all dates and locations to be confirmed, pending Covid-19 restrictions and regulations.
Event 1 – Newcastle, NSW – Oct 1-4, 2020
NEW DATE Event 2 – Jan Juc, VIC – Nov 14-15, 2020.
EVENT 3 – Coolum, Qld – Dec 14-16, 2020
National Final – URBNSURF, Vic. March, 2021

16 and Under Girls, 14 and Under Girls, 12 and Under Girls
16 and Under Boys, 14 and Under Boys, 12 and Under Boys.

The GromSearch series provides the opportunity for groms to surf with their friends whilst developing their competitive skills. As participants progress through to the finals they gain valuable experience competing against elite level talent.

The impressive list of previous GromSearch competitors that are currently on the WSL world tour is testament to the quality of the series.

Current WSL World Tour athletes that were GromSearch finalists include:
Tyler Wright*, Steph Gilmore*, Carissa Moore*, Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel, Nikki Van Dijk, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Bronte McCaulay, Caroline Marks, Macy Callaghan, Brisa Hennessy, Isabella Nichols & Bethany Hamilton. (*Note: GromSearch competitors have won the last 13 WSL Women’s World Titles).

Current Men’s WSL World Tour athletes that were GromSearch finalists include:
Gabriel Medina*, Owen Wright, Italo Ferreira*, Jordy Smith*, Kolohe Andino*, Filipe Toledo*, Kanoa Igarashi*, Wade Carmichael, Ryan Callinan, Leonardo Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary, Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto & Morgan Cibilic.

(*Note: the top 6 surfers of the final 2019 WSL World Tour rankings are all former GromSearch finalists).

12 and Under Girls
1st Quincy Symonds (Tweed Heads)
2nd Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head)
3rd Ruby Trew (Manly)
4th Ava Arghyros (Kingscliff)

12 and Under Boys
1st Ben Zanatta Creagh (Manly)
2nd Kash Brown (Cronulla)
3rd Ocean Lancaster (Newcastle)
4th Max Mcgillivray (Evans Head)

14 and Under Girls
1st Zahlia Short (Austinmer)
2nd Milla Brown (Bilgola)
3rd Shyla Short (Austinmer)
4th Natalie Fenson (Newcastle)

14 and Under Boys
1st Fletcher Kelleher (Manly)
2nd Eden Hason (Boat Harbour)
3rd Harry O’Brien (Lennox Head)
4th Baxter Hurt (Collaroy)

16 and Under Girls
1st Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon)
2nd Rosie Smart (Sawtell)
3rd Milli Allport (North Shelly)
4th Bonnie Hills (Mullaway)

16 and Under Boys
1st Taj Simon (Port Kembla)
2nd Lennix Smith (Barrack Point)
3rd Winter Vincent (Queenscliff)
4th Koda Killorn (Maroubra) 

Rising Star Award
Eden Hasson
Natalie Fenson

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