Rip Curl GromSearch Ushers in Next Batch of Kiwi Groms



Day one of the Rip Curl GromSearch being held in Taranaki this weekend saw the youngest of the participants taking to the water with the majority of surfers competing at a national level for the first time.

Today (Saturday 3rd march), the surf remained below the 1.0m mark all day with light cross shore winds.  Conditions prevented the premier Under 17 Boys and Girls Divisions from entering the water.  That means both divisions will spend all Sunday duelling for the coveted invites to the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final with a big day of competition.

The young surfers put on some exceptional performances throughout the day with the both the Under 12 Boys and Girls Divisions being contested right through to the final four surfers.



Dane Henry.  PHOTO: COL / S2



Australian grommet Dane Henry ruled the day with three mammoth performances to reach the final.  The 11-year-old, with ties back to Raglan, posted 18.16 points out of a possible 20 in his semifinal, the best score of the day.  He made the most of the small pockets racking up big powerful turns beyond his years.

Henry will be joined by three Kiwis in the final.  Mount Maunganui charger Tao Mouldey advanced through to the final in good form managing to find the longer rides compared with his opponents.  That allowed him to get in a series of turns on his waves to post a 12.33 point heat total in the semifinals.

Mouldey will be joined by Mathias Thompson (Piha), a regular at national events around the country and first time finalist Taj Miller – Dal Bosco (WGM).

Other groms to impress in their heats but not progress to the final included Jack Tyro (Chch), Max Reid – Hancock (TGA), Indica Corcoran (Mnt), Ryder Pennington (Waitara) and Gabe Llewellyn (ENG).

In the Under 12 Girls Division, Sophia Brock (Mnt) and Jess Haysom (Piha) used their experience, and a dash of patience, to advance through to the final.  Both surfers waited a long time to secure good rides but on the back of one impressive ride each, advanced through to the final.  Brock is the 2017 National Primary School Champion for Year 6 and Below Girls and would love to add the Rip Curl GromSearch to her list of accomplishments tomorrow. 


Lily Honeycombe.  PHOTO: COL / S2



For Haysom, it will be her first national final tomorrow joining her older sister Liv who will contest the Under 14 Girls Division Final.  She will be joined by two further first-time finalists – Leia Miller (Piha) and local surfer Sophia Louis (Tara).

Late in the day the Under 14 Boys and Girls Divisions entered the water to contest their first heats.

Anna Brock (Mnt) and Alice Westerkamp (Piha) caused the upset of the division when they advanced ahead of local surfer Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) who has placed in every final this year.  Brock and Westerkamp will meet Liv Haysom (Piha) and Ava Henderson (Chch) in the final.

Number one seed Jayden Willoughby (Rag) advanced through to the semifinals of the Under 14 Boys Division with another polished performance alongside local newcomer Kalani Louis (Oakura).  Jai Wallis (Piha) made the semifinals for the third time this year and will be looking to convert his run of form into a finals slot on the finals day while Tai Erceg-Gray (Whngrei) has secured his best result of the year with a semifinals berth.

The two-day event sees New Zealand’s top young surfing talent competing with over 100 entrants participating in six age categories from Under 12 through to Under 17s.

The past winners list for the Under 17 Boys and Girls Division includes the country’s best surfers such as two-time winners from Mount Maunganui Kehu Butler and Raiha Ensor (2015/16), Taranaki’s Daniel Farr (2014), and Elin Tawharu (2017) who have all gone on to now compete on the World Surf League Qualifying Series.

Action will take place from 8:00am on Sunday with finals taking place from 1pm.  A decision on the event location will be made first thing on Sunday morning with an expected increase in swell for the final day of the event.

Please see below for the results from day one of the Rip Curl GromSearch held at Back Beach today (Saturday 3rd March).

Under 12 Boys Division Round of 28
Heat 1
Kalani Watts (Oakura), 7.17, 1, Koby Haigh (Tara), 3.17, 2, Zen Mouldey (TGA), 2.04, 3
Heat 2
Max Reid - Hancock (TGA), 10.17, 1, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 7.9, 2, Nate Florence (Oakura), 4.63, 3, Harrison Biddle (WGM), 1.77, 4

Under 12 Boys Division Round of 24
Heat 1
Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 11, 1, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 10.3, 2, Koby Haigh (Tara), 3.9, 3, Will Hardie (Piha), n/s
Heat 2 
Dane Henry (AUS), 16.8, 1, Billy Cameron (Chch), 10.5, 2, Daniel Cox (WGM), 6.57, 3, Quin Hagan (TA), 3.6, 4
Heat 3 
Gabe Llewellyn (GB), 11.5, 1, Jack Tyro (Chch), 7.4, 2, Kalani Watts (Oakura), 4.83, 3, Remy Sale (Auck), 3.1, 4
Heat 4 
Ryder Pennington (Tara), 11.4, 1, Max Reid - Hancock (TGA), 4.23, 2, Dale Cromhout (HBay), 3, 3, Hugo  Sale (Auck), 1.94, 4
Heat 5
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 10.5, 1, Mathias Thompson (Piha), 6.67, 2, Mahli Gavin - Brightwell (Rag), 3.05, 3, Baxter Hurt (AUS),  , N/S
Heat 6 
Kauai Rahui (Whgrei), 8.5, 1, Theo Morse (Orewa), 5.77, 2, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 4.6, 3

Under 12 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Dane Henry (AUS), 14.67, 1, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 8.56, 2, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 7.33, 3, Billy Cameron (Chch), 5.46, 4
Heat 2 
Max Reid - Hancock (TGA), 7.97, 1, Jack Tyro (Chch), 6, 2, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 5.9, 3, Gabe Llewellyn (GB), 5.57, 4
Heat 3 
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 13.84, 1, Mathias Thompson (Piha), 5.23, 2, Kauai Rahui (Whgrei), 3.83, 3, Theo Morse (Orewa), 3.7, 4

Under 12 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1
Dane Henry (AUS), 18.16, 1, Mathias Thompson (Piha), 6.1, 2, Jack Tyro (Chch), 5.86, 3
Heat 2 
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 12.33, 1, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 8.3, 2, Max Reid - Hancock (TGA), 5.97, 3


Under 12 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1 
Leia Millar (Piha), 10.8, 1, India Kennings (WGM), 6.13, 2, Lily Honeycombe (WGM), 3.83, 3, Kyra Wallis (Piha), N/S
Heat 2
Sophia Brock (Mnt), 7.47, 1, Sophia Louis (Tara), 3.93, 2, Poppy Pennington (Waitara), 2.17, 3
Heat 3
Jess Haysom (Piha), 8.17, 1, Savanna Cromhout (Hbay), 3.63, 2, Rawinia Andrews (Waitara), 2.6, 3
Heat 4
Amanda Gouldsbury (Levin), 8.27, 1, Alani Morse (Orewa), 7.93, 2, Emma Jamieson (Tara), 3.33, 3, Olive Andrews (Waitara), 2.3, 4

Under 12 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1
Sophia Brock (Mnt), 8.63, 1, Leia Millar (Piha), 8, 2, Alani Morse (Orewa), 3.6, 3,, Savanna Cromhout (Hbay), 2.67, 4
Heat 2 
Jess Haysom (Piha), 8.6, 1, Sophia Louis (Tara), 4.16, 2, Amanda Gouldsbury (Levin), 4.13, 3, India Kennings (WGM), 3.04, 4