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The World’s Top Groms Prepare for the GromSearch International Final in Raglan, New Zealand

29 April 2018

The world’s best junior surfers are getting ready to compete in the 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch International, a yearly event that marks the culmination of GromSearch series around the globe. This year the International Final will be held in the long left-hand point that is Raglan, Manu Bay on the North Island of New Zealand.

Former competitors at the GromSearch International Final include WSL World Champions Gabriel Medina (2014), Tyler Wright (2016, 2017) and Steph Gilmore (six times World Champion), as well as WSL World Tour regulars Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Nikki Van Dijk, Sally Fitzgibbons and Caroline Marks –and with a list like that, the pressure is on to take home the trophy.

16-year-old Kirra Belle-Ollsen, an up-and-coming Australian surfer who was selected to be one of two International Wildcards, has been prepping for the event since she got the news just last week.

"I am so stoked to be selected to compete in the International Final," she said. "It's an absolute dream to be able to surf Raglan with just a few other girls out!"

“I’m a goofy foot like my Uncle (Matt Wilkinson), and surfing this wave has been one of the biggest items on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Let’s just hope that forehand magic will take me to the Final!”

2018 List of Competitors:

  • Australia: Finn Hill & Piper Harrison
  • Brazil: Lucas Vicente & Anne dos Santos
  • Europe: Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT) & Emma Dubes (FRA)
  • Indonesia: Kona Eru & Taina Izquierda
  • New Zealand: Caleb Cutmore & Saffi Vette
  • USA: Cole Houshmand & Keala Tomoda-Bannert
  • Raglan wildcards: TBC at a local trials event
  • International wildcards: Xavier Huxtable (AUS) & Kirra-Belle Olsson (AUS)

Bonus Video: 2017 Winners 

Rip Curl ran the first ever GromSearch event in 1999 to provide a fun competitive event for 16-and-under junior surfers, and since then it has developed into a worldwide series that culminated at the International Final. This Final is held at a different location each year, with a focus on nurturing the development of the next generation of elite surfers.

The Rip Curl GromSearch International final will be run in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro – Raglan.

A special thanks to all our GromSearch International media partners around the world... Surfline in USA, Carve in Europe, 3 Sesenta in Spain, Surf Session in France, Bali Belly in Indonesia and Coastalwatch in Australia. Stay tuned to their channels over the GromSearch International waiting period.


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