Talented NSW surfers Sally Fitzgibbons (Sth Coast NSW/Geroa) and Tom Myers (Freshwater/Nth Beaches Sydney) won the 16 and under Girl and Boy divisions of the Rip Curl GromSearch National Series held at Duranbah Beach on the Gold Coast of Australia this weekend.
Their wins secure both surfers the much saught after qualification positions into the National GromSearch final to be held at Bells Beach pre Easter 2007 and a good result in that event will qualify them for the World GromSearch final which runs as a specialty event in conjunction with the World Championship Tour event, Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach during Easter.
Fitzgibbons is winning just about every possible contest imaginable and at 15 she’s amassing an amazing junior record in sport and will go into the national and international final as the surfer most likely.
Content to win today after her final she said: “I love surfing Bells, it’s a challenging wave and I’ve done well there in the past so I’m looking forward to the national final for sure. I’ll just concentrate on that and if I do well then look to the international final. Good waves at Bells is all I’m hoping for right now!”
Fifteen year old Tom Myers was elated with his win today in a very closely fought final against local surfer Kieren Lloyd. The lead changed multiple times as both Myers and Lloyd traded good wave scores. “It was a nerve wracking final as the lead kept changing and I was so relieved when the siren sounded and I was in front. It was the sort of final where if he caught the next wave he’d go back into the lead and it was a case of whoever was in front on the siren! I can’t wait for the national final at Bells; it gives me something to really focus on in the next few months.”
The much anticipated clash between local surfer Thomas Woods and Beyrick De Vries lived right up to its build up. Both surfers continued their great form even in the very wind-swept waves.
Woods managed to find the longer peeling waves early and made the most of each section performing strong bottom to top turn combinations that were precise and powerful. He led throughout and was never seriously challenged until late in the heat when De Vries moved from 4th to 2nd place with an excellent aerial move, but with less than a minute remaining was not in a position to challenge Woods on the day.
“We’re great friends from Sth Africa but we’re also rivals pushing one another. I won today but I’m sure Beyrick will win some soon, he’s surfing really well.” When asked about his nickname being “Tiger” Woods, Thomas said: “It’s something that’s happened recently and it’s funny because I’m absolutely terrible at golf! I’ll definitely stick to surfing!”
Other winners today included Brodie Doyle (Coolangatta) in the 14 and under girls, Joshua Szele (Warilla/Sth Coast NSW) in the 12 and under Boys and Ellie Jean-Coffey (Crescent Head) in the 12 and under Girls. Today’s Snickers wave of the day award went to Joshua Szele for a great 8 point ride in his winning final!
The Australian Rip Curl GromSearch is a seven event co series that runs nationally from September through to April 2007. It promotes fun and enjoyment, while still rewarding winners with prizes, trophies and for the Under 16 winners a special invitation to compete in the Australian and World Finals which are held at Australia’s famous Bells Beach during the annual Men’s Rip Curl Pro World Tour event.