European Final - Zarautz (Euskadi / Basque Country) 7th and 8th August 2009

New this year for Europe's premier U16 surfing event.

After more than 15 years in Capbreton (Fra), the Quiksilver King of the Groms is on the move. Europe's top young surfers aged 16 and under are all set to meet up on 7th and 8th August in Zarautz in the Basque Country, to compete in the European final. The contest will be held in the very same waves where Basque surfer Aritz Aranburu learned his trade. He is currently one of the seven Europeans on the ASP World Tour. Ten years after winning the Grommets Trophy (now the King of the Groms) Aritz Aranburu (Eus) will be sponsoring this 2009 edition.

Whilst the date and venue of the European final are changing, the concept remains the same: - Qualifier events across Europe - A European final at Zarautz from 7th to 8th August 2009

European qualifying dates: France – 10 qualifiers Brittany: 6/7 June (2 qualifiers) Capbreton: 18 July (8 qualifiers) UK – 4 qualifiers Fistral Beach, Newquay: 4/5 July (2 qualifiers) Watersplash, Jersey: 6/7 June (2 qualifiers) Ireland – 1 qualifier Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal: 20/21 June Portugal – 5 qualifiers 2 wildcards allocated to Francisco Alves and Henrique Rui. The 3 best surfers under 16 at the Pro Junior in Portugal will win their ticket to the European final. Spain – 6 qualifiers Galice, Razo: 11/12 July Cantabria, Somo: 18/19 July West Indies – 2 qualifiers Martinique, Tartane: 12/13 April Guadeloupe, Le Moule: 6/7 June Saint Martin, Galion beach - Final: 10/11 May Italy – 1 qualifier Marina di Massa: 15 April to 31 May Holland – 1 qualifier Domburg: 21/24 May * Canaries – 2 qualifiers Gran Canaria, Playa Cicer: 6/7 June (1 qualifier) Tenerife – Playa las Americas: 13/14 June (1 qualifier)

Note: if there are not enough waves on 7th and 8th August for the final to go ahead normally, the competition will be extended to Sunday 9 August.

* To overcome a possible lack of waves, the KOTG's organizers in Benelux have set aside four potential dates to guarantee a qualifying event can go ahead. If conditions are unsuitable in Domburg, the Benelux qualifying event will take place at Hoek Van Holland from 30 May to 1 June. If conditions are poor at Hoek Van Holland, the qualifier will be held at Texel, and so on. The official qualifying event is the one at Domburg from 21 to 24 May. During these qualifiers, Quiksilver Benelux and the Quiksilver Foundation will organize ecologically themed events, with biologists on hand to raise awareness among the kids about the importance of protecting the environment and the coast. Introductions to surfing and paddle boarding will also be available to the public.

The European Final For the second year running, Quiksilver is organizing a European Final of the King of the Groms. From April onwards, the young surfers will be able to compete in qualifying events held across the continent, in an attempt to win their ticket to the final in Zarautz (note: Qualifying is reserved for residents of the host country only). In the final, thirty young surfers will come together at the Basque spot, Zarautz. Up for grabs will be a place in the International Final, due to take place for the second consecutive year on the beaches of Hossegor, Seignosse, Capbreton and Saint Jean de Luz during the Quiksilver Pro France from 23 September to 4 October. Places are precious and only the top two from the European Final at Zarautz will go through to the international event.

International Qualifying As in Europe, surfers aged 16 and under from the other continents will also be able to take part in qualifying events. Following these qualifying events in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Indonesia, Tahiti, USA, Brazil and Reunion, 13 surfers will qualify for a place in the International Final of the King of the Groms, alongside the two European representatives. In Australia, the National U16 Championships will serve as the qualifying event, only the top two will go onto the International Final. In Japan, the winner of the National Championships will be selected for the international final of the KOTG.

International Qualifying Dates Australia – 2 qualifiers New Zealand – 1 qualifier Gisborne: 22nd March USA – 3 qualifiers Santa Cruz: 28 February Sebastien Inlet, FL: 6/7 June Hawaii: 7 June Brazil – 1 qualifier Rio de Janeiro: 2/3 May Ubatuba: 30/31 May Indonesia – 1 qualifier Kuta Beach, Bali: 9/12 July South Africa - 1 qualifier Cape Town: 11/22 March Mosseyl Bay: 13/14 June Durban: 15/16 August Tahiti – 1 qualifier Tbc Japan – 1 qualifier The winner of the Japan national championships Reunion Island – 1 qualifier Saint Leu: 23/25 January Roches Noires: 20/22 March Etang Salé: 8/10 May

International Final During the sole French stage on the elite ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France, the 16 international qualifiers will not only have the honour of surfing the same waves as their illustrious counterparts in the Top 44, but will also get to admire their talents throughout the competition.

Last year, the winner of the grand final, Maxime Huscenot (Fra), was crowned King of the Groms 2008 at the surf spot of Estagnots, Seignosse. For the 2009 edition, his worthy successor will receive a wildcard to take part in the trials for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2010 and the Quiksilver Pro France.

Some of the European surfers vying for the title…