Champions aren't born overnight. Most of the time, they're born during the day — unless we're talking about some gimmicky sort of night surf contest thing. In which case, umm, next. But the Rip Curl GromSearch isn't a gimmick, nor has it ever been moonlit. The International Finals happened over the weekend at the lovely Maresias Beach in Brazil. The event was hosted by Gabriel Medina because Gabriel Medina likes to crown champions, and he likes to crown them in Brazil. And so two young champs were born in the glow of that powerful Sao Paulo sun. Sammy Pupo — the younger brother of WCT surfer Miguel Pupo — was one, and Leilani McGonagle was the other. Both surfers now join a very elite group of RCGS World Champions (do names like Owen and Tyler Wright ring a bell?), and the future looks glistening for both of ’em.
2015 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final Results
Samuel Pupo (BRA) 17.25 def. Kei Kobayashi (USA) 14.25
SF1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 19.40 def. Lens Arancibia (FRA) 13.50 SF2: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 16.65 def. Kehu Butler (NZL) 16.35
Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 14.40 def. Jaleesa Vicente (AUS) 13.25
SF1: Jaleesa Vincent (AUS) 15.15 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 14.50 SF2: Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 15.50 def. Raiha Ensor (NZL) 12.45