This past Sunday, August 16, groms from across the Sunshine State invaded New Smyrna Beach for the fourth and final stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch fueled by H2O Overdrive. A fun, crossed up swell welcomed the competitors who carried aspirations of the title, the cash, the loot, the coveted National Finals slot, and the bragging rights awarded to the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch Florida Champion.
The Boys 12/under was the first final to hit the water on Sunday as the tide turned and the swell pushed. The closest final of the day, Justin Croteau narrowly took the upper hand over Dane Mackie and snatched the sole invite to the National Finals.
In the Boys 14/under, Noah Schweizer and Corey Howell exchanged blows, but Howell ultimately took hold of the reigns and rode out on top. Howell was in prime form, making two finals, winning the 14/under division, and rounding out the day with the H20 Overdrive Maneuver of the Event and $100 cash prize by throwing a massive carving reverse.
The ladies also brought their A-game, but only one could win the title and the invite to the Salt Creek Finals. With so much on the line, tension was high, but at the end of the day, Chelsea Roett's skills shined the brightest, as she dropped a high score in the dying minutes of the heat and solidified her win.
Rip Curl's own Florida ripper, Christian Miller, started strong in the Boys 16/under final, putting the pressure on young Evan Geiselman and fellow finalists. But EG would not be outdone and stormed back to claim a near perfect ride of 9.5.
"I am so stoked! I never get to surf events at home any more and to have a few waves to ride made it that much better," Geiselman enthused as he collected his winnings. "I am just stoked to make the National Finals and come out to California to get a shot a making it over to Bells."
The 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch regional qualifiers are wrapped up and a solid crew of surfers will be heading to California for the Rip Curl National Finals on November 14th at Salt Creek. An invitee list will be posted to Ripcurl.com/gromsearch as well as notified through email.
For post event coverage log on to surfingthemag.com and cast your vote for the “Rip Curl GromSearch Video Elections presented by Surfing Mag”, as well as get connected at Surfline’s exclusive community site at surfline.com/gromsearch. For all media inquiries, please contact Rip Curl marketing coordinator Chelsea Johns: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF STOP #4, 2009 RIP CURL GROMSEARCH FUELED BY H20 OVERDRIVE, New Smyrna Beach, Florida:
H20 Overdrive Maneuver of the Event: Corey Howell- $100
1. Evan Gieselman- $250
2. Christian Miller
3. Corey Howell
4. Noah Schweizer
1. Corey Howell- $250
2. Noah Schwiezer
3. Eros Exarhon
4. Daniel Calloway
1. Justin Croteau- $250
2. Dane Mackie
3. Logan Hayes
4. Cobie Gittner
1. Chelsea Roett- $250
2. Chelsea Tuach
3. Ametza Nicholls
4. Kayla Durden
ALL PHOTOS BY TUPAT