Hawaii’s Tyler Newton and Australia’s Tyler Wright today won the boy and girl 16 and under international final of the Rip Curl GromSearch Presented by Snickers Series.
In front of a huge crowd at Bells Beach the worlds best 16 year and under surfers who have qualified through their own regions from across the surfing world put on an incredible show of progressive and radical surfing in the fun 1m (3tf) surf at Rincon Point.
The Girls were the first of the two finals and Tyler Wright (Aus/South Coast NSW/Culburra) wasted no time in asserting her dominance by scoring an excellent 8.5 opening ride and shortly after found her required second strong scoring ride of a 5.4 to take a commanding lead that was never seriously challenged.
“It's great to surf against the worlds best of my age group and know that I can beat them. I feel like I’m doing it for Australia and myself and it feels good in front of lots of people. It’s my biggest win for sure.”
Wright defeated fellow Australian Laura Enever (Aus/Sydney/Narrabeen) in the final with Garazi Sanchez (Spain) in 3rd and Dianna Barbosa (Brazil) in 4th place.
While the girl’s final was exceptional, the boy’s final absolutely brought the crowd alive as each competitor displayed some amazing new age aerial moves. Young Brazilian surfer Peterson Crisanto pulled a huge successful air early in the final that had the commentary team searching for superlatives to describe and name the move and the one move wave was rewarded with an excellent 8.67 score to see the Brazilian way out in front.
Tyler Newton (Hawaii/Kauai) also found plenty of air time and scored a 9.5 outstanding ride mid heat to be within striking distance of the fly weight young Brazilian and with just 5 minutes remaining Newton finally found another great ride which scored an 8.5 to go to the lead.
A late charge came from Davey Cathels (Aus/Narrabeen) who finally found a wave with enough potential to allow him to perform his recognized power moves and he actually scored the finals highest single scoring ride of a 9.7. Cathels required just an 8.5 to go from 3rd to 1st and in the final minute caught what appeared at take off to be a high scoring potential wave but as it moved across the reef no decent sections appeared and Cathels was unable to improve his position.
Alex Smith, also from Hawaii, finished fourth in what was one of the most entertaining and spectacular displays of young surfing seen by many.
After his win Newton said “What an amazing final, toughest I’ve surfed by far and we were all just pushing each other to score bigger and bigger. I’ve had a great time here and it’s so good to win an event like this. It’s the best feeling!”