September 21, 2023

Champions crowned

More than 100 junior surfers threw on the competitive jersey over the weekend to compete in the prestigious Rip Curl GromSearch event at Jan Juc Beach.

Surfers from all over the country were lucky enough to score incredible waves and weather for two days of fierce competition.

Winners were crowned across six divisions, with those victorious booking themselves a spot at the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final next month at URBNSURF.

With the judges eyeing big turns and commitment, U/12 Girls surfer Scarlett Rennie (Cape Woolamai, VIC), left no shadow of a doubt in the scorer’s minds by taking on the larger set waves with ease.

Rennie scored a series of excellent scores throughout finals day, including a 10-point ride, four scores above a 9-point-ride and a cracking 8.33 in the divisional final.

She said she was thrilled to score the GromSearch and be heading to the National Final.

“I love big waves more than smaller waves, so I was happy with the larger swell.”

With her excellent performances, Rennie was also awarded the DHD Ultimate Grom Award and earned herself a Mick Fanning signature board model DHD DNA surfboard.

“I was really surprised with myself. I didn’t think I would get it, but I’m super stoked to get a new DHD DNA board.”

Local surfers Stevie O’Day (Torquay, VIC), Estella Carbonelli (Jan Juc, VIC) finished second and fourth respectively in the final.

Following Rennie’s success in the U/12 Girls, event top seed Ava Holland (Dromana, VIC) also put it all on the line in the U/16 Girls division.

Holland had an incredibly tight battle with interstate dynamos Ava Arghyros (Kingscliff, NSW) and Olive Hardy (Gnarabup, WA) and it would take until the dying moments for her to come out victorious.

After the ocean had laid dormant for more than five minutes, one last set wave approached with Holland sitting in second.

Holland threw everything she had at the last wave of the final to score a critical 5.23 ride to edge in front as she hit the beach.

“I didn’t know what I needed when I got up on my last wave, so I just tried to surf like I normally do as I was super nervous,” said Holland.

“It was a super fun comp and all the girls were surfing so well.”

Other divisional winners included Jackson Woolnough (U/16 Boys, Caves Beach, NSW), Lani Cairncross (U/14 Girls, Kiama Downs, NSW), Locana Cullen (U/14 Boys, Avalon Beach, NSW) and Jaxon Sands (U/12 Boys, Palm Beach, NSW).

Full results and scores can be found via

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: Scarlett Rennie celebrating her U/12 Girls division victory. Photos: NOAH CLIFFORD/SURFING VICTORIA

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