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Day 2: Rip Curl GromSearch International Final Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Competition at the 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final continued during Day 2 of the event window.

Competitors were greeted with beautiful five-to-six foot waves pouring into the Playa Hermosa beachbreak line-up. With quality surf on offer, event directors pushed ahead running the girl’s Round 2, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals. As well as boy’s Round 2 to set up tomorrow’s Finals Day in highly anticipated pumping surf.

It was a day of upsets as a majority of the female top seeds had trouble finding scores needed to advance past the Quarterfinals as Molly Picklum (AUS), Alyssa Spencer (USA), and Mathea Olin (CAN), were knocked out of the draw. Today’s standouts in the girl’s consisted of Melania Suarez (ESP) and Juliette Lacome (FRA), however the two of them failed to advance out of crucial Semifinal heats. This left two standing in the draw; Caitlin Simmers (USA), and local sensation Valeria Ojeda (CRI).

When asked about her event highest wave score (9.33) and combined heat total (17.00), 13-year-old American phenom, Caitlin Simmers explained, “I was just in rhythm, I’m feeling good, and I’m having fun. I’m really excited to be into the final. My goal is to take the win here in Costa Rica.”

Joining Simmers in the final is wild card, Valeria Ojeda, who fought her way from the local trials to guarantee herself a spot on the prestigious GromSearch International Final podium. “I’m really stoked and grateful this event is here, near where I live, and I got the opportunity to compete in the trials. Yesterday didn’t go so well for me, but I knew I had another chance and I was ready today.”

On the boy’s side of the draw the event saw its first competitors eliminated in Round 2, as all Quarterfinalists are now set. Stand out performances included Taro Watanabe (USA), who secured today’s highest Boy’s heat total (15.50), Sam Reidy representing Costa Rica, Spaniard Adur Amatriain, and a very exciting performance by Alfoso Antunes (PRT).

“I got lucky because there was one wave that came in when Kyllian (Guerin) had priority, it looked like a closeout, but it stayed open and I was able to do an air and make my heat. I’m stoked,” explained Antunes.

All eyes are now focused on the boy’s Quarterfinals, and girl’s Final which are set to commence during tomorrow’s Finals Day. With the field narrowed down to 8 boy’s and 2 girl’s we shall soon see who will be crowned GromSearch International Champions for 2019 and join the storied past Champions list.


Round 2 - Girls Results
Heat 1: Melania Suarez (ESP) 10.50 DEF Sophia Medina (BRA) 6.03
Heat 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 12.56 DEF Alys Barton (ENG) 5.77
Heat 3: Juliette Lacome (FRA) 9.10 DEF Brie Bennett (NZ) 8.17
Heat 4: Valeria Ojeda (CRI) 7.30 DEF Concha Balsemao (PRT) 5.63

Quarterfinals – Girls Results
Quarter 1: Melania Suarez (ESP) 12.33 DEF Molly Picklum (AUS) 9.90
Quarter 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 17.00 DEF Rubiana Brownell (CRI) 11.40
Quarter 3: Juliette Lacome (FRA) 13.83 DEF Mathea Olin (CAN) 10.17
Quarter 4: Valeria Ojeda (CRI)10.37 DEF Alyssa Spener (USA) 5.33

Semifinals – Girls Results
Semi 1: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 12.34 DEF Melania Suarez (ESP)
Semi 2: Juliette Lacome (FRA) Valeria Ojeda (CRI)

Round 2 - Boys Results
Heat 1: Taro Watanabe (USA) 15.50 DEF. Will Masterman (ENG) 10.00
Heat 2: Adur Amatrian (ESP) 14.84 DEF Jack Lee (NZ) 11.93
Heat 3: Afonso Antunes (PRT) 13.00 DEF Kyllian Guerin (FRA) 10.67
Heat 4: Sam Reidy (CRI) 13.83 DEF Manny Valentin (PRI) 10.83

Upcoming Quarterfinals – Boys
Quarter 1: Tao Rodriquez (PAN) VS Taro Watanabe (USA)
Quarter 2: Finn Cox (AUS) VS Adur Amatriain (ESP)
Quarter 3: Aaron Ramirez (CRI) VS Afonso Atunes (PRT)
Quarter 4: Ryuki Waida (IND) VS Sam Reidy (CRI)

Upcoming Final Matchup – Girls
Final: Caitlin Simmers (USA) VS Juliette Lacome (FRA)

About the GromSearch:

Since Rip Curl developed the concept for the GromSearch events in 1999, the series has spread throughout the surfing world and now culminates with an International final held at a different location each year. The worldwide series is held for male and female surfers aged 16 years and under, commonly referred to as “groms”, with the aim of the GromSearch is to nurture and recruit the next generation of surfers at a grassroots level.

Former GromSearch champions include current WSL World Tour stars; Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson, Kanoa Igarashi, Kolohe Andino, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Brisa Hennessy, Caroline Marks, and Sally Fitzgibbons.