Saturday, 13 May 2017 23:01


Eight countries. 16 groms. A week of waves and a huge crop of talent. That’s what the 2017 International Rip Curl GromSearch Final presented by Coconuts Hotel was all about.

It began Sunday night. Flights started to trickle in from all over the globe – from Indonesia, Dubai, France, Spain, Sydney, Auckland, Los Angeles – you name the airport, a grom flew through it. And they descended on Sao Paulo airport having no idea what to expect – not one surfer had been to South America before, let alone Brazil, let alone Maresias.

And Maresias, home to both 2014 World Champion Gabriel Medina and the Pupo family, was exactly where they were headed.

In the end it was 14-year-old Kade Matson (USA) who took out the men’s division – a new record for age in the men’s division – and CT hopeful Caroline Marks (USA) who dominated in the women’s.

After the event concluded Gabriel Medina, a former winner of the GromSearch International Final, was there to pass out the awards and congratulate each and every grom on getting to where they are today.

“The International GromSearch Final is a big deal,” he said to the groms, on stage. “I won it, and a lot of other competitors on the CT have competed in it. Most of them, actually. So just know that you’re the next generation of surfers headed towards the World Tour.”

The groms took Gabriel’s speech to heart, and after a Brazilian BBQ party feast, they had a solid night of sleep and didn’t waste any time in finding waves over the remaining days of the waiting period.

From searching in Maresias by van, to chartering a boat and heading out to a secluded jungle wedge, the groms spent just about every waking minute on the hunt for waves. And, as always, they have one helluva time doing it.

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