- 05 April 2010 | Surfing
As if to prove the truly international nature of the GromSearch, the winner of the boys, Gabriel Medina, hails from Brazil, and the winner of the girls, Bianca Buitendag, is from South Africa.
Both 16 years old, Medina and Buitendag beat some of the world's best junior surfers to take the boys and girls Gromsearch crowns. In the boy's final, Gabriel surfed against Creed McTaggart from WA, Indonesia's Koman Herman and much-fancied American, Kolohe Andino.
But Gabriel was too good, out-surfing his fellow finalists with some truly futuristic aerial manoeuvres. The Rip Curl International Gromsearch title is the latest in a swag of surfing wins at both the junior and senior level for the accomplished young Brazilian, who currently holds the title of ISA World Junior Champion.
In the girls, Bianca Buitendag was surfing against Hawaii's Nage Melamed, Australia's Brodie Doyle and NZ's Alexis Poulter. Buitendag is also an accomplished junior competitor, who has won several contests at home and abroad.
"This is my third trip to Australia, but my first time competiting here at Bells Beach," said a delighted Bianca after the final. "I've surfed at Bells before, but it's very different to be out here competing. The other girls all surfed really well and I was really happy to make the final with them."
The Rip Curl GromSearch is a worldwide series of events designed especially for junior surfers, or "grommets". In surfing nations across the world, it gives groms the centre stage to show their skills on the world stage.
The Australian series is made up of seven events around the nation with the winner of the premier 16’s division winning an all expenses paid invite to the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival at Bells around Easter.
The GromSearch series has seen some incredible surfers on the winners list including Stephanie Gilmore, Jordy Smith, Ben Dunn, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and Laura Enever.