Noa Deane: youngsters fly higher

The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Telstra will continue to unearth Australia's junior surfing talent in 2011. Conceived in 1999, it has become a 'rite of passage' for Aussie juniors as the only national series that visits every surfing state and provides participants with a countrywide ratings system.

In keeping with the fun and progressive nature of the series, the 2011 version will see a new format introduced at the first event in Jan Juc, Victoria. All participants will surf twice in their respective divisions, with points awarded relative to heat placings and then added together to determine quarter and semi-finalists.

The ever popular expression sessions will ensure surfers can stay involved in the event right up to the final siren. Hundreds of 16 & under aged surfers from beaches around the country will be looking for bragging rights at their local and interstate events.

Male and female winners of the top tier 16’s division at each event receiving an invite to the National final held on the final day of the Queensland event. They'll battle it out to represent Australia at the International GromSearch final held during the 2012 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.

Australians took top spot at last year's International final with Niki Van Dijk (Cowes, VIC) & Mitch Parkinson (Coolangatta, QLD) beating overseas visitors to the crown.

Van Dijk commented, "It's a great way to finish my GromSearch career with a place in the final at Bells, and even better to win it on the big stage,” she said.

“GromSearch is a big part of junior development in Australia and definitely gets you ready for the next step, whilst still allowing crew to meet great friends from all around the country. I've loved it."

2011 GromSearch Series dates:

Event 1: Tuesday 27th – Friday 30th September, 2011 - Jan Juc, VIC
Event 2: Monday 3rd – Thursday 6th October, 2011 – Coffs Harbour, NSW
Event 3: Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd October, 2011 - Trigg, WA
Event 4: Saturday 5th November, 2011 - Clifton Beach, TAS
Event 5: Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th November, 2011 - Middleton, SA
Event 6: Tues 13th – Friday 16th December, 2011 – Sunshine Coast, QLD