Nikki Van Dijk

Excellent waves and high scoring performances culminated an outstanding final day to the opening event to the Rip Curl GromSearch 2009/2010 Series presented by SNICKERS at Jan Juc Beach in Victoria.

With a new solid groundswell and clean offshore winds lighting up the entire Surfcoast region Australia’s top 16 year and under surfers were able to unleash all their talents and high scoring performances were the only way to win.

The Blue ribbon Boys and Girls 16 and under finals  were both high scoring with the Boys final getting down to a wave for wave close battle which saw Cronulla’s Connor O’Leary take the win by just 0.25 points ahead of Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey with Tasmania’s Hamish Renwick 3rd and Lennox Head/NSW surfer Nikki Hoskin in 4th.

“So pleased to win the first event of the series, it takes the pressure off by winning this one as I’m now qualified for the national final” said O’Leary after his win.

“It’s my second win on the GromSearch series, I won in Cronulla last year and now I’ll aim to try and win the series for this year” added O’Leary.

The girl’s final saw a dominating performance from Phillip Island’s Nikki Van Dijk who scored the days highest wave score of a 9.2 early in the final to take a massive lead that was never seriously challenged.

Van Dijk is the defending GromSearch Girls 16 international champion and she’s very keen to defend that title next Easter.

“Great to win the first event on the series and I’m looking forward to the final now – I’ll compete in a few more GromSearch events this year but winning today is great as I’m qualified and can relax and concentrate on defending the title next Easter.”

Van Dijk defeated fellow Phillip Island surfer India Payne who found a strong 6 point ride late in final to move into second place ahead of interstate surfers Brodie Doyle (Qld) and Lauren McAleer (NSW).

Soli Bailey’s performance today was exceptional, despite losing the closest final in the 16 Boys, he took a convincing win in the 14 Boys final where he posted two excellent 8 point plus rides to defeat Jake Thompson (NSW), Chris Robertson (NSW) and Kai Hing (Qld).

The Girls 14 and under final saw another great performance from Victorian Phillip Island region surfer Kelly Laity (Sandy Point) who won the final over Indiana Green (NSW).

Twelve and under winners were Jemima Hutchins (Barwon Heads) and Jaemes Young (NSW/Angourie).

Heitor Alves

The Quiksilver Pro France presented by Orange, Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, has been called off for the day, following the completion of Round 2.

With only small, two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf on offer today at Les Bourdaines, only three heats were completed today, with event organizers opting to hold for better conditions in the coming days.

Ben Dunn (AUS), 23, current ASP World No. 26, surfed one of the strangest heats of the Quiksilver Pro France thus far. His opponent, Chris Ward (USA), 30, who had already missed his Round 1 heat due to scheduling confusion, overslept this morning and failed to show up until 15 minutes into the 30 minute heat.

“Well, it definitely plays with your head,” Dunn said. “Wardo missed his Round 1 heat and I thought he was going to show up for today’s heat because I saw him yesterday, but he said he overslept or something. It was still pretty even when he arrived though as I couldn’t get any waves.”

With half the heat remaining, Dunn would ignite, seamlessly blending high-speed floaters and rapid-fire turns on his backhand to amass the day’s highest heat total, a 14.50 out of a possible 20.


Aritz Aranburu

The Quiksilver Pro France presented by Orange, Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, got back in motion today at the event’s main venue of Les Bourdaines in consistent-but-testing five-foot (1.5 metre) waves.

Battling against elements with strong currents coming into the equation, Round 2 competitors put on a show of strategic game plans and athletic ss, holding their line-up positions and taking off on fast-breaking five-to-six foot wave faces to grab their Round 3 tickets.

With most top seeds getting the job done in various ways, from solid scores to tight heat results, surprise came with the eliminations of highly-touted competitors Jeremy Flores (FRA), 21, and defending champion Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, losing to Aritz Aranburu (EUK), 23, and ASP Dream Tour veteran Greg Emslie (ZAF), 32, respectively, creating the biggest upsets of the day.

Emslie eliminated Buchan in the dying minutes of their exchange, netting a solid 8.00 point score to stamp his authority and get away with the win. Emslie, ASP World No. 33, was able to catch-up with Buchan’s early lead using his experience and patience to wait for a good opportunity and rush to victory.