Michael February and Sabrina Scott claim the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch in Cape Town 

Michael February (Kommetjie) and Sabrina Scott (Glencairn) claimed the U16 Boys and U16 Girls titles respectively at the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch, held in perfect 3-4 foot waves and offshore winds at Long Beach, Kommetjie on Saturday and Sunday (June 27 & 28).

The Under 16 Boys Final featured all four members of the South African Junior team that competed in the ISA World Junior championships in Ecuador earlier this year and lived up to its billing as the premier division of the contest.

Fittingly, the result of the U16 Boys final was in the balance going into the final seconds of the heat but in the end  it was a determined Mikey February who claimed victory over fellow Kommetjie surfer Davey Brand with the last wave of the event.

Robin de Kock, General Manager  of Surfing South Africa said that “the conditions were perfect for all of the surfers”. Luckily, the storms that had been smashing the Cape the previous week had disappeared and with the swell dropping to a contestable 3 - 4 feet combined with  light offshores de Kock said that “we saw some really high heat scores throughout the event”.
The Rip Curl GromSearch is an national event, with the winner of the Boys Under 16 division winning an all-expenses paid trip to the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival at Bells Beach next April. February, the South African representative, will be competing in the Rip Curl GromSearch International Finals against the best young surfers from countries such as Argentina, Australia, France, the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, and New Zealand.

In the U16 Girls final Sabrina Scott posted her best ever victory since winning the SSA Academy Cup a few years ago beating Cara Mac Donald another up and coming young surfer from East London.


Kelly Slater beats Bernardo Miranda in the 2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro 

The elimination Round 2 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro was completed today, with the world’s best surfers tearing into the four-to-six foot (2 metre) waves on offer at Praia Vila.

Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro enjoyed sunnier weather and marginally better manageable ocean conditions for Round 2, allowing for some electrifying performances.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, former ASP World Junior Champion (2006) and current ASP World No. 6, was devastating this morning during his Round 2 bout against Ben Bourgeois (USA), 30. Building momentum throughout the heat, Smith exploded with the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.00 out of a possible 10 for a barrage of fully committed power turns on his forehand.

“It’s still pretty tough out there and it’s difficult to find a spot to line up,” Smith said. “There are some pretty good waves coming through the bowl though and if you can get on them, you can open up a bit. I just got lucky with my wave ion and was able to put up a couple of scores.”

Long-touted as one of the most progressive surfers on the planet, Smith struggled during his rookie season on the ASP Dream Tour, finishing 26th in 2008. Since then, the South African has re-ignited through the opening events this year, collecting two ninths and a third en route to his current ASP World No. 6 rating.


Kelly Slater drops to elimination round 2 in the 2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro 

Day 2 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, has awoken to another morning of clean four-to-six foot (2 metre) waves on offer at Praia Vila, prompting event organizers to call the elimination Round 2 on starting at 8am.

“We have similar conditions to yesterday in terms of swell but the sun is shining and the conditions are projected to be a bit cleaner today,” Perry Hatchett, ASP Head Judge said. “We’ll be starting Round 2 at 8am and looking to complete the round by day’s end.”

Yesterday’s Round 1 saw current ASP World Tour ratings’ frontrunners Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, and Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, all smash their way to victories as well as upsets by Tim Reyes (USA), 27, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 23, and Chris Davidson (AUS), 32.

Kelly Slater (USA), 37, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 25, was relegated to the elimination Round 2 yesterday by the Californian Reyes. After three consecutive 17th place finishes this season, Slater will look to get past wildcard Bernardo Miranda (BRA) in today’s Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Round 2 action.

When Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro competition recommences, first up will be former ASP World Champion (2001) and current ASP World No. 4 C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, battling wildcard Guilherme Ferreira (BRA) in Heat 1 of Round 2.