"Rip Curl GromSearch Really Is A Big Deal" - Says Medina

16 May 2017 0 Share

2017 RIP CURL GROMSEARCH | SPONSORED STORY

"You’re the next generation of surfers headed towards the World Tour.” Announced Gabriel Medina to 16 groms who'd flown in from all corners of the world to his hometown. 

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.

When you drive in to Maresias, you drive through what is essentially the jungle. Up mountains, through dense forest, around winding roads – a stark contrast to the chaos and vast population of Sao Paulo. And then, once you pass the small sign to the left of the road that reads “Rio Maresias”, you see what you travelled all this way for – a long, isolated stretch of beach bordered by mountains on either side, with what looks like a wave every few metres along the coastline.This place, contrary to common perception about Brazil, offers up a huge number of waves with both variety and punch. You want a barrel? You can find it in Maresias. You want an air section? No problem.

The contest bank for the International Final is about two-thirds of the way up the coast from the southern entrance to Maresias, and is one of the bigger banks in the area. It picks up a fair bit of swell, and is where most of the heavier hitting surfers frequent when a storm rolls through.

During the event waiting period, the groms couldn’t have gotten luckier. The two days that the event was run, done and won, there was solid three-to-five foot swell rolling through, with clean, slightly offshore winds to keep things tidy. And with the crop of talent competing, scores were pushed into the excellent range on a number of occasions.

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. Towards the last few days of the trip, the swell started to taper – a blessing in disguise, as they finally had a chance to enjoy what else Brazil had to offer… outside of the water. It meant training at the Gabriel Medina Instituto, it meant playing soccer with Sammy Pupo and his friends, it meant learning the local dance capoeira, finding new restaurants, trying new food, seeing new things. It was one helluva week in Maresias, and not a moment was wasted.

That’s what the GromSearch International Final is all about. It’s much more than just a competition.

Congratulations to each and every surfer in the 2017 International Rip Curl GromSearch Final. You nailed it, groms!

And a special obrigado to our local hosts in Maresias, including Gabriel Medina and Samuel Pupo.Until next year…

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