Australia’s best dazzle at Rip Curl GromSearch National Final

October 27, 2023 BY

West Australian Olive Hardy was victorious in the Under 16 Girls division. Photos: NOAH CLIFFORD/SURFING VICTORIA

SIX new national champions were crowned at the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final at URBNSURF earlier this week.

Monday’s event saw 72 of the country’s best junior surfers do battle across a total of six divisions.

In an action-packed day, Ocean Lancaster (Mereweather, NSW) and Olive Hardy (Gnarabup, WA) were victorious in the premier Under 16 Boys and Girls divisions.

Hardy was able to put on a stunning display of talent and determination to take out the Under 16 Girls final.

However, the 15-year-old was made to work very hard for her the win, with Ziggy Mackenzie (Bilinga, QLD), Alice Hodgson (Kiama Downs, NSW) and Sophie Wilkinson (Shoreham,VIC) all putting on an incredible performance.

Going into the final set waves on the right side of the wave pool, all three girls had a shot at taking the lead off Hardy in the dying moments.

With the other competitors unable to improve their scoring, Hardy belted out multiple forehand snaps to earn a 7.77-point ride (out of a possible 10 points), and the win.

“I was a bit nervous going into my last wave, but at the end of the day I just wanted to surf the wave the best I could to show what I could do,” Hardy said.

“All the girls totally rip, and we are all super close friends which made it a really fun final.”

On the opposite side of the pool, Ocean Lancaster was able to put on a clinic to take out the Under 16 Boys crown.

Ocean Lancaster was on fire in the Under 16 Boys division.


In the first round of the final, Lancaster stayed right in the pocket of the wave to score an almost perfect 9.70-point ride.

He then backed it up with an even better 9.77, the highest scoring ride of the day, to put the result out of doubt.

Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough, WA) gallantly came in second on 17.60 combined points with Jesse Fergusson (Sunshine Beach, QLD) and Mitchell Peterson (Noosa Ville, QLD) placing third and fourth.

My first right hander gave me a confidence boost so I went into the left feeling pretty good,” Lancaster said.

“I knew that I still had to put a strong score up to secure my spot, but I’m stoked I managed to do so.

“It’s always good to come down to the pool as everyone cheers each other on creating such a sick vibe!”

Other division champions included Lucy Darragh (Under 14 Girls, Kiama, NSW) and Jaggar Phillips (Under 14 Boys, Matraville, NSW), Navah Holmes (Under 12 Girls, Tugun, QLD) and Jaxxon Sands (Under 12 Boys, Palm Beach, NSW).

For full results, head to surfingvic.com/live

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