To say that Will Deane enjoyed his surfing visit to California would be an understatement.
Traveling to the west coast from his home state of Florida, the 14-year-old took down one of the coveted spots in the
RipCurl Grom Search final at Kelly Slaters Surf Ranch in Lemoore, CA by besting 31 other competitors.
Deane was the 4th seed in the Boys 14 and under division of the event. It was the first of three qualifying dates for the final.
The second was held in Hawaii this past weekend and the final one is in New Smyrna Beach Inlet, Florida August 13-14.
Deane joined Lucas Senkbeil-Cassity (16-under boys), Vaihiti Inso (16-under Girls) and Kahlil Schooley (12-under boys) as qualifiers from the Huntington Beach event.
"It was really special," Deane said of his win. "It was my first on the west coast, I am super stoked to go to Slaters wave pool"
Deane had a flair for the dramatics to get the victory.
In the quarterfinals, he pulled off back-to-back scoring waves of 7.37 and 8.50 in the final minutes to take the heat. Then in the semifinals, his 7.67 and 4.0 in the closing seconds allowed him to slip into the last advancing spot.
The championship was determined when Deane put up a 9.17 score late in the event to top Senkbeil-Cassity.
"The good waves came when i needed them," Deane said. "I surfed them well enough to get the scores I needed."