Stop one of three of the 2023 Rip Curl Grom Search is in the books after this weekend's event at Huntington Beach.
The event, which gives the top groms in the country a chance at advancing to the finals at the wave pool at the Palm Springs Surf Club, drew a nearly capacity field of stellar athletes ready to do battle.
At stake was $500 to each winner but a change in advancement was made from prior years. Instead of only the four winners going to the wave pool, all four finalists in each division earned the right to Palm Springs.
With that, lets to Huntington Beach;
Finals: Eeli Timperi 14.50, Luke Wyler 13.83, Will Deane 13.20, Cannon Carr 7.84
Timperi entered the event as the 5th seed but quickly established himself as a big threat.
He opened round one with a 13.17 heat win, breezed through the quarterfinals with a 14.73 mark, then put up a 12.90 while getting though the semis.
Once in the final, he opened with a 6.17 but found himself in fourth place with just under 7 minutes left when he nailed a three-turn combo that registered a 8.33, flipping the heat and putting him in the lead.
That would be enough as the final 7 minutes saw no waves ridden and he was safely home as the champion.
"I got the first wave quick but I waited for the next one and it had a good section on it,' Timperi said. " I looked for the lefts, they had the most critical sections, and on the last one I just went heavy."
Wyler put up an early 7.83 and led until Timperi pulled off the heat winner.
Other high scores: Cannon Carr 9.17/17.34; Lucas Cassity 8.57/15.90; Will Deane 7.50/14.33, Luke Wyler 8.23/13.96
Finals: Eden Walla 14.93, Maddie Stanton 13.36, Lanea Mons 13.23, Remy Todd 6.66
The Girls division put on a very competitive show in the final, and when the horn sounded Walla stood above the rest.
She caught only two waves, but they were the highest two of the heat (7.60 and 7.43) and her 14.93 total held off Stanton (13.36) and Mons (13.23).
Walla had an 8.00/14.70 semifinal score in a heat win and prior to that, put up scores of 11.24 and 10.80 to advance through the early rounds.
"I just had fun and looked for the best waves, " Walla said. " I came close last year, so I'm super stroked to get it this year."
Florida's Lanea Mons put up a good fight in the finals (13.23). But prior to that she lit up the scoreboard with scores 9.40/17.23 in round one, 8.17/16.17 in the quarters and 6.50/12.30 in the semis.
Other high scores: Avery McDonald 7.43/14.76; Mia McLeish 8.50/13.33; Maddie Stanton 7.33/13.33; Alana Lopez 7.17/13.00.
Finals: Petey Romaniuk 14.00, Gavin Bren 12.07, Lucas Cassity 10316, Ian Honda 8.00
Trailing in the latter half of the final, Romaniuk found a wave that scored him a 7.83 putting him in the lead and he backed it up with a 6.17 to nail down the win.
Romaniuk dominated each of his heats on the way to the final. In the semifinals he dropped a 15.17 and a 13.34 in the quarters.
" I knew I needed a bigger score, I had priority, so I waited for one and got the seven, then was able to get a six on my next one and was stoked," Romaniuk said.
It's the second straight year Romaniuk will be at the Rip Curl finals as last hear he traveled to Florida and won both the 14 and 16 under divisions.
Gavin Bren, from Maryland, put up strong results all event long. He finished second in all three of his heats leading to the final, putting up scores of 11.74, 11.13, and 12.86 to make the finale and his 12.07 landed him a runner up spot.
Other high scores: Lucas Cassity 7.43/14.93; Ian Honda 6.83/12.83; Makai Castle 6.77/12.77; Quaid Fahrion 6.67/12.57, Kai Nelson 7.17/12.54; Kaden Awad 6.83/12.40
Finals: Tanner Sandvig 14.76, Finn Castle 13.13, Kai Thompson 12.26, Brody Buck 12.10
Sandvig started the final heat slow, but midway through, caught waves of 7.43 and 7.33 to firmly take control of the final.
Castle had the lead based on his scores of 6.73 and 6.40 and a solid second place performance.
A new addition to the national Rip Curl team, Sandvig won his round one and two heats with scores of 11.80 and 16.50. His quarterfinal score included wave scores of 8.67 and 7.83.
"I just tried to find set waves that had two good turns," the San Clemente youth said.
The youngest groms were charging throughout the weekend. Finn Castle had the heat of the event with scores of 8.97 and 8.10 for a 17.07 quarterfinal score. Zion Walla put up an opening round score of 15.17 with a high mark of 9.00.
Other high scores: Kona Costa 7.83/13.80; Oliver Rowe 7.17/13.50; Matias Banto 7.93/13.10; Brody Buck 7.67/12.84; Sebastian Peters 6.83/12.56.
Stop 2 will take place in Kewalos, Hawaii on July 15-16 and the third and final stop is in NSB Inlet Florida on August 12-13. The Wave Pool finals is on October 21st in Palm Springs.