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And 16 of the world’s best groms progress into Day Two of competition in Raglan, fighting it out for the title to the 2018 GromSearch International Final.

This past Thursday 16 of the world’s best junior surfers flew into the tiny town of Raglan on the North Island of New Zealand, preparing for battle in the 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final. Since then the groms have competed in the Rip Curl Raglan Pro, getting in some solid practice time out at Manu Bay, and explored what the stunning New Zealand coastline has to offer.

Today the swell picked up and 2-3 foot lines rolled through from the west and stacked up on the point at Manu Bay. Day One of the GromSearch International Final was called on, and competitors surfed Round One in solid Raglan left-handers.

On the men’s side of the draw Cole Houshmand from San Clemente, California, USA, claimed the highest heat score of the men’s, in the last heat of Round One. With a 17.25 heat total, Cole defeated a talented Guilherme Ribiero from Portugal.

“It was really fun out there today,” said Cole. “I am stoked we got the comp underway and got to surf some heat. It’s supposed to pick up overnight, so I’m excited to see what the day offers tomorrow.”

On the women’s side of the draw locals dominated, with New Zealand’s Saffi Vette and Raglan’s Brie Bennett taking the win in the first two heats. “It’s definitely a big advantage being from Raglan,” said Brie, after her win. “I know the wave so well and I know where to sit. There are a lot of take-off areas at Manu Bay, and I feel much more confident knowing my place out there.”

The forecast for Tuesday, the final day of the waiting period, is looking promising – with the offer of a building swell and a dying wind. Stay tuned.

GromSearch International Final Round One Results – Men:

Heat 1: Lucas Vicente  (BRA) 15.5 def. Navryn Malone (NZ) 10.7
Heat 2: Xavier Huxtable (AUS) 15 def. Caleb Cutmore (NZ) 14.5
Heat 3: Finn Hill (AUS) 13.9 def. Kona Eru (IND) 9
Heat 4: Cole Houshmand (USA) 17.25 def. Guilherme Riberio (PRT) 13.55

GromSearch International Final Round One Results – Women:
Heat 1: Saffi Vette (NZ) 15.95 def. Anne Dos Santos (BRA) 15.45
Heat 2: Brie Bennett (NZ) 12.25 def. Taina Izquierda (IND) 11.1
Heat 3: Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 12.35 def. Emma Dubes (FRA) 11.35
Heat 4: Kirra-Belle Olsson (AUS) 16.65 def. Piper Harrison (AUS) 15.05

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