Congratulations to Brisa Hennessy and Nolan Rapoza, the 2016 champions of the Rip Curl GromSearch Final at Ala Moana Bowls, Hawaii.
Image credit: / Rip Curl
With continued momentum, Brisa
Hennessy (HAW) took control of her semi-final heat against Raiha Ensor (NZL),
with a series of backhand re-entry maneuvers. Brisa finalized the heat with a
total heat score of 11.17 to advance through.
Leilani McGonagle (CRI) was in
the following semi-final against French native Juliette Brice. With a slower
heat on offer, McGonagle got busy locking in a 6.10 and a 4.83, finishing out
the heat with a 10.93 total score, over Brice’s 7.13 points.
Nolan Rapoza needed his best
performance of the event to overcome Rio Waida (IDN) in the semi-finals, who
had locked in an 8.50 on his opening ride, applying early pressure to the
American. Nolan answered back with a near perfect ride of 9.83, advancing him
to the final with a total heat score of 17.66.
In the next semi-final Kehu
Butler (NZL) had to overcome the dangerous Koby Oberholzer from South Africa,
who had been in outstanding form throughout the event. It took two excellent
scores from the Kiwi (18.04 points out of 20) to progress to the final.
Before the finals got underway,
local legends Mason Ho, Fred Patacchia and Mikey Bruneau paddled out with the
groms for two 30-minute expression session heats presented by Skullcandy. This
gave the surfers a great opportunity to compete against each other one more
time in the event, while the finalists rested for their upcoming heats.
With conditions pulsing, the
women's final hit the water. It was between the 2014 Champion Brisa Hennessy, and
defending 2015 Champion Leilani McGonagle and competition was fierce. Brisa
opened with a 7.83 after connecting a set wave through to the inside bowl, and
backed it up with 3.73. Leilani soon followed with a 5.00 and 5.73, but it
wasn’t enough to take the lead, leaving Brisa Hennessy the 2016 Rip Curl
GromSearch International Champion. “I can’t even explain my emotions,” said
Brisa. “This means the world and just being on the board again is incredible,
and all these names I look up to so much. The final was kind of tricky, but I
look up to Leilani a bunch and we are such good friends, so I am just so
Next in the water was the highly
contested boys final, Nolan Rapoza versus Kehu Butler. Nolan started with a
bang, locking in a 8.50 on his second wave of the heat after connecting a
string of forehand maneuvers, putting Kehu on the back foot within the opening
minutes. Although securing a 6.83 and a 5.33 for a total heat score of 12.16
points, the American was too strong, finishing the day on 13.17 points. “I am
stoked, I just felt good today and I wanted to keep the roll going, the waves
were kind of slow in the final, but I guess the pieces are put where they were
and that’s how it ended up,” said Nolan in his post heat interview.
FINAL RESULTS OF THE 2016 RIP
CURL GROMSEARCH INTERNATIONAL FINAL, ALA MOANA BOWLS, HAWAII.
QF 1: 1st Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
10.97, 2nd Juliette Brice (FRA) 9.43, 3rd Cinta Hansel (IDN) 4.73
QF 2: 1st Leilani McGonagle (CRI)
15.50, 2nd Raiha Ensor (NZL) 10.23, 3rd Summer Macedo (HAW) 9.97
SF 1: 1st Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
11.17, 2nd Raiha Ensor (NZL) 7.30
SF 2: 1st Leilani McGonagle (CRI)
10.93, 2nd Juliette Brice (FRA) 7.13
Final: 1st Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
11.36, 2nd Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 10.73
QF 1: 1st Nolan Rapoza (USA)
15.33, 2nd Koby Oberholzer (ZAF) 15.33, 3rd Anderson Junior (BRA) 13.00
QF 2: 1st Kehu Butler (NZL)
15.50, 2nd Rio Waida (IDN) 12.63, 3rd Liam O’Brien (AUS) 8.26
SF: 1st Nolan Rapoza (USA) 17.66,
2nd Rio Waida (IDN) 15.50
SF: 1st Kehu Butler (NZL) 18.04,
2nd Koby Oberholzer (ZAF) 10.17
Final: 1st Nolan Rapoza (USA)
13.17, 2nd Kehu Butler (NZL) 12.16
To find out more about the event check out the Rip Curl website here.