Tommy and Kirsten top the nation
TWO Byron Bay junior surfers came out on top when the Rip Curl National GromSearch Series culminated on the Sunshine Coast yesterday.
Tommy Boucaut went into the final of the six events as the top-rated Under-16 boys surfer and justified that ranking in a tense 25-minute final at Coolum Beach.
Beating what organisers described as the most talented field in GromSearch history, Boucaut was ecstatic.
"It's definitely the biggest win of my career," he said.
"The field was so strong here and the other guys in the final are so good, I never felt comfortable."
In tricky and inconsistent 1.5m conditions, Boucaut locked in an excellent 8.67 point (out of a possible 10) ride on his first wave to shoot to the lead early, only to struggle for a second scoring ride while the rest of the field played catch-up.
"It was great to get that first high score, but then I spent 15 minutes looking for my second score and was worried about Hiroto (Hiroto Arai) and Jordy (Jordan Lawler) catching me," Boucaut said.
He was relieved when he sealed the win.
Boucaut was also awarded the Air Asia Wave of the Day for his opening 8.67 point ride.
The Under-16 girls national final followed a similar pattern before Kirsten Ogden (Suffolk Park) finished on top.
Ogden battled for a strong second score after good early rides.
Stephanie Single (Lennox Head) took the early lead with a 7.00 point ride and Ogden kept her in reach with a 7.40 but desperately needed a back-up.
It came with five min-utes left when she did two massive turns for a heat high 8.17 to put the result beyond doubt.
"I was searching for something to catch Steph and was lucky to get that left as I paddled out," Ogden said.
"Once the judges read the score I just had to hold on to the end."