WERRI Beach Boardrider Holly Wishart proved why she is one of the top surfers her age in the country, finishing second at the 2021 GromSearch national championships on Monday.
This year marked the first time the national final has been run at URBNSURF and showcased an innovative format testing competitors in turn and barrel waves to crown the most well-rounded surfers.
In the under 16 girls division, the Gerringong product complied a score of 22.47 in the Melbourne wave pool.
That was just bettered by winner Ellie Harrison (29.07) from Barwon Heads.
"I was happy with my performance and the way I surfed at the event," the Kiama High School student said.
"There were a lot of strong surfers there who were all ripping.
"I'm stoked with my second-place finish in the under 16s, knowing I still have another year in this division.
"It was also a really fun experience to surf in the wave pool.
"It's different because you sort of know what type of wave is coming beforehand and what to expect - it's definitely different to surfing in the ocean but still heaps fun."
Rounding out the top four was Miami's Charlotte Mulley (20.80) and Jan Juc's Mia Huppatz (19.29).
Wollongong's Lennix Smith looked right at home at URBNSURF locking in a heat total of 33.07 (out of a possible 40) including an incredible tube ride on his final wave to earn a 10 point ride and the under 16 boys' title - with Port Kembla's Taj Simon (23.10) third.
Wollongong sisters Zahlia Short (21.96) and Shyla Short (17.40) finished second and third respectively in the under 14 girls section, which was taken out by Gnarabup's Willow Hardy (24.00).
Jones Beach Boardrider Lani Cairncross made it to the semi-finals of the under 12 girls event, where she scored an 11.16.
Wishart, 15, hopes to use her second-placed finish as a springboard to more strong results in the coming months.
"I have a couple of contests coming up next month," she said.
"First up is the Billabong Oz Grom Cup at Coffs Harbour before by the South Coast Regional titles at Kiama.
"Hopefully, I can gain good results in both of these events, as all the competitions help gain experience for the future."
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