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Rachael Tilly. Photo by ISA/Rommel Gonzales
Rachael Tilly. Photo by ISA/Rommel Gonzales

By Andrea Swayne

Groms of the Year: Rachael Tilly, 15, Capistrano Beach, and Karina Rozunko, 17, San Clemente

This year’s Grom of the Year honors are shared by two talented surfers who both made a splash on the world stage.

San Clemente High School students, Rachael Tilly of Capistrano Beach and Karina Rozunko of San Clemente, both surfed their way to the podium in world championship longboard competition.

Karina Rozunko. Photo by ASP/Poullenot
Karina Rozunko. Photo by ASP/Poullenot

In September, Rachael earned a silver medal at the International Surfing Association World Longboard Championship in Brazil. Her performance helped the U.S. team move up one ranking to No. 7 from No. 8 in 2012.

In November, Karina earned a third-place finish at the Association of Surfing Professionals Women’s World Longboard title event, the Swatch Girls Pro, in Hainan, China. A second-time qualifier for the ASP event, Karina also took third in 2012.

Along with numerous mentions throughout the year, in this and other local newspapers, both were also seen elsewhere in the media. Rachael appeared on the cover of the April edition of OC Family magazine and Karina was featured in the all-women longboard surf movie, Say No More, which was released in July.

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