Teen who won NC surfing competition in August dies in swells of - | WBTV Charlotte

Teen who won NC surfing competition in August dies in swells of Hurricane Irma

“Super happy to take the win at the @ripcurl_usa Grom Search in Outer Banks,” Zander Venezia wrote after winning the North Carolina competition. (Zander Venezia Instagram screen shot) “Super happy to take the win at the @ripcurl_usa Grom Search in Outer Banks,” Zander Venezia wrote after winning the North Carolina competition. (Zander Venezia Instagram screen shot)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - A 16-year-old budding pro surfer who won his category in North Carolina’s Rip Curl Grom Search surfing competition two weeks ago has died trying to surf the waters churned up by Hurricane Irma.

Zander Venezia of Bridgetown, Barbados, died Tuesday while trying to catch a wave in the shallow, rocky waters off Barbados, according to media outlets.

Surfline.com reported the news, explaining Venezia possibly broke his neck after being driven to the bottom by the waves.

“Bleeding and unresponsive, he was pulled out of the water by Nathan Florence, who was among a cadre of pros who flew over to Barbados to catch the mega-swell currently being generated by Hurricane Irma,” Surfline.com reported.

The teen was pronounced dead at a hospital after about 75 minutes of nonstop CPR, according to media outlets.

Venezia “defied the laws of physics” in his performance in N.C.’s Rip Curl Grom Search competition on Aug. 18, RipCurl.com reported. He won the boys 16 and under competition.

It was held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. First prize was $250 in cash and bragging rights.

He was still posting comments on social media about North Carolina’s waves as recently as last Friday, noting he “had a blast in the Outer Banks.”

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