Hornet Grombash 2003
Curl Curl Beach, NSW
27 - 29 December 2002
Nick Coghlan beats Dylan Stewart to win Hornet Grombash 2003
Tuesday, 30 December 2003:
It was battle of two Nations at Sydneys Curl Curl beach on the final day of the 2003 Aloha Hornet Grombash with Australia and South Africa going head to head in what was a fight for supremacy that featured some of the worlds best juniors.
This years Hornet event attracted over 200 surfers and had a real international flavor to it with competitors from South Africa, New Zealand and Japan here to have a crack at some of Australias best grommets.
The Under 16s boys final saw Current World Champion Jordy Smith (South Africa) explode out of the blocks producing a solid 7.0 point ride in the opening minutes, serving notice to his Aussie rivals that he was keen to take the title back to his home land. It was his second ride that left the big crowd stunned posting a massive 9.5 ride after the powerful Natural-Footer executed a series of critical turns as he raced down the line on one of the better waves of the day before finishing it off with a stylish floater on the punchy shore break to the cheers of the appreciative crowd.
Central Coast surfer Matt Wilkinson had been the standout going into the final and was the surfer the South African feared most, and his first scoring wave gave the vocal crowd some hope as he smashed some big moves to post a 6.5 ride.
After a long campaign where he surfed in two divisions a tired Wilkinson pushed hard but couldnt find a wave with the scoring opportunity to peg back Smiths lead .It was the South African who closed the deal with minutes remaining with another awesome 9.0 ride to seal what was a classy victory. Wilkinson came away with a well deserved second placing with Ashley King (Sth Coast ) and Curl Curl local Leigh McMahon taking home fourth place.
An excited Smith spoke after the victory saying
It feels good to win in Australia cause there are so many great surfers around here ,so Im really stoked to win. The win will give me a lot of confidence going into the World juniors,the competitors were really good and you had to be tough in the water.
It was then time for the Blue Ribbon Under 20s Man on Man final and after watching an inspired win from his fellow countryman Dylan Stewart (South Africa) took to the water against one of Australias best young surfers Nick Coghlan (Nelsons Bay) for the twenty minute battle royal.
Everyone on the beach wanted the Australian surfer to even it up with the South Africans with Coghlan receiving plenty of support as he hit the beach.
Both surfers had been outstanding in the days earlier heats with Coghlan in awesome form taking out Australian Junior Series # 3 Jarrod Sullivan (Byron Bay) in their semi final heat.
Stewart only got into the draw after someone pulled out late and his first surf in this country just happened to be in his first heat but it didnt take him long to find his feet with the talented unknown producing some solid heat wins against some of our best juniors.
The opening minutes didnt produce much with both surfers sitting in the line-up waiting patiently for a set to arrive. It was Coghlan who drew first blood dishing out a series of clean and powerful turns in the pocket that scored 6.5. Stewart hit back with a solid score of his own and with good waves becoming even harder to come by both surfers decided to paddle to different peaks as they tried to find a back up wave.
With the clock running down Coghlan secured a 6.0 ride after paddling into a smaller inside wave which opened up enough for him to blast out a series of back-hand turns leaving Stewart to fire off the last shot .With the final coming to an end Stewart grabbed a wave and pulled some quality turns before the wave shut down with the South African falling an agonizing 0.5 short ,leaving victory to the Australian.
A relieved Coghlan received $1000 for his win and spoke of the high standard the Aloha Hornet had attracted this year I was surprised by the standard of this comp and the way it was run was second to none. The Man on Man format worked well and after returning home from Hawaii the money will come in handy. After a long year on the World Qualifying Tour its great to come home and finish the year with a win
Impressive is the only word that comes to mind when describing the standard set by all the surfers with Ben Dunn , Ben Godwin , Anthony Walsh ,Jarrod Sullivan and Paul Morgan all ultra impressive making the final eight in the event.
Earlier in the afternoon the younger grommets showed whats in store in the near future in world surfing with Davey Cathels (Narrabeen) Under 12s Boys , Chris Salisbury (Newport) Under 14s Boys , Ayla Whitney ( Sth Coast ) Under 16s Girls and Lyndsay Noyes ( Sth Side) Under 20s Girls blasting solid victorys in their divisions .
For Narrabeens Davey Cathels the win capped off a massive month with the talented surfer making it three wins from three of the toughest events in the country. Cathels was asked what his secret was and he responded by saying Im stoked to finally win this event. Ive had such a great time lately, my boards are going so good for me at the moment and my preparation before my heats has been great.
The Aloha Hornet started five years ago and is now considered one of the premiere Grommet events in this country and with over 200 surfers competing this year and more international surfers interested for next year the event looks certain to continue to grow even more in the future.
Under 20s Boys
1st Nick Coghlan
2nd Dylan Stewart
3rd Anthony Walsh
3rd Jarrod Sullivan
1st Jordy Smith
2nd Matt Wilkinson
3rd Ashley King
4th Leigh Mc Mahon
1st Chris Salisbury
2nd Tom Salvesen
3rd Billy Keen
4th Karl Atkinsp
1st Davey Cathels
2nd Tom Myers
3rd Dylan Cummings
4th Oscar Scanes
Under 16s Girls / Under 20s Girls
1st Ayla Whitney /1st Lyndsay Noyes
2nd Sally Fitzgibbon / 2nd Eliza Roberts
3rd Eliza Roberts / 3rd Kylie Jones
4th Elkie Jones / 4th Tyla Carlton
SurfingAustralia Press release
Groms - Surfersvillage