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Nick Coghlan takes out Hornet Grombash at Curl Curl

Hornet Grombash 2003

Surffing Australia

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 Sydney’s 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 world’s 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 Australia’s best grommets.

The Under 16’s boys final saw Current World Champion Jordy Smith (South Africa) explode out of the block’s producing a solid 7.0 point ride in the opening minutes, serving notice to his Aussie rival’s 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 cheer’s 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 couldn’t find a wave with the scoring opportunity to peg back Smith’s 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 I’m 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 20’s 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 Australia’s 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 day’s 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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 it’s 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 what’s in store in the near future in world surfing with Davey Cathels (Narrabeen) Under 12’s Boys , Chris Salisbury (Newport) Under 14’s Boys , Ayla Whitney ( Sth Coast ) Under 16’s Girls and Lyndsay Noyes ( Sth Side) Under 20’s Girls blasting solid victory’s in their divisions .

For Narrabeen’s Davey Cathel’s the win capped off a massive month with the talented surfer making it three wins from three of the toughest events in the country. Cathel’s was asked what his secret was and he responded by saying ‘’I’m stoked to finally win this event. I’ve 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.

Final results

Under 20’s Boys

1st Nick Coghlan

2nd Dylan Stewart

3rd Anthony Walsh

3rd Jarrod Sullivan

Under 16’s

1st Jordy Smith

2nd Matt Wilkinson

3rd Ashley King

4th Leigh Mc Mahon

Under 14’s

1st Chris Salisbury

2nd Tom Salvesen

3rd Billy Keen

4th Karl Atkinsp

Under 12’s

1st Davey Cathels

2nd Tom Myers

3rd Dylan Cummings

4th Oscar Scanes

Under 16’s Girls / Under 20’s 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

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