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Sydney Grommet Challenge warms up Manly pre Aussie Open

Josh Boyle © Smith/SNSW



Sydney Grommet Challenge

Manly Beach, Sydney New South Wales
27 February 2016

Event runs as first part of the Australian Open of Surfing

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 February, 2016 - Manly Beach came to life today as some of Australia’s most promising Under-16 Boys surfers engaged in a series of epic battles in heavy five-to-seven foot waves as part of the Sydney Grommet Challenge; all part of the 2016 Australian Open of Surfing.

Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) stormed into the next round of the Sydney Grommet Challenge claiming back-to-back victories across the first and second rounds of the event. Thomson performed explosive turns together with ease in the difficult conditions and clocked up two heat totals in excess of 11.00 points (out of a possible twenty points).

Connor Lee (Redhead, NSW) showed a healthy combination of bravado and power to post a 9.17 wave score in his round one exchange. Lee, managed to scratch into a mammoth righthander that allowed for a flurry of critical forehand snaps. As a result, closest rival Reese Lawson was left requiring a near-perfect 9.51 wave score to steal Lee’s lead.

Beau Buckpitt (Culburra, NSW) made light work of the shifty lineup posting an impressive 14.34 heat total in his opening heat. The South Coast natural-footer linked together a chain of exciting forehand snaps to move through the heat, followed by a respectable 11.93 heat total in the second round of the event.

Other Under-16 Boys standouts included: Zac Paterson (Avoca, NSW) , Zack McMahon (Evans Head, NSW), Ryan Donohoe (Collaroy, NSW), Arch Whiteman (Avalon, NSW), George Pittar (Manly, NSW) and Tas Grainger (Collaroy, NSW) who all posted heat totals in excess of 13.00 points in either the first or second round.

Owned and operated by IMG, with the support of the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, and Manly Council, the 2016 Australian Open of Surfing is expected to draw crowds in excess of the 255,000 people who flocked to Manly for the event in 2015.


The 2016 Australian Open of Surfing, owned and operated by IMG, will run from 27 February – 6 March.

The nine day, one-of-a-kind festival will bring together some of the world’s top athletes in surfing and skateboarding combined with two days of live concerts on the music stage, art/photo installations and interactive sponsor displays – all taking place on iconic Manly Beach, Sydney.

Ethan Smith

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