The 11th Taj's Small Fries Yallingup
presented by Flight Centre
Yallingup, Western Australia
15 - 17 January 2016
Event heads south of Yallingup to score pumping waves
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 January, 2016 - Yallingup - After an exciting opening yesterday, competition levels intensified on a marathon second day at Taj’s Small Fries in Yallingup, Western Australia.
Stop two of the Billabong Bloodlines Series presented by Flight Centre returned to Honeycombs in search of swell as the run of small summer surf continued in the South-West of WA.
For consecutive days the isolated location south of Yallingup provided pumping waves for some of Australasia’s best young surfers. Competitors made the most of a mechanical sandbank that spat out consistent 2-3 foot runners that provided multiple scoring sections.
The blue ribbon 16 & Under Boys division opened proceedings with Luke Glover (Caloundra, QLD), getting things underway in style.
Using his lethal backhand attack to devastating effect, Glover opened with an amazing 9.00 (from a possible 10), and backed it up with a 7.75 to finish on a combined total of 16.75 (from a possible20).
“This is my third time to WA and I really love it over here,” said Glover. “The move to Honeycombs has been so good, the waves are really fun.”
Dakota Walters (Angourie, NSW) was another East Coast talent who relished in the conditions on offer. Walters used his textbook style to link together a series of smooth and stylish manoeuvres to win his first heat of the event.
“I’m stoked to be here in Yallingup,” said Walters. “We’re staying with Taj and it’s been sick. We’ve been fishing, surfing, hanging with the groms.”
Indonesian pair Sunny Perussell and Kian Martin share a long history at Taj’s Small Fries. The duo showed their love of the Yallingup area by notching up dominant wins round two wins.
Not to be outdone on home turf, standout WA locals who moved through to third day action included; Josh Cattlin (Yallingup, WA), Jolan Bonelli (Margaret River, WA), Ben Spence (Margaret River, WA), Ben Gradisen (Gracetown, WA), and Cyrus Cox (Margaret River, WA).
Part of the strong Indonesian contingent of surfers attending the event, Taina Izqueirdo (Bali, IND) impressed in the 16 & Under Girls division. Izqueirdo’s strong forehand arsenal earned her a heat high 8.25 (from a possible 10), for a series of blistering turns.
“This is the second time I’ve come to Taj’s Small Fries,” said Izqueirdo. “I don’t surf in a wetsuit very often, but it’s fun and the waves have been awesome.”
As the conditions continued to improve throughout the day, so did the performances bar. A trio of surfers were able to notched up perfect 10-point rides on day two. April McPherson (Mandurah, WA), Koda Killorn (Maroubra, NSW) and Cyrus Cox (Margaret River) all excelled and were awarded with perfect scores and move through to finals day tomorrow.
Along with the 10-point ride, McPherson posted the highest two wave combined total of the event so far, 18.75 (from a possible 20).
“I just lucked into some really good waves and the rest just happened,” said McPherson. “It’s been so fun and I’m frothing for the finals tomorrow.”
Koda Killorn was the best performing surfer in the entertaining 12 & Under Boys division. Showing a smooth and relaxed style, Killorn was on fire showing a great repertoire of forehand manoeuvres.
“This is my first time to WA and it’s been insane,” said Killorn. “I’ve had the best time and the waves have been pumping so far.”
Cyrus Cox saved the best until last, earning his 10-point ride in the last heat of the day. Under glassy conditions and with signs of the new swell building Cox obliterated a long left with a critical array of top turns.
Joining event host Taj Burrow, soaking up the action today was a couple of former Small Fries winners. Arguably WA’s next surfing superstars Margaret River’s Jack Robinson and Jacob Willcox were on hand to have a surf and pass on their support to the young chargers.
An expected kick in the swell and strong winds are forecast for finals day tomorrow. Competition will resume tomorrow for 7:40am at one of Yallingup’s many world-class surf locations.
In 2016 Taj's Small Fries will join Parko's Grom Stomp (Caloundra, QLD), The Oz Grom Cup (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and Occy’s Grom Comp (Gold Coast, QLD) to form the ‘Billabong Bloodlines Series’.
Taj, Joel and Occy will choose one lucky grom from each event to partake in a ‘money can’t buy’ experience, a Surfing World photo-shoot adding kudos amongst competitors competing in these events.