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West Oz grommet event, Taj's Small Fries, returns to Yallingup

Yallingup © Surfing WA/Woolacott & Billabong/Macfarlane

 

 

 

The 11th Taj's Small Fries Yallingup 
presented by Flight Centre

Yallingup, Western Australia
15 - 17 January 2016

Taj's Small Fries goes mobile in hunt for summer swells

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January, 2016 - Yallingup - Some of Australasia’s best junior surfers ripped into an exciting opening day of the Taj’s Small Fries presented by Flight Centre.

Stop two of the Billabong Bloodlines Series saw over one hundred frothing grommets make the most of beautiful summer conditions, with sunny skies and favourable winds on offer all day.

With little to no surf on offer early this morning, contest directors went mobile in hopes of something better. They dragged the Small Fries circus 15 minutes south of Yallingup to a picturesque swell magnet known as Honeycombs.

The small-secluded bay provided the perfect setting for grommets to strut their stuff. A perfectly groomed A-frame peak threw up perfect 1-2 feet right and lefts, that favoured the natural and goofy footers alike.

Taj’s Small Fries' unique and exciting format, saw non-elimination round one heats hit the water first up. The blue ribbon 16 & Under boys division set the standard for the rest to follow.

Luke Glover (Caloundra, QLD), looked on in point in the first heat of the day, scoring highly with a flashy backhand display which included a heat high 7.35 (from a possible 10).

“I’m stoked to be back in Western Australia and straight into fun waves,” said Glover.  “This is the smallest day on the forecast so it’s only going to get better.”

Margaret River’s Jack Haslau and Kian Martin (Bali, IND) provided some fire works in the third heat of the day, with both going head-to-head and providing some great surfing.

Highlighting the talent packed into this division, Haslau used his razor sharp backhand attack to post an excellent 8.25 (from a possible 10) and finished on a combined total of  15.10 (from a possible 20).

Despite a slow start, Kian Martin found his feet to show the form that has come synonymous with his time in Yallingup. Dropping a 6.50 and 6.70 Martin was happy to get his first heat out of the way.

“This is my fourth time coming to the Small Fries,” said Martin. “The waves were small but perfect, I’m still getting used to being cold and getting into a wetsuit.”

Margaret River duo India Willcox and Arabelle Gibson were the best of the bunch in the 16 & Under girls round one heats. Willcox and Gibson scored highly, posting a combined 12.25 and 12.75 respectively.

“It’s always good to start a comp with that winning feeling,” said Willcox. “The waves are small but super clean and fun."

Daniel Bennedetti (Margaret River), Reilly Smith (Yallingup), and Lennox Free (Ocean Reef) were the best performing surfers in the 14 & Under Boys division round one heats, all progressing with big scores under the belt.

Yallingup’s Emma Cattlin was on fire in 14 & Under Girls division, dropping the two eight point plus rides on her way to the performance of the day.

Picking off the best set waves of the heat, Cattlin used a powerful backhand approach to score the highest combined total of the day, a 16.75 (from a possible 20), including an 8.75 and 8.00.

“I’ve only surfed here a couple of times before, but the waves were so fun,” said Cattlin. “The water was so clean and the waves were pretty perfect.”

Dylan Vernon (Dunsborough) made a huge impact in the 12 & Under Boys division, posting the highest individual score of the day with a near perfect 9.50 (from a possible 10).

Showing a mature and progressive style at 11 years of age, Vernon threw buckets on every turn and will be one to watch as the event continues.

Event host Taj Burrow was on hand to check out all the opening day action and was impressed by what he saw. “I was a little worried when I woke up this morning and looked out the window,”said Burrow. “But how good is this, the waves are pumping, it’s like a little wave pool out there for the groms.” 

Joining the youngest competitors for a free-surf, Burrow cooled off with his new family on the beach soaking up the action. “This is about as small as the swell gets down here," said Burrow. "I only expect the waves to get better over the next few days.”

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.

The event has again been bolstered by the continued support of the City of Busselton and the local Yallingup community.

2015:
Kael Walsh (WA)
Zahli Kelly (QLD)

2014:
Reef Heazlewood (QLD)
Emi Campbell (WA)

2013:
Kai Hing (QLD)
Billie Melinz (NSW)

2012:
Jack Robinson (WA)
Eliza Greene (WA)

2011:
Jack Robinson (WA)
Zoe Clarke (VIC)

2010:
Jack Robinson (WA)
Mikaela Greene (WA)

2009:
Soli Bailey (NSW)
India Payne (VIC)

2008:
Regan Fredricks (NSW)
Laura Macauley (WA)

2007:
Dean Bowen (NSW)
Felicity Palmateer (WA)

2006:
Shaun Howe (WA)
Felicity Palmateer (WA)

Tags: 
Taj's Small Fries, Groms, billabong, The City of Busselton, Surfing Western Australia, The Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF), Sunsmart, Von Zipper, Globe, Modom, Mayhem, Country Waves
Author: 
Justin Majeks
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