Bali groms star at Taj's Small Fries
Taj's Small Fries Yallingup
Yallingup, West Australia
11 - 13 January 2013
Great Waves Continue For Taj's Small Fries In Yallingup
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 January, 2013 : - - Not many surfers can say they have dropped in on Taj Burrow (Yallingup, WA, AUS) and escaped with their dignity intact. Thirty-four year-old Burrow, ASP Men’s World Tour veteran and the current world number 6, has not only won events on every continent, he is renowned for redefining performance and for being one of the fastest surfers alive.
But yesterday during a free-surf session at Yallingup, the site of the eighth annual Taj’s Small Fries tournament, Burrow shared a wave with the first surfers to fly internationally to compete in the event held in his name. Sonny Perrussel, 12, and Kian Martin, 10, both hail from Canggu in Bali, a popular surf location known for its variety of reef and beachbreaks and where Taj has shot numerous times for his own surf movies.
Today, 1000 miles from home, the young Balinese surfers found themselves competing in the same heat and they finished first and second respectively in the 14 & Under Boys division of the premier junior event, and the pair are in the running for semi-final berths during their first visit to the western state to compete.
“I’ve never been to West Australia, but I’ve surfed a lot of contests,” said Perrussel, who has competed and won in Thailand and at home in Bali. “The people here are really nice, the water is really clean and the roads and sidewalks are good for skateboarding,” he explained. Martin was surprised at how warm it was, probably one of the few people in the state who is truly at home in a heatwave, but still needed to suit up when hitting the water.
“I’m not used to the cold water,” explains Martin. “I have to wear a wetsuit and it feels really weird, especially when you paddle. But it’s really fun here. There’re lots of waves and it’s a nice environment. The waves aren’t as peaky and fast as Canggu, they’re longer and slower, but it’s still good.”
Not surprisingly, both surfers are eyeing a future as professionals and that’s why they have made the trek to Taj’s Small Fries to compete. It’s with great satisfaction they recall their session with Burrow and Martin is quick to point out that when he dropped in on Taj, ‘he didn’t mind’.
“Every year we seem to get the most perfect little waves for the groms and I’m blown away by how much the kids rip,” said Burrow, who was nine the first time he competed. “I’m of the belief the more experience you have, the more time in the water, the more heats you surf, the better the foundation you have to a successful career. I’ve watched a few guys compete right through the 12s, 14s, and 16's and during that five to six year period progress a lot,” says Burrow.
“It makes me feel good to know that kids come across the country and the world to surf in the event. Rivalries have developed, there’s the opportunity for them to develop their skills in a variety of conditions and I’m proud to be a part of that,” he says.
With competition heading into its final day tomorrow, organisers progressed through the opening rounds of all six divisions today. The 16 & Under Boys saw Joe Van Dijk (Phillip Island, Vic) continue his excellent run from day one when he again posted the highest two wave heat score of the round, locking in 13.65 points out of a possible 20 points.
"This is my first time to WA and I'm really enjoying so far." Van Dijk said.
In the 16 Girls division, defending event champion Eliza Greene (Yallingup, WA) 2012 finalist Emi Campbell (Denmark, WA), Phoebe McGregor (Yallingup, WA), Ella Massie (Margaret River, WA) and Billie Melinz (Wollongong, NSW) all advanced to the semi-finals.
In the 14 & Under Boys, National champ, Kael Walsh (Yallingup, WA) put in another dominant showing to win his heat ahead of Clay Western (Denmark, WA), Cooper Stubbs (Margaret River, WA) and Josh Snook (Scarborough, WA) in fourth. Local Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup, WA) scored one of the highest heats of the round, locking in an excellent 9.1 out of a possible perfect 10 to see him advance to tomorrow’s semi finals.
While visiting East Coast surfer, Reef Hazelwood (Caloundra, QLD) also scored a 9.0 point ride in his heat, advancing to the semi-finals with an excellent two wave combined heat total of 16.50 points. In total, 110 competitors have travelled to Yallingup, West Australia, for the premier event that is due to wrap late tomorrow afternoon. A call on proceedings will be made by 07:00am tomorrow morning.
Taj’s Small Fries Yallingup is proudly supported by the City of Busselton, Billabong, Surfing WA, Von Zipper, SunSmart, Sony, DaKine, First Proof Press and the Local Community of Yallingup.
Source: Surfing Western Australia
Author: Justin Majeks
Tags: Yallingup, Western Australia, Taj Burrow