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Big winds blow opening day of Taj's Small Fries

Cassia Heagele © Surfing WA/Woolacott




Taj's Small Fries

Surfing Western Australia
Yallingup, Western Australia
16 - 19 January 2015

Groms go in punchy 2-3 feet peaks at Shallows

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 January, 2015 - Yallingup -  The 10th edition of Taj’s Small Fries kicked off today in style in Yallingup Western Australia. Clean early morning conditions and a building swell saw over one hundred grommets from across Australasia put on a show in punchy 2-3 feet peaks at Shallows, just 500 meters north of event host Taj Burrow's home.

Big scores and standout performances highlighted competition as surfers hit the water in round 1 non-elimination heats,  all vying for top honours in the speciality event held in honour of one of WA's most influential surfers.

The blue ribbon boys 16 & under division was today dominated by Yallingup locals Kael Walsh, Josh Cattlin, Jack Thomas and Duke Nagtzaam who utilised their knowledge of the break to advantage, looking in rhythm and scoring highly.

Interstate and international surfers also made a big first impression with recently Australian under-14 Junior Champion Caleb Tancred (NSW), picking up from where he left off in Yallingup just six weeks ago.

"The wind came up a bit this afternoon, but there was some fun ones out there," said Tancred. "I'm stoked to be back in WA and having a good time with all the Billabong boys." Tancred scored an 8.75 and a 7.65 to finish with one of the days highest combined totals of 16.40 (from a possible 20).

Indonesian surfers Mega Artana, Sonny Perussell, Tiana Izquierdo and Hayana Murakawa all acclimatised to Yallingup exceptionally. Despite new wax, wetsuits, cold water and strong winds the international contingent excited World Surf League (WSL) World # 9, Burrow who was on hand to watch this afternoons action.

"I watched Mega's heat and he was definitely going hard," said Burrow. “I grew up surfing this amazing stretch of coast and it's so rewarding to see the groms come back year after year."
On the girls’ side of the draw Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA), India Willcox (Margaret River,WA), and Cassia Heagele (Exmouth) were surfers who stood out and will be ones to watch when competition continues tomorrow.

Round 2 heats will continue from 7:30am tomorrow with a great deal of grommet stoked expected in and out of the water.

A win at Taj's Small Fries is regarded as a major step in a surfer's competitive career with the list of past winners  including Western Australian surfers, Creed McTaggart, Jacob Willcox, Felicity Palmateer, and Jack Robinson who are all now internationally renowned surfers in their own rights.

Justin Majeks

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