Skullcandy Oz Grom Open
presented by Coolridge
WSL Junior Qualifying Series
Lennox Heads, Australia
4 - 9 July 2015
Cody Robinson claims last-minute victory
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 July, 2015 - Lennox Head - The 2015 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Coolridge saw an action packed finals day as champions were crowned across all event divisions.
Cody Robinson (Jan Juc, Vic) claimed a last minute victory in the World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) division performing one of the biggest turns seen all event. Requiring a 7.53 wave score (out of a possible ten points) to overtake fellow finalist Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW), the Victorian put it all on the line, nailing a critical layback snap, which netted him a 7.57 wave score and the overall Skullcandy Oz Grom Open Pro Junior title.
“I’m over the moon,” said Robinson. “When I managed to scratch into that wave I just knew I had to surf my heart out on it. When I got to the beach I just claimed it so hard. I really can’t believe it. I’ve been coming to Lennox Head to compete in this event for a while and this is the best I’ve done. I love this place so much more now.”
Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW) managed to hold down a solid lead in the WSL JQS division until the final seconds of the battle with Cody Robinson, but was marginally pipped at the post when he let Robinson catch an inside righthander under priority. Despite holding an 8.83 wave score in his total, Baker was edged into second position by 0.04 points.
“I’m not too happy, but congrats to Cody, he surfed really well,” said Baker. “I guess I’m a little disappointed that I led the whole way and I let him get that wave under my priority. I guess, in my opinion, I didn’t think it was going to be seven-point wave. It’s still a good result overall, but I really would have liked to go one step further.”
Jared Hickel (Cronulla, NSW) put up a great battle with Baker in the semi-finals of the WSL JQS division, but failed to get the wave score required when he fell on a critical backside snap. Hickel showed moments of brilliance in the semi-final, posting a 14.63 heat total, but fell short of Baker by 0.53 points.
“I’m happy with this result,” said Hickel. “I thought I could get the score on my final wave, but I just slipped really. I can’t make excuses. I knew I had to stay busy because I knew he’d keep catching waves, but unfortunately I just came up short.”
Local surfer Zac Wightman (Lennox Head, NSW) kept locals on their feet over the course of the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open WSL JQS division, but unfortunately came unstuck in the semi-finals at the hands of Cody Robinson. In the dying minutes of their semi-final bout, Wightman attempted a critical air-reverse, but was unable to successfully ride out of the manoeuvre.
“This is such a good result, so I’m pretty happy overall,” said Wightman. “I second guessed Cody’s heat tactics a bit and I ended up falling short. I thought I could break my ankles on that last air and then when I landed I just slipped.”
Reef Heazlewood’s (Moffatt Beach, Qld) Skullcandy Oz Grom Open campaign came to a successful end in the 16-and-Under Boys, with the Sunshine Coaster notching up an excellent 17.77 heat total (out of a possible 20 points). As a result, Heazlewood left his fellow finalists chasing a combination of two-wave scores to take away his top spot.
Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW) added another trophy to her mantelpiece, taking out the 16-and-Under Girls final. After taking out the Occy Grom Comp at Duranbah last week, the Central Coast surfer managed to carry her momentum right through until the final where she notched up a 16.30 heat total to claim the win ahead of Kiani Dobbyn (Palm Beach, Qld), India Robinson (Jan Juc, Vic) and Alyssa Lock (Tweed Heads, NSW) who finished in second, third and fourth respectively.
Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head, NSW) surfed out of his skin in the 14-and-Under Boys final, posting an 18.10 heat total. The local surfer belted out an eclectic mix of manoeuvres to post the score and get the win ahead of fellow New South Welshmen Keanu Miller (Bulli, NSW), Taj Watson (Sandy Beach, NSW) and Dakoda Walters (Angourie, NSW).
Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, Qld) and Holly Williams (Buddina, QLD) engaged in a tight battle in the 14-and-Under Girls final with both surfers posting a handful of respectable scores. However, Kelly was able to take the title thanks to having a backup score that edged her 0.10 points ahead of Williams.
After taking out his father’s namesake event last week on the Gold Coast, Jay Occhilupo (Elanora, Qld) managed to return to the podium today taking out the 12-and-Under Boys. The lightening fast natural-footer saved the best for last, landing a critical turn that earned him an 8.67 wave score and pushed him in front of fellow Gold Coast surfer Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, Qld) who held down the lead for the majority of the final.
The six-day event will saw over 300 competitors duke it out in under-12, under-14 and under-16 divisions as well as a prestigious World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event.
Pro Junior Final
1 – Cody Robinson (Jan Juc, VIC) 16.2
2 – Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW) 16.16
1 – Cody Robinson (Jan Juc, VIC) 16.06 def. Zac Wightman (Lennox Head, NSW) 11.80
2 – Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW) 15.16 def. Jared Hickel (Cronulla, NSW) 14.63
1 – Reef Heazelwood (Caloundra, QLD)
2 – Kehu Butler (Arataki, NZL)
3 – Darcy Crump (Avalon, NSW)
4 – Joel Wood (Stanwell Park, NSW)
1 – Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW)
2 – Kiani Dobbyn (Palm Beach, QLD)
3 – India Robinson (Jan Juc, Vic)
4 – Alyssa Lock (Tweed Heads, NSW)
1 – Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head, NSW)
2 – Keanu Miller (Bulli, NSW)
3 – Taj Watson (Sandy Beach, NSW)
4 – Dakoda Walters (Angourie, NSW)
1 – Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, QLD)
2 – Holly Williams (Buddina, QLD)
3 – Sasha Baker (Mudjimba, QLD)
4 – Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW)
1 – Jay Occhilupo (Elanora, QLD)
2 – Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD)
3 – Jai Glindeman (Narrabeen, NSW)
4 – Lennox Chell (Avoca, NSW