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Stephanie Gilmore/Tim Wrench win Aussie national titles

Tim Wrench : photo

Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles.

Surfing Australia
Phillip Island VIC
28 November - 4 December 2004

Australia’s Surfing Future in Good Hands
Kingscliff’s Stephanie Gilmore and Ulludulla’s Tim Wrench Win National Titles .

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 05 December 2004: - - Seventeen year old Tim Wrench (Ulludulla, NSW) has defeated a class field to win the U/18 Quiksilver Australian Grommet Title and in doing so added his name to an elite group of surfers with the second national title of his short but impressive career at Phillip Island on Saturday. A savvy performance by the 2002 U/16 national champion saw him hold off a strong challenge from Mitch Coleborn (Maroochydore, Qld) who failed to capitalise on the highest scoring ride of the final, a 9.17, to finish second.

The U/18 boys, U/18 girls, U/16 boys, U/16 girls, State Teams and All-star titles were decided in excellent one metre peaks at Woolamai Beach, Victoria finalising a week of competition that showcased the cream of Australia’s future surfing stars. Finalists in the U/18’s boys, U/18 girls and U/16 boys are ensured automatic qualification for the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships scheduled for Huntington Beach, California next year where each member of the Australian team will vie for the world’s most prestigious amateur surfing crowns against nearly 200 other competitors from over 20 nations.

Wrench, who served notice on the international arena with his second placing in the 2004 Quiksilver ISA World Surfing Games will be out to go one better at Huntington. Joining Wrench and Coleborn in the blue ribbon U/18 division will be 3rd placed Tom Wimmer (Trigg Beach, W.A.) and Victoria’s highest placed finisher Tim Stevenson U/18 (Torquay) in fourth.

“It’s been a big day, I just don’t know what to say,” said an overwhelmed Wrench. “To do well in the U/16s felt good but this means so much more to me. My first goal was to qualify for the ‘World’s’, now that I can look back after making the final and say I’ve won I’m just so stoked. Next year in Huntington of course I want to go one better.”

W.A. Team Captain Wimmer realised his long held goal of representing Australia after narrowly missing out on qualifying for a coveted berth in the past two national junior titles. The 17-year-old finished fifth in both the 2002 and 2003 Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles after being defeated in the semi-finals.

“It’s just such an inspiration to the whole WA team that he has qualified this year. It’s a huge result for Tom,” said W.A. coach Mark “Boonga” Clift. “The past two years have been heart-breaking for him but that’s all behind him now.”

Coleborn was clearly disappointed with second but achieved a little redemption after being awarded the ‘Duke Kahanomoku Award’ for outstanding performance by a male surfer.

Sixteen year-old Stephanie Gilmore (Kingscliff, NSW) capped off a brilliant campaign by winning the girls U/18 Quiksilver Australian Grommet title virtually unchallenged. The ‘Golden Girl’ of surfing claimed a total of four national titles in the week-long tournament also winning the All-Stars Teams Division, the MR Shield schools title for Kingscliff High School and the State Tag Team. The future super star was the form surfer of the tournament not dropping a heat and posting the event’s only perfect 10 point ride on her way through to the winning dais.

Gilmore blew her opponents out of the water with a sensational finals performance that left all three requiring a two wave scoring combination to catch her. Jessica Hickson (Boomerang, NSW) finished second, Lori Kelly (Moffat Beach, Qld NSW) third and Rebecca Oakley (Sunshine Beach, Qld) fourth.

Gilmore won’t get to rest on her laurels, however. She heads straight to Tahiti to contest this week’s Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Papenoo Beach where over a 175 competitors representing 20 nations will vie for prestigious ISA world championship medals in U/18 and U/16 boys, U/18 girls, and teams divisions in the 13 day event.

“It’s my first Aussie title, last year I did alright but it was a lot harder because I was competing against girls that were a couple years older than me, so I’m pretty wrapped,” said a visibly stoked Gilmore.

“The conditions have varied all week, but today they suited me. I wasn’t sure if I’d have done so well surfing so many finals today if it was big like it was during the early rounds. Fortunately it wasn’t so demanding today which allowed me to really concentrate and get the job done. The NSW coaches and the whole team has been supportive too, it’s been a great week, what can I say!”

U/16 Quiksilver Australian Grommet title wins by Jamie Skillin (Tookley, NSW) and Kirra Townsand (Sawtell, NSW) saw NSW clean-sweep all divisions. Midway through the boys U/16 final Skillin came off best in a three-way wave exchange scoring an 8.5 to take the lead, then with two minutes remaining sealed victory with a second good scoring wave of 6.25. Runner-up Josh Bull (Port Macquarie, NSW), third Dave Delroy-Carr (Cottesloe, WA) and fourth placed Tom Salveson (Werri, NSW) will add to the impressive Australian team heading to Huntington.

Townsand came out on top in the U/16 girls after a tight tussle with Brianna Lenton (Sunshine Beach, Qld) who failed to back-up the highest scoring ride of the final, a 7.03 and was forced to settle for second. Angela Keighran (Mulloway, NSW) finished third and Kirby Wright (NSW) fourth.

The NSW team continued their domination by winning the Tag Team division sealing victory with the final ride by Salveson to defeat Queensland, Victoria and W.A respectively.

The Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles is proudly supported by the Victorian Government Water Safety Initiative “Play it Safe by the Water”, Torquay Mineral Water, Phillip Island Nature Park and Bass Coast Shire.

Results – Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles

U/18 Boys Final
1st Tim Wrench (Ulludulla, NSW)
2nd Mitch Coleborn (Maroochydore, Qld),
3rd Tom Wimmer (Trigg Beach, W.A.)
4th Tim Stevenson (Torquay, Vic).

U/18 Girls Final
1st Stephanie Gilmore (Kingscliff, NSW),
2nd Jessica Hickson (Boomerang, NSW)
3rd Lori Kelly (Moffat Beach, Qld)
4th Rebecca Oakley (Sunshine Beach, Qld)

U/16 Boys Final
1st Jamie Skillin (Norah Head, NSW)
2nd Josh Bull (Port Macquarie, NSW)
3rd Dave Delroy-Carr (Cottesloe, WA)
4th Tom Salveson (Werri, NSW)

U/16 Girls Final
1st Kirra Townsand (Sawtell, NSW)
2nd Brianna Lenton (Sunshine Beach, Qld)
3rd Angela Keighran (Mulloway, NSW)
4th Kirby Wright (NSW).

State Tag Team Final
1st NSW
2nd Queensland
3rd Victoria
4th WA

All Star Finals

U/19 Boys
1st NSW (Tim Wrench & Drew Macpherson) def Vic (Carl Wright & Casey Egan)

U/19 Girls
1st NSW (Stephanie Gilmore & Elkie Jones) def Qld (Lori Kelly and Rebecca Oakley)

U/16 Boys
1st NSW (Stewart Kennedy & Mitch Noonan) def Qld (Michael Levitt & Chris Bennetts)

Previous reports:
# 1 : Julian Wilson sets the pace at Australian Grommet Titles
# 2 : Top juniors celebrate schoolies at Aussie Grommet Titles
# 3 : Semi-finalists decided as juniors battle for National titles
# 4 : WA snares finals berth behind Qld at Aussie Grom Titles
# 5 : Aussie 2005 team decided at Quiksilver Grommet Titles

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