|Jayke Sharpe : photo SurfingAustralia.com
Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles.
Phillip Island VIC
28 November - 4 December 2004
West Australia snares lucky finals berth behind Qld as competition continues on Phillip Island.
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 02 December 2004: - - West Australia have capitalised on the misfortunes of their South Australian opponents to advance into the final of the State Teams division at the Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles held in stormy six-foot (2m) waves at Woolamai Beach, Phillip Island Victoria today.
Wild seas and a misunderstanding between South Australian competitor Robbie Winter and his team mates granted the West Australian team of Tom Wimmer, John Davies, Jay Davies (no relation), Zac Ogram and Kirra Young the points they needed to advance into the 60 minute tag-team style final behind a polished Queensland.
After failing to ‘claim’ his first two rides in the all-important semi, judges scored Winter zero for his efforts which if included in the final tally, would’ve kept the state’s hopes of a coveted national title alive.
“I’m not sure what happened out there,” explained a dejected Winter post heat. “I definitely didn’t claim my first wave because I fell off halfway and knew I could get a better score. Then when I caught my second wave I put my hands in the air but the judges must’ve missed it because the surf’s just out of control out there. The rule says if you don’t claim your second wave, the third one doesn’t count at all so there’s nothing we can do now. I’m spewin’.”
For WA coach Mark Clift, the result was a blessing in disguise, his team ultimately finishing six points ahead of South Australia and behind the Queenslanders on 48.10.
“That was close, we certainly used our ‘Get out of jail free card’ on that one,” laughed Clift. “It could be a good omen though. We’ve snuck our way into the final and now we’ll get the chance to go one better on Saturday.”
South Australia’s hopes for a national title now depend solely upon Ester Dudley and Abbey Clarke, both representing Brighton Secondary College in the U/19 girls MR Shield School Surfing teams division. The pair are due to face West Australians Jaala Baldock & Ashley Suckling of St. Marks Anglican Community School when competition resumes tomorrow.
Tasmania suffered a similar fate to SA in the second State Teams semi-final going down to the star-studded casts of both NSW and Victoria. Matt Wilkinson (NSW) and Finn Barry (Vic) both surfed superbly for their respective teams, locking in high scores under their allocated time to enable the teams to get an edge on their less experienced Southern Ocean rivals. Jackson Collins (Vic) was also a standout.
Tasmania’s last remaining hopes for a finals berth in any division of The Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles now rests upon the young shoulders of its U/16 boys Allstars surfers Ethan Wilson (South Arm), Zac Grey (Marrawah) and Sam Boon (Carlton Beach).
Wilson and Boon combined their talents this morning to defeat Victorian duo Cahill Bell-Warren and Jackson Collins by the slimmest of margins and will next face the number one ranked NSW team in the semis. A win there would surpass any previous performance by a South Australian team competing at the nationals.
“All our team riders have had really close heats throughout the event, nudged by less than a point in most cases,” lamented team coach Chris Collins. “But Ethan and Sam surfed a smart heat today and it’s a good feeling to get the upper hand. For Sam it’s his first event at this level and he’s doing well considering his experience and is providing a great support role for Ethan who has proven he can get the high scores. They can go into their semi feeling a bit more confident which is what I’ve told them to do.”
Earlier in the day Tasmanians James Eaves & Scott Lawless were eliminated from the U/18s MR Shield School teams division by Victorians Casey Egan & Tim Stevenson. While sisters Edwina and Freya Hogwarth fell to Victorians Kate Wells & Jessica Crowe in the U/19 girls.
Felicity Palmateer (Trigg, WA), the youngest competitor in the Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles at 12 years of age, distinguished herself by paddling out into the stormy surf today in round three of the U/16 girls individual titles. After securing her berth in the West Australian team following her runner-up placing to Jaala Baldock (Mullaloo) in the state titles, Palmateer’s performance this week belies her years. Despite being eliminated today behind Angela Keighran (Mullaway, NSW) and Darci Egan (Torquay, Vic) she says she accomplished her personal goal of advancing through two rounds at her first national outing and will return home satisfied.
“It was like a washing machine out there,” explained Palmateer. “Amy (west Australian coach Amy Johnson) told me to just catch as many waves as I could and do as many maneuvers as I could. I tried, but I reckon I could’ve done better. It was pretty hard to get out the back so maybe I could’ve paddled harder. But I’m not going to go home disappointed.”
Earlier this year Palmateer won the U/14 girls Gromsearch and in 2003 impressed all when she won the U/18 girls division of Trigg’s annual ‘King of the Point’.
The Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles is arguably the most important junior event in Australia, deciding national champions in U/18 and U/16 boys and U/18 girls divisions along with the teams to represent Australia at the annual Quiksilver ISA World Championships. The ISA is recognised as the governing body for surfing by the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the world’s largest governing sports body.
The Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles also decides the nation’s top schools by way of the coveted “MR Shield” and “All Stars” surfing component.
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.
# 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 : Coming soon
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