A superbank for Supergroms - day 4 occy's grom comp finalists decided tomorrow
The infamous Gold Coast 'Superbank', one of the world's longest and most rippable right-hand point breaks, has turned it on for the future stars of surfing competing in the annual Occy's Grom Comp in Queensland, Australia.
A total 230 competitors entered the five-day tournament which has been running since Saturday at the scheduled venue of Duranbah Beach, but rising swell and inclement weather forced organisers to relocate north and conditions for the U/16 Boys division on Day 4 couldn't have been better.
A mammoth 28 heats were scheduled in the blue-ribbon division, with some rides up to 500 metres long, just a fraction of what was on offer as offshore waves peeled from outside Snapper Rocks, down through Greenmount, and beyond the competition zone into Kirra.
'It's ideal, we've got world-class right-handers for the grommets, the kids are on fire,' said event namesake, Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo, who spent the entire morning surveying the line-up, keeping an eye on the action.
Two surfers that hit the water on multiple occasions today were Jeames Young (Yamba, NSW) and west coaster Shaun Manners (Yallingup, WA). Both were finalists in last year's tournament; Manners in the U/14s and Young in the U/16s.
'The waves are really fun, we've never had it like this before. We've always been at Duranbah, but this year is different, it's sick to be at Greenmount. There's waves running down the Superbank, you can do top-to-bottom turns the whole way,' explained Young, who surfed three heats in the one day.
'It's important to get a quick start, there's plenty of chances out there but you've only got 20-minutes so you want to get into it straight away. I've tried to get two quick waves before running back around to paddle out. It's pretty far, it takes five or six minutes to run back round. It's definitely one of the longest waves I've ever surfed in a contest,' added Young.
Manners has made the long trek across the country, all the way from Yallingup, three hours drive south of Perth in West Australia.
'When you get a good wave, it's long and fast and you can get barrelled. It's such a fun wave, there's so many sections. In a heat you can get whatever wave you want too, you've got the rashie on, but in the freesurfs it is so crazy. People hassle so hard,' said Manners.
Above: Shaun Manners (Yallingup, WA) rips into a wave on the Superbank during Day 4 of the Occy's Grom Comp. Pic: Macfarlane/Billabong.
'Physically it takes it out of you. Your legs get tired on the long waves, and then if you run back around you can get even more tired. Maybe it'd be better to have your dad or someone pick you up in a car at Kirra and drive you back,' he joked.
U/14 contestant and defending division champ, Kyuss King (Byron Bay, NSW) did not surf today but still holds down the highest two-wave combined heat total of 17.43 points which sees him as front runner for one of three Nixon WTA -Winner-Takes-All' prize packs.
Especially formatted for the Occy's Grom Comp, the WTA packs (including headphones, a speaker and a backpack) will also be awarded for Best Barrel, and Most Progressive Manoeuvre.
Jack Murray (Lennox Head, NSW) currently has Best Barrel, but with one day of competition remaining there has not yet been anyone lay claim to Most Progressive Manoeuvre.
The exciting Kustom Mini Airstrike sees a sweet $1,000 up for grabs and a trunk-load of Kustom kicks given to the surfer who performs the best single aerial during a specialist expression session. Open to a select ten riders from the field of U/16 Boys contestants, the Kustom Mini Airstrike is scheduled to take place at 10:00am tomorrow.
Two surfers, Joe Van-dijk (Phillip Island, Vic) and Reef Doig are tied for a year's supply of Palmer's wax, each having earned near-perfect 9.80 rides the highest individual wave scores of any heats.
Tomorrow, will see the Occy's Grom Comp champions decided in all five divisions U/16 Boys & Girls, U/14 Boys and Girls and U/12 Boys.
Competition is expected to wrap up at approximately 4pm, with the presentation happening from 5pm at Kirra Surf shop.
With the swell subsiding, competition is likely to relocate to Duranbah with heats kicking off at approx 07:00am.
For full results each day, visit Surfing Queensland
The 10th annual Occy's Grom Comp is made possible thanks to Billabong and supporting partners Volkswagen, Surfing Queensland, Kirra Surf, Kustom, Palmers Supa Glu, JS Industries, VonZipper, Nixon, Marine Rescue Point Danger, and special event media sponsors Australia's Surfing Life Magazine, SEA FM radio and FUEL TV.
Cody Robinson (Jan Juc, Vic)
Riley Laing (The Entrance, NSW)
Shaun Manners (Yallingup, WA)
Quinn Bruce (Coolangatta, QLD)
Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW)
Josh Burrows (Toormina, NSW)
Tom Harrison (Barwon Heads)