Occy's Grom Comp
One of Aussie surfing's most prestigious junior events will celebrate its 10th year when the week-long Occy's Grom Comp kicks off at Duranbah Beach on June 29th. Like its namesake, 1999 World Champion and sporting legend, Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo, the annual tournament is a benchmark for surfing greatness and longevity.
'It's unreal to think we've been running it for 10 years, the contest has gone from strength-to-strength,' explained Occhilupo who in conjunction with his main sponsor, Billabong, conceptualised the contest back when he was still competing as a full-time professional.
'I love watching the young kids coming through, they're just surfing so good these days. The standard is really high. There's fourteen and fifteen year old grommets doing aerials and other manouvers that would have won you a world tour event when I was their age. It's amazing to see the young generation doing the kinds of surfing we used to dream of doing.'
The 2013 edition of Occy's Grom Comp has attracted a whopping 230 competitors who will compete across five divisions (U/16 Boys & Girls, U/14 Boys & Girls, U/12 Boys) and the field includes internationals from Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, Tahiti and Europe.
'It's a huge turnout this year,' adds Occhilupo. 'We run the contest during the school holidays so all the kids have the chance to go in it. And their families show up too which means there's a lot of people at the beach, mums, dads ! everyone's surfing! The past winners have all gone on to bigger and better things,' he adds.
Ones to watch in 2013 include Shaun Manners (Margaret River, WA), Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD), Jake Wilcox (Margaret River, WA), Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW) and Jackson Baker (Newcastle, NSW).
In the U/16 girls, defending champ Holly Sue Coffey (Coolangatta, QLD) will be going for a repeat performance and in the Under 14 boys Reef Hazelwood (Caloundra, Qld), Kyuss King (Byron Bay, NSW) and Kehu Butler (NZ) are likely to put in a good showing.
One surfer Occy will be paying particular attention to is his own son, Jay, who will be competing in his dad's event for the first time.
Scheduled during the school holiday period, the week-long Occy's Grom Comp features a roster packed with special events. In 2013 they are;
Billabong movie premier at Kirra Surf - 'Youthless'. Free, open to competitors, their families and the public. Sausage sizzle, lucky door prizes, autograph and photo opportunities with Occy and the Billabong team.
Location: Kirra Surf, address. 5pm, Sunday, June 30th.
* JS Industries surfboard and fin testing. Free, available to competitors, their families and the public. Location: Duranbah Beach
* Pro Surfer expression session Occy, Luke Egan, Ellie Jean-Coffey, Laura Enever. Location: Duranbah Beach, on finals day (Wednesday, July 3rd).
* VonZipper sunglass giveaways.
* Palmers 'Golden Ticket'. Open to competitors only. Once registered, each surfer receives a competitor's bag. Only five will contain a golden ticket! Winners receive a year's supply of wax, Palmer's leashes, grip, backpack and boardbag. Nice on!
* SEA FM radio will be broadcasting LIVE from Occy's Grom Comp. Tune in, or be there at Duranbah beach for the chance to win prizes.
* The Nixon WTA -Winner-Takes-All', especially formatted for the Occy Grom Comp. Three Nixon prize packs (including Headphones, a Speaker and a backpack) are up for grabs! These packs will be awarded to the contestants who score the Best Barrel, do the Most Progressive manouver and earn the Highest Heat Total . Winners selected by the event judges and presented on the final day.
* Kustom Mini Airstrike $1,000 winner-take-all! Open to ten U/16 Boys surfers. The field will include six invitees and four additional surfers chosen from a do-or-die expression session. The winner of best aerial will walk away with $1k loot and a trunk of Kustom kicks. One wave, one big move, one big prize!
Occy's Grom Comp is made possible thanks to Billabong and supporting partners Volkswagon, 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.
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