• Taj's Small Fries Yallingup Kicks off This Friday


The ninth annual Taj's Small Fries Yallingup kicks off this Friday 17th January with clean winds and no shortage of swell to test some of Australia's hottest junior surfing talent set to compete.

The specialty event for boys and girls aged 16 and under officially launches the Surfing WA 2014 events calendar, with ASP world # 5 Taj Burrow on hand to mentor the young competitors.

"It's the one thing I look forward to every year," Burrow said.

"I love surfing with all the kids when I come home, but when they all collectively come together and get to throw on a rash vest and surf against each other is really cool to watch!" He said.

This iconic event has been bolstered by the continued support of the City of Busselton.

"The City has some great youth initiative at the moment and is proud to support the Taj's Small Fries," Said City of Busselton CEO, Mike Archer.

"Not only does this youth focused surfing event encourage healthy living, it also provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase our unique and pristine surf beaches.

"We have some really talented young surfers in the City and I'm sure the local community are going to get right behind these youngsters and wave the city flag proudly," he said.

Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks is excited to once again kick off the competition year with this prestigious junior event.

"Taj's Small Fries is an amazing celebration of our current and future surfing stars here in WA. It provides an ideal start to our busy 2014 events calendar with Yallingup playing host to some of the hottest talent for NSW, QLD and even Indonesia."

Some key names to look out for across the divisions this weekend include: Shaun Manners (Margaret River), Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup), Mia McCarthy (Margaret River), April McPherson (Mandurah), Emi Campbell (Denmark), Marnie Durant (Carnarvon), Pascal Hutchinson (Trigg), Kian Martin (Bali), Reef Heazlewood (QLD) and Summa Longbotton (NSW).

Event proceedings officially kick off tomorrow at 3pm (Thursday 16th Jan) for the Opening Ceremony at Caves House, with competition commencing Friday morning and finals taking place on Sunday.

A host of activities will be taking place for families to enjoy throughout the event, as well as getting the chance to rub shoulders with Taj himself, including the Saturday night Surf Movie night and BBQ and the Sunday Presentations, both at Caves House.

The Taj's Small Fries has been a stepping stone for a host of the countries best surfing talent since it started in 2006 - the Blue Ribbon U16 winners over the past nine years are listed below:

2013: Kai Hing (QLD), Billie Melinz (NSW)

2012: Jack Robinson (WA), Eliza Greene (WA)

2011: Jack Robinson (WA), Zoe Clarke (VIC)

2010: Jack Robinson (WA), Mikaela Greene (WA)

2009: Soli Bailey (NSW), India Payne (VIC)

2008: Regan Fredricks (NSW), Laura Macauley (WA)

2007: Dean Bowan (NSW), Felicity Palmateer (WA)

2006: Shaun Howe (WA), Felicity Palmateer (WA)