A weekend of sensational surf at the Taj's Small Fries
This weekend the 10th edition of Taj's Small Fries was held in style in Yallingup Western Australia.
Friday kicked off with clean 2-3 feet waves and clean offshore winds at Yallingup Beach. Grommets from across Australasia were ripping in the near-perfect conditions in Taj Burrow's front yard.
Big scores and standout performances aided in creating some seriously heated competition as surfers hit the water in round 1, all vying for top honours in the speciality event. Pictured: Dakota Walters (NSW) was in fine form on day # 1 of competition at Taj's Small Fries. Woolacott
The blue ribbon boys U/16 division was today dominated by Yallingup locals Kael Walsh, Josh Cattlin, Jack Thomas and Duke Nagtzaam who utilised their knowledge of the break to find an early rhythm and lock in some epic scores.
Interstate and international surfers also made a big first impression with recently Australian under-14 Junior Champion Caleb Tancred (NSW), picking up from where he left off in Yallingup just six weeks ago. Pictured: Caleb Tancred. Duncan
On the girls' side of the draw Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA), India Willcox (Margaret River,WA), and Cassia Heagele (Exmouth) also were surfing beyond their year.
The competition resumed on day 2 with the 16 & Under Girls, giving West Australian locals April McPherson (Mandurah), Jamaica Selby (Margaret River), Mia McCarthy (Margaret River) and Phoebe McGregor (Yallingup) the chance to really standout in the great early morning waves.
Taj Burrow was on hand to commentate the opening heats of the 14 & Under Boys as Caleb Tancred (NSW) quickly announced himself as the surfer to beat, posting an event high 18-point total (9.25 & 8.75) on the back of his faultless wave selection and precise surfing.
Alongside Tancred, Lennox Chell (NSW), Ben Gradisen (Margaret River), Josh Grange (QLD), Kian Martin (IND) and Dakota Walters (NSW) all caught the judges eye with some precise on rail surfing. Pictured: WA's Ben Gradisen (Margaret River) was in fine touch today at Yallingup in the 14 Boys. Woolacott
Lennox Chell (NSW) was the standout surfer in the 12 & under boys division. Woolacott
In the 14 & Under Girls division, Chinta Hansel (IND) proved why she was the inaugural Indonesian Surfing Championship Junior Female surfer of the year in 2014, posting a huge 16.5 two-wave total (8.75 & 7.75).
Sunday saw the Final day of competition, with outstanding performance from local and interstate grommets dominating the final and champions crowned across six divisions.
High performance summer conditions prevailed for the third and final day of competition, as surfers went all out in an effort to etch their name into the esteemed honor roll of previous event winners.
Burrow was on hand to spectate, commentate and demonstrate in front of a strong on beach crowd of adoring fans, who soaked up the festival style atmosphere of WA’s biggest and most prestigious junior surfing event.
Setting the tone early Walsh smashed a series of smooth backhand turns to lock in the highest score of the final, an 8.5 (from a possible 10). Despite the best efforts of Cattlin who challenged late, when Walsh linked together another impressive score of 7.8, the prestigious title was his.
Walsh was also awarded the outstanding performance award by Taj Burrow, where he will join winners from Parko's Grom Stomp (Caloundra, QLD), The Oz Grom Cup (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and Occy’s Grom Comp (Gold Coast, QLD), on a Surfing World trip, which will feature and profile each of the young surfer.
Mia McCarthy (Margaret River, WA) added the first Taj’s Small Fries winners trophy to her mantle, defeating Cassia Heagele (Exmouth, WA), Marnie Durant (Carnarvon, WA) and April McPherson (Mandurah, WA) in the 16 & under girls final. Picture Cassia Heagele
The final of the 14 & under boys
division was a star-studded affair with Bali-based surfers, Kian Martin
taking on east coast talents Lennox Chell (Avoca, NSW), Josh Grange
(Burleigh Heads, QLD) and Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW).
With a pair of seven-point plus rides it was last years under 14 Australian Junior Champion Tancred who came out on top when the final hooter sounded.
Tancred was also selected by Burrow as the events future legend, earning himself a all expenses paid 10 night boat trip in Indonesia thanks to Mentawai Surf Charters.
Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, QLD) proved she’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the future taking out both the 14 & under and 12 & under girls division.
In the 12 & under boys final, 11 year old Lennox Chell (Avocca, NSW) announced himself as a future world title contender with an emphatic display of smooth and progressive surfing. Chell impressed everyone with his endless enthusiasm, cheeky smile and enormous talent.
At the presentations, held at the iconic Caves House, Taj Burrow was on hand to giveaway prizes and trophies and was wrapped with the success of the event for the 10 th straight years.
2015 Taj’s Small Fries Yallingup Final Results:
16 & Under Boys:
1. Kael Walsh (Yallingup, WA) – 16.30pts
2. Josh Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) – 15.65pts
3. Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup, WA) – 13.00pts
4. Jack Thomas (Yallingup, WA) – 11.50pts
16 & Under Girls:
1. Mia McCarthy (Margaret River, WA) – 11.50pts
2. Cassia Haegele (Exmouth, WA) – 11.3pts
3. Marine Durant (Carnarvon, WA) – 10.60pts
4. April McPherson (Mandurah, WA) – 9.95pts
14 & Under Boys:
1. Caleb Tancred (Avocca, NSW) – 15.05pts
2. Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD) – 14.00pts
3. Lennox Chell (Avocca, NSW) – 11.15pts
4. Kian Martin (Bali, IND) – 9.20pts
14 & Under Girls:
1. Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, QLD) – 13.75pts
2. April McPherson (Mandurah, WA) – 12.90pts
3. Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) – 11.70pts
4. Jamaica Selby (Margaret River, WA) – 11.50pts
12 & Under Boys:
1. Lennox Chell (Avocca, NSW) – 12.95pts
2. Logan Steinwede (Wagstaffe, NSW) – 12.25pts
3. Jed Gradisen (Margaret River, WA) – 9.60pts
4. Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD) – 6.00pts
12 & Under Girls:
1. Zahli Kelly (Wooloowin, QLD) – 14.85pts
2. Coral Durant (Carnarvon, WA) – 9.40pts
3. Taiana Duncan (Kalbarri, WA) – 4.20pts
4. Summer Shepherd (Albany, WA) – 3.50pts
Till next year! #TBsmallfries #GrommetStoke #Yallingup #WestOz
Images by Duncan.