Champions crowned at the 11th annual Taj’s Small Fries presented by Flight Centre, the second stop of the Billabong Bloodlines Series.
Grom’s from all over Australia travelled to the rugged coastline of West Oz over the weekend for the second stop of the Billabong Bloodlines Series to battle it out for the chance to be crowned into Taj’s Small Fries prestigious honour roll.
The first two days of competition we saw the best junior surfers in Australia under the age of 16 rip apart pumping 2-3 foot surf at backup location Honeycombs, setting up a thrilling finals day for Sunday.
Due to a strong southerly change hitting the rugged coastline with winds reaching up to 30 knots, contest organisers decided to relocate to Taj’s backyard of Shallows for finals day on Sunday. With conditions deteriorating into the afternoon, competitors were forced to battle the elements to become Taj’s Small Fries champion.
The 12 and under division was first to hit the water and they showed no signs of fear with Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) and Koda Killorn (Maroubra, NSW) impressively taking wins in their division.
The 14 and under boy’s division soon followed in closely fought finals. With an impressive backhand attack in the tough conditions, Jed Gradisen (Gracetown, WA) took the win over Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River, WA). In the girl’s division we saw Coral Durant take the win with a combination heat total of 13.50.
The girls 16 and under final hit the water for the second last heat of the day with two local WA surfers April McPherson and Arabelle Gibson taking on two of Bali’s best up and coming junior girls Taina Izquierdo and Chinta Hansel. It was April’s local knowledge and critical approach that saw her take the win in the blue ribbon girls division.
In the 16 and under pedigree boy’s division, it was an all Western Australian final with Josh Cattlin (Yallingup), Ben Spence (Margaret River), Cyrus Cox (Margaret River) and Jolan Bonelli (Margaret River) going head to head for the title. It was local boy Josh Cattlin who got the best waves of the final to take an impressive win.
"This is one event I've always wanted to win, but never quite achieved it," said Cattlin. "I'm stoked to put my name on the Small Fries honour roll with all the other great surfers who have won over the years.
Caves House hosted the event presentations with a full house on hand to see the winners announced and specialty prizes awarded. All the finalist received Billabong prize packs with champions also picking up a custom surfboard from Lost Surfboards.
Taj awarded the Surfing World 'Stand out performer' of the event award to Josh Cattlin. Josh will now join three other surfers from Billabong Bloodlines series events who will be hand selected by Parko and Occy to go on a ‘money can’t buy’ trip with Surfing World later year which will be documented and published in Surfing World. Ben Spence was the winner of the Future Legends trip thanks to Mentawaii Surf Charters.
The Billabong Bloodlines Series continues in 2016 with Parko's Grom Stomp (Caloundra, QLD), The Oz Grom Cup (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and Occy’s Grom Comp (Gold Coast, QLD) set out for the remainder of the year.
Thanks to all the sponsors and partners involved in making the event a success again this year and we look forward to returning next year and doing it all again.
Billabong, Flight Centre, The City of Busselton, Surfing Western Australia, The Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF), SunSmart, Von Zipper, Globe, Modom, Mayhem, Country Waves, Caves Hotel, Surfing World & Mentawai Surf Charters.
TAJ'S SMALL FRIES 2016 FINAL RESULTS:
12 & UNDER GIRLS:
1ST – Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) – 16.00pts
2ND – Ruby Berry (Margaret River, WA) – 9.30pts
3RD – Zali Hewson (Margaret River, WA) – 8.50pts
4TH – Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) – 5.55pts
12 & UNDER BOYS:
1ST – Koda Killorn (Maroubra, NSW) - 12.75pts
2ND – Daniel Bennedetti (Margaret River, WA) - 12.40pts
3RD – George Simpson (Gracetown, WA) - 9.60pts
4TH – Alistair Williams (Gracetown, WA) - 7.90pts
14 & UNDER BOYS:
1ST – Jed Gradisen (Gracetown, WA) – 16.05pts
2ND – Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River, WA) – 14.10pts
3RD – Finn Cox (Margaret River, WA) – 14.05pts
4TH – Kian Martin (Bali, IND) – 13.90pts
14 & UNDER GIRLS:
1ST – Coral Durant (Red Bluff, WA) – 13.50pts
2ND – Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) – 13.25pts
3RD – Pemba Spargo (Albany, WA) – 13.00pts
4TH – Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River, WA) – 9.55pts
16 & UNDER GIRLS:
1ST – April McPherson (Mandurah, WA) – 15.50pts
2ND – Taina Izqueirdo (Bali, IND) – 10.01pts
3RD – Chinta Hansel (Bali, IND) – 8.55pts
4TH – Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River, WA) – 7.35pts
16 & UNDER BOYS:
1ST – Josh Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) – 16.40pts
2ND – Ben Spence (Margaret River, WA) – 14.50pts
3RD – Cyrus Cox (Margaret River, WA) – 12.85pts
4TH – Jolan Bonelli (Margaret River, WA) – 11.80pts
Western Oz in all its beauty – Honeycomb’s played host for day 1 and 2.
Grom’s checking out the heat draw when on day 1.
Bali’s Kian Martin blowing his tail in the early rounds of competition.
Dakoda Waters shredding the lefts to pieces on his backside.
Grom’s enjoying a rock jump in between heats.
Taj snuck out for a few at Honeycomb’s to show the grom’s how it’s done.
Jack Robinson blowing up throwing down some huge airs for the grom’s to froth out over.
Pre heat preparation.
Taj Burrow thanking everyone for making it to his hometown.
Under 12 Girls Finalists
Under 12 Boys Finalists
Under 14 Girls Finalists
Under 14 Boys Finalists
Under 16 Girls Finalists
Under 16 Boys Fnalists
Check more images from the event below!