Wild Waves and Weather AS U/16 Boys Hit the lineup at Occy's Grom Comp
Big waves were predicted and that's what contestants in the 10th annual Occy's Grom Comp received on Day 3 at Duranbah Beach on the southern end of Queensland's Gold Coast.
Just eight heats of the blue ribbon U/16 boys division were surfed before organisers called competition off for the day, as swell heights jumped beyond two-metres and the ocean was whipped white by howling southerly winds.
'We were expecting it to get bigger, but unfortunately the change in conditions arrived about 12 hours earlier than predicted. The safety of the kids is paramount and with some time up our sleeve we decided the smart option was to run a half day,' explained Surfing Queensland Contest Director, Adam Yates.
Some surfers will sleep easy tonight, having advanced to Round 2. Crew ripping their way to Round 1 with wins were Ryan Slattery (Central Coast, NSW), Shane Dennis (Yamba, NSW), Korbin Hutchings (Coolangatta, Qld), Monty Tait (Maroubra, NSW), Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW), Jackson Giles (Cronulla, NSW) and Jeames Young (Yamba, NSW).
With time in the schedule and cleaner waves on offer on the northern side of Point Danger, it's highly likely competition will recommence tomorrow morning at Greenmount.
'The inside section is looking really good. It's much cleaner, protected from the wind and can handle a lot more swell. It's highly likely we will relocate, it should be perfect for the grommets and we'll be looking at getting underway at 07:00am sharp,' added Yates.
Before the ocean turned ugly, the semi-finalists in the U/16 Girls were decided with Sophie McCullock (Alexandra Headland, Qld) drawing defending champ Holly-Sue Coffey (Coolangatta, Qld) in Semi 1, while Isabella Nichols (Coolum, Qld) will be up against Paris Whittaker (Caringbah, NSW) in Semi 2.
Above: Holly-Sue Coffey, on track in the U/16 Girls, advancing to the semis. Pic: Macfarlane/Billabong
Just eight surfers remain in the U/14 Boys including defending division champion, Kyuss King (Byron Bay, NSW). King advanced into the Quarter Finals behind Sandon Whittaker (Avoca, NSW) to keep his hopes of back-to-back titles alive.
Rounding out the final eight in the division are Kael Walsh (Yallingup, Qld), Samson Coulter (Manly, NSW), Kehu Butler (Mount Maunganui, NZL), Darcy Crump (Avalon, NSW), Billy Harrison (Barwon Heads, Vic) and Luke Wrice (Coledale, NSW).
Billabong premiered their latest film release, 'Youthless' at Kirra Surf on the weekend. Despite some winter drizzle, it was a house packed with grommets getting their fix of surf porn, free gear, snags and filling up on delicious juice supplied by the good crew at Emma & Tom's.
A bunch of willing grom volunteers were chosen to take part in a unique eating competition. Prizes were given for anyone who could keep down a choice of raw eggs, sardines, chilli, cinnamon powder, yummy butter and milk. Funny thing was, the groms kept eating when all of the prizes were given out. Go figure?
Occy was guest of honour at an open floor Q&A, joined by Youthless stars Kalani Ball, Shaun Manners and Riley Laing.
Above: Shaun Manners and Kalani Ball walk the red carpet at the premier of Billabong's latest production, Youthless, the film screened at Kirra Surf on the weekend. Pic. Macfarlane/Billabong
Anyone who missed the free screening, don't despair. A copy of will be available with issue 299 of Australia's Surfing Life magazine, which goes on sale Thursday. Get it (and keep an eye out for the upcoming 300th birthday issue! Yeew.)
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.