Sydney Grommet Challenge
Manly Beach, Sydney
25 - 26 February 2017
First champions crowned at the Australian Open of Surfing
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 February, 2017 - Manly Beach, Sydney - The 2017 Sydney Grommet Challenge came to a close today with four new champions being crowned after a series of exciting finals in tricky three-foot waves at Manly Beach.
Over 100 of Australia’s most promising young male and female under-16 and under-14 junior surfers competed in the event, which served as a precursor to the prestigious World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event that kicks off tomorrow.
Hometown hero George Pittar (Manly, NSW) got the local surfing contingent cheering from the stands, and the sand, as he tore apart the Under-16 Boys division. In what was a storybook finale, Pittar managed to notch up a near-perfect 9.17 scoring wave to gain the upper hand against his fellow rivals and eventually, end up on the top position on the dais.
Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW) found a handful of diamonds in the rough over the course of the Under-16 Girls final. Picklum performed with a healthy mix of flair and style over the course of the affair, posting two respectable scores to form a heat total of 12.50 (out of a possible 20 points). Closest rival Charli Hurst (Port Kembla, NSW) put up a valiant fight, but was unable to find the necessary 7.01 wave score required to steal Picklum’s lead.
Jarvis Earle (Cronulla, NSW) continued his highlight reel worthy performance in the final of the Under-14 Boys, posting two excellent wave scores in excess of 8.00 points. As the heat came to a close, Northern Beaches native Kobi Clements (Narrabeen, NSW) was the only surfer who could topple Earle, chasing down a massive 9.07 wave score, which never came to fruition.
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW) surfed well beyond her years in the Under-14 Girls division, continually posting decent wave scores in the difficult conditions. Leigh-Jones notched up a 15.43 heat total to leave her fellow finalists chasing a combination of scores to take the lead away.
Former World Championship Tour surfer Dayyan Neve (North Steyne Boardriders, NSW) earned a spot into the upcoming WSL QS, taking out the local trials event. In a format that allowed North Steyne and Queenscliff Boardriders Clubs the opportunity to gain a wildcard into the premiere event, Neve posted a near perfect 9.33 wave score for a chain of huge backside snaps, which essentially knocked the fellow locals from their perch and earned him a coveted wildcard into the QS event.
1 – Jarvis Earle (Cronulla, NSW)
2 – Kobi Clements (Narrabeen, NSW)
3 – Nate Hopkins (Noraville, NSW)
4 – Hughie Vaughan (Bateau Bay, NSW)
1 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW)
2 – Zahlia Short (Austinmer, NSW)
3 – Oceanna Rogers (Shell Cove, NSW)
4 – Keira Buckpitt (Culburra, NSW)
1 – George Pittar (Manly, NSW)
2 – Fill Hill (Avoca, NSW)
3 – Archer Curtis (Palm Beach, Qld)
4 – Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW)
1 – Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW)
2 – Charli Hurst (Port Kembla, NSW)
3 – Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW)
4 – Elle Clayton-Brown (Corlette, NSW)