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Taj's Small Fries: Seven new champions crowned in West Oz

 

 

 

Taj's Small Fries

Surfing Western Australia
Yallingup Main Break, Western Australia
13 - 15 January, 2017

Taj Burrow’s front yard spot Shallows hosts final day of grom event

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January, 2017 - Yallingup, Western Australia - Seven new champions have joined an illustrious group of winners to etch their name into Taj’s Small Fries prestigious honour roll after an exciting finish to WA’s biggest junior surfing event today in Yallingup.
 
The second stop of the Billabong Bloodlines Series concluded literally in event host Taj Burrow’s front yard, with finalists ripping into 2 feet (1.0 metre) wind affected peaks at the ever reliable back up spot Shallows.

Making use of the third different location in as many days, Taj’s Small Fries presented by Flight Centre provided a full spectrum of conditions for surfers who had converged from right across Australasia.
 
Competitors who adapted quickly from the large powerful reef-breaks to punchy beach-breaks came out on top, with some impressive performances highlighting the 12th instalment of this iconic event.
 
Taj was on hand to support and commentate all the afternoon finals and the 19-year world tour veteran was blown away by the standard of surfing on display over the past three days.
 
“We’ve had such a wide range of conditions that these guys and girls have definitely earned their spot into today’s finals”, said Burrow. “I couldn’t be happier with how the event has gone, it seems to get better and better every year and I'm stoked to be here to see the groms tear into their finals.”

The 10 & Under Mixed division is a new addition to the Taj’s Small Fries in 2017 and the youngest surfers in the event did everything they could to impress Taj and the big crowd on the beach on finals day.
 
Frothing more than a dog with rabies, Maverick Wilson (Mandurah, WA), Cruz Sheridan (Margaret River, WA), Remy North (Yallingup, WA) and Jerry Kelly Barwon Heads, VIC) had the beach hotting and hollering to their mature and innovative approach.
 
When the siren sounded it was Maverick Wilson that came out on top, finishing on a two-wave combined total of 15.40 (from a possible 20). Wilson threw down rail-grab cutbacks, big fin ditches and massive forehand carves to win his first Small Fries event.
 
“I’ve had the best time at Small Fries the waves have really fun and I’m stoked to win the newest division in the event,” said Wilson.
 
The 12 & Under Boys was another entertaining affair, with Jack Mickle (Trigg, WA) asserting his authority on his opposition early in the final. Using his small and powerful frame perfectly, Mickle posted a heat high 8.25 (from a possible 10) and finished on a combined total of 16.00 (from a possible 20) to claim his maiden victory at Taj’s Small Fries.
 
“This has been to be the best way to spend your school holiday,” said Mickle. “I’m stoked to have won and want to thank Taj for putting on the sickest event ever.”
 
The 12 & Under Girls made light work of the windy afternoon conditions, impressing Taj and the judges alike with their fearless approach and critical manoeuvres.
 
Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) was the best of the bunch, picking off two perfect little lefthand runners, which allowed her to execute a series of high-speed forehand turns. Hardy was rewarded with a heat high 7.00 (from a possible 10) and backed it up with a 6.00 to finish on a combined total of 13.00 (from a possible 20). 
 
“This is my favourite event and I can’t believe I’ve won two years in a row,” said Hardy. “The waves have been so fun and I want to thank my family for all their support.”
 
The 14 & Under Boys was an all-star match up, with two international competitors, an east coaster and one local West Australian going head-to-head in one of the best heats of the event.
 
Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD), Varun Tanjung (Bali, IND), Monnojo Yahagi (Katase, JPN) and Ry Dempsey (Margaret River, WA) provided one of the most entertaining finishes in the event’s 12 year history.
 
Some high intensity surfing was thrown down by all four surfer, with each of them holding the lead at one point of the final. But it was Josh Grange who ticked all the boxes, surfing smoothly and attacking all the sections that came his way. Grange posted a 7.35 and 7.25 to finish on a combined total of 14.60 (from a possible 20).
 
“I’m so stoked to have won here at the Small Fries,” said an elated Grange. “I’ve been to the event in the past and I’ve always wanted to win it. I want to thank Dan Ross my coach and all my family who have travelled here to support me.”
 
The 14 & Under Girls provided another memorable final, with Coral Durant (Red Bluff, WA), Maddie Cawood (Margaret River, WA), Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) and Summa Longbottom (Canggu, IND) all throwing down some big scores during their 20-minute final.
 
A 2016 event champion, Coral Durant found the conditions to her liking and displayed her strong forehand repertoire finishing on a combined total of 15.75 (from a possible 20) to claim back-to-back victories in the division.
 
“I’m over the moon to have won the 14 Girls division again,” said Durant. “This is my favourite event and to kick off the year in a winning fashion is always a good feeling.”
 
The 16 & Under Boys division was a heavy weight boxing match on the water, with Finn Cox (Margaret River, WA) Kian Martin (Canggu, IND), Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River, WA) and Charlie Castleden (Cottesloe, WA) duking it out to see who’ll be the winner of Taj’s Small Fries blue ribbon division.
 
Cox was in amazing form dropping a near perfect 9.50 (from a possible 10) for his vicious backhand attack. Cox didn't drop a heat all event and his ability in a variety of waves saw his also claim a money can't buy experience, awarded the Surfing World Magazine Photo shoot winner. 
 
"It's been the best day ever and this is the biggest winner I've ever had," said Cox. "Taj is one of my favourite surfers and I can't wait to go on the Surfing World trip it's going to be sick."
 
The 16 & Under Girls division was a great look into the future of female surfing in Western Australia, with all four finalists showing they’ve got what it takes to make the professional ranks.
 
Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) benefitted from a home ground advantage, using her strong backhand attack to claim victory at one of her favourite local breaks. Cattlin posted a combined total of 13.75 (from a possible 20) to defeat April McPherson (Mandurah, WA), Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River, WA) and Taiana Duncan (Kalbarri, WA).
 
“I’m off to the GromSearch National Final tonight, so this is the perfect confidence boost before I head to North Narrabeen tonight,” said Cattlin. “Thanks to Taj and all the organisers for such a great event.”

Coral Durant, Willow Hardy and Maverick Wilson were recognised for their great surfing with 'Mayhem Performance Awards' while Otis North (Dunsborough, WA), Maddie Cawood (Margaret River, WA) and Macklin Flynn (Mandurah, WA) were awarded the 'Chip Award' for their efforts at Taj's Small Fries.

Stay tuned to www.surfingwa.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the event. 
 
TAJ'S SMALL FRIES YALLINGUP 2017 FINAL RESULTS:
 
10 & UNDER MIXED DIVISION:
1st - Maverick Wilson (Mandurah, WA) – 15.40pts
2nd – Cruz Sheridan (Margaret River, WA) – 13.60pts
3rd - Remy North (Yallingup, WA) – 9.25pts
4th – Jerry Kelly (Barwon Heads, VIC – 8.75pts
 
12 & UNDER GIRLS:
1st – Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) – 13.00pts
2nd – Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) – 11.50pts
3rd – Ruby Berry (Margaret River, WA) – 7.00pts
4th – Daisy Miller (Scarborough, WA) – 2.75pts

12 & UNDER BOYS:
1st – Jack Mickle (Trigg, WA) – 16.00pts
2nd – Noah Amess (Denmark, WA) – 10.50pts
3rd – Lachie Phillips (Dunsborough, WA) – 8.70pts
4th –Brock Launders (Margaret River, WA) – 8.50pts

14 & UNDER BOYS:
1st – Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD) – 14.60pts
2nd – Monnojo Yahagi (Katase, JPN) – 13.55pts
3rd – Varun Tanjung (Bali, IND) – 13.15pts
4th – Ry Dempsey (Margaret River, WA) – 13.05pts.
 
14 & UNDER GIRLS:
1st – Coral Durant (Red Bluff, WA) – 15.75pts
2nd – Maddie Cawood (Margaret River, WA) – 13.10pts
3rd – Summa Longbottom (Canggu, IND) – 11.00pts
4th – Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) – 9.25pts

16 & UNDER GIRLS:
1st – Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) – 13.75pts
2nd – April McPherson (Mandurah, WA) – 10.75pts
3rd – Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River, WA) – 9.70pts
4th – Taiana Duncan (Kalbarri, WA) – 7.15pts

16 & UNDER BOYS:
1st – Finn Cox (Margaret River, WA) – 17.25pts
2nd – Kian Martin (Canggu, IND) – 14.75pts
3rd – Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River, WA) – 13.50pts
4th – Charlie Castleden (Cottesloe, WA) – 9.85pts
 

Author: 
Justin Majeks
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