Excellent 1m waves and perfect conditions greeted the world’s best junior surfers at Lennox Head today.

Featuring the best 344 young surfers on the planet, day one of the Rusty Gromfest was scintillating; with competitors lighting up the dual banks of Lennox Head.

Leading the way in the under 16 boys division was Adam Parnell (Coolum Beach, Qld) who dominated his first-round heat with a dynamic array of manoeuvres – solidifying his claim for the title.

“The waves were awesome this morning,” he said after his early morning heat.

At only 15 years of age, Parnell is competing against many older competitors and is keen to do well.

“Although I’m a bit younger than the other guys, I still feel that I can do well,” he said.

“I want to do well because I see this as one of the best events to compete in.”

Renowned the world over as the original and most prestigious junior competition, this year’s Rusty Gromfest sees competitors from England, Peru, New Zealand, Tahiti, Chile, South Africa and Bali diverging on Lennox Head.

However, it was local surfer Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW) who outshone his international counterparts in the under 14 boys division at the Rusty Gromfest.

After taking out the under 12 boys division last year, Bailey began his 2008 campaign in style, obliterating all that Lennox Head threw at him.

“It was really fun out there,” Bailey said.

“Hopefully this will give me some confidence going into the rest of the contest,” he said.

“For me, this is the most important event of the year.”

Despite his success last year, Bailey is quite modest in his goals for 2008.

“Each year is different and now that I’m going up an age group, it’s going to be really tough,” he said.

“I just want to do as well as I can.

“It’s such a great event and the competition is super hard.”

“I look forward to it all year.”

Victorian Mitchell Baker (Cowes, Vic) was also on fire in the early exchanges of the morning and is feeling confident about his chances at taking home the title.

“I’ve got some really good boards at the moment and I feel really confident,” Baker said.

“This is without a doubt the most important event for me throughout the whole year.”

Competition is set to continue tomorrow at Lennox Head, with more excellent junior surfing action, including the 16, 14 and 12 years’ girls.

Finals of this years Rusty Gromfest will run on Monday.

PICTURE: Daniel Hosking (Skennars Head) who was narrowly eliminated from his 14 Boys heat, placing 3rd in the four-surfer heat behind highly rated Sydney surfer Cooper Chapman. Picture courtesy of Surfing Australia.