High scores and superior surfing from the world’s best junior surfers highlighted the action-packed second day of the Rusty Gromfest.
Surfing in pristine 1m conditions at the wave-rich Lennox Head, the standard of surfing was through the roof, with high scores and big moves on show.
“None was more impressive than Michael Wright (Culburra Beach, NSW), who dominated his first round heat of the under 12 boys,” reported Surfing Australia’s Steve Robertson.
“Accruing the highest single wave score (9.75 out of a possible 10) and combined heat total (17.75 out of a possible 20) of the event thus far, Wright was on fire.”
Wright said: “There were some really good waves out there this morning.
“I love coming up to Lennox to surf at the Gromfest every year.”
After placing second to Soli Bailey last year in the under 12 division, Wright is looking to go one better and is feeling extremely confident after taking out the prestigious Occy’s Grom Comp last week.
“I just want to surf as well as I can, but the goal is definitely win it,” Wright admitted.
“I’m feeling pretty confident after last week’s result, but the standard of surfing is super hard and it’s going to be hard to win.”
Fellow under 12 boy’s counterpart Jeames Young (Angourie, NSW), was another early morning standout, displaying silky smooth style and flow, en-route to the next round.
“It was really easy to find waves this morning,” Young said.
“I feel really comfortable surfing in this area,” the Angourie local said.
“I surf a lot around here and do all my training in the Byron area, so hopefully it works to my advantage.”
After a result last year that was well below his own critically high standards, Young is desperate to do well in 2008.
Featuring the best 344 young surfers on the planet, day two of the Rusty Gromfest also showcased the outstanding surfing talents of the domestic and international girls.
Leading the Australian charge was Naomi Stevic (Castaways, Qld), who surfed exceptionally well in the under 16 girls and qualified for the next round of competition.
Last week Stevic placed second in the first of these pair of internationally acclaimed Grommet events on the Gold Coast and she is now competing in her last Rusty Gromfest and she is looking for a fitting finale.
“It’s such a fun competition and I’m a bit sad that this will be my last year,” she said.
“I’m looking for a good result and to finish on a high note.”
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 converging on Lennox Head.
“It’s the biggest competition for a lot of these girls and the international field produces such a really high standard,” Stevic said.
“It’s really good for girls surfing.”
Competition is set to continue tomorrow at Lennox Head with more excellent junior surfing action, with finals day set for Monday 15 July.
PICTURE: Harry Bryant, from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, in action at Gromfest today. Picture courtesy of Surfing Australia.