With the standard of surfing at an all-time high on the third day of the Rusty Gromfest at Lennox Head, all eyes are now turned to finals day as the competition rolls into the business end of proceedings.
In building 1m conditions, Lennox Head provided another picture-perfect day as surfers and spectators reveled in the pristine setting.
Led by the Australian contingent, the action was nothing short of dynamic.
Wade Carmichael (Avoca Beach, NSW) was outstanding in his early round heat, combining speed, power and flow en-route to qualifying for the next round.
“It took a while to get going this morning, but am still happy with how I surfed,” he said.
Coming off a second placing in Occy’s Grom Comp last week Carmichael is confident going into the business end of the under 16’s event.
For Carmichael, the Rusty Gromfest provides him and fellow competitors the opportunity to pit themselves against the best juniors from around the globe.
“It definitely raises the bar and makes you want to surf better,” he said.
Another competitor in sparkling form of late has been Jordi Watson (Currarong, NSW).
Watson dominated his round two heat this morning, stamping his class and authority on the rest of the field.
However, it was Ryan Callinan (Merewether, NSW) with a combined heat total of 16.00 (out of a possible 20) including a single wave score of 9.00 (out of a possible 10) who was the standout of the morning.
With a silky smooth array of forehand manoeuvres, Callinan displayed his intentions to the rest of the international field.
In the blue ribbon girl’s event, the under 16s, Phillipa Anderson (Newcastle, NSW) turned a potentially event-ending situation into an amazing show of determination and quality surfing.
After being called for interference on another competitor early in her quarter-final showdown, Anderson found herself behind the eight ball (with her second highest score halved).
Remaining composed and clam under pressure, Anderson hit back with an eight-point ride to seal her qualification in the semi final.
Tomorrow’s finals of the 14 Girls is set for a showdown of Australia’s eastern surfing States with Tyler Wright (NSW), Nikki Van Dijk (Vic) and Sarah Mason (Qld) all showing great form and potential winners.
The action at the Rusty Gromfest is set to go up a notch tomorrow on the final day of competition with champions to be crowned in all six divisions.
Full results available at http://www.surfingaustralia.com/
PICTURE: Lyla Wright, of Lennox Head, in action today. Picture courtesy of Surfing Australia.