The opening day of the 2022 Billabong Occy’s Grom Comp saw epic junior surfing at Duranbah (Dbah) Beach on the Gold Coast, in nice and clean 3ft (1m) waves.
The wet weather didn’t stop the competitors and spectators from enjoying the prestigious event, now in its 17th year, and the amazing surfing that was displayed.
Surfers in the under 14 and under 16 divisions took to the water today for their round one heats, which saw a mixture of local, interstate and international junior talent.
Caden Francis (Palm Beach, QLD) opened his campaign with a solid performance, winning his first round with a combined two wave total of 15.34 (out of a possible 20).
“It felt really good to get some fun waves and also a little barrel, which I wasn’t expecting,” said Francis. “You don’t often get to surf Dbah uncrowded so it’s sort of like a dream come true to surf priority heats out here with only three guys out.”
Other standout names in the under 14 boys division included Hunter Andersson (Moffat Beach, QLD), Jai Nield (Coolangatta, QLD) and Joey Silk (Crescent Head, NSW).
The highest single wave (8.33) went to Japanese surfer Kanon Takahashi (Japan) in the under 14 girls, who was a standout performer of the day.
“I’m really happy to have won my heat today,” said Takashi. “I love Australia and I’m so excited to be over here surfing in different conditions from home and competing in the Occy’s Grom Comp for the first time.”
The blue ribbon under 16 boys division hit the water in the afternoon, which saw plenty of incredible surfing.
Queensland’s under 16 State Champion, Rico Haybittle (Burleigh Heads), was in fine form and dominated his round one heat.
Another standout was Sol Gruendling (Freshwater, NSW), who went to the air and displayed some progressive surfing.
Gruendling said he didn’t mind the wet weather because it’s made the waves super fun and clean.
“I really enjoyed that heat. I was stoked to secure two good waves in the early stages so I could relax, have some fun and enjoy the conditions Dbah had on offer.”
The competition will kick off again at 7:00 am tomorrow.
Spectators/competitors are encouraged to call the Surfing Queensland events hotline on (07) 3030 6388 for a confirmed location/start time from 6:30 am tomorrow morning.
The 2022 Billabong Occy’s Grom Comp presented by Kirra Surf is proudly supported by Surfing Queensland, Kustom, JS Industries, Oakberry, Stryker Media, Nixon, Mrs Palmers and Blue Dinosaur.
Lucy Callister | Media and Communications Manager | 0468 430 759 | firstname.lastname@example.org