Local Lennox Head girls Nyxie Ryan and Ocea Curtis made the most of their opportunities to win the two newly introduced female divisions at the 7th annual Skullcandy Oz Grom Open last week.
Fifteen-year-old Nyxie Ryan claimed her maiden JQS victory and picked up $2,500 after winning the inaugural women’s pro junior division up against much older and more-experienced surfers on her home break at Lennox Head.
Surfing well beyond her years, Ryan nailed an array of different turns to post an excellent 8.23 wave score as well as a 7.1 to amass a 15.33 two-wave heat total.
Ryan’s win gave her a significant jump into the top ten of the 2018 rankings.
‘This is one of the best results I’ve had,’ said Ryan. ‘My goal was to just make the final, so to go one step further and win feels amazing. Having the support of Le-Ba Boardriders members here made the win so much more special. I’ve only done a few pro juniors this year and I’m heading down to Cronulla for the final event of the year, so it would be nice to get another decent result down there.’
Ryan also backed up with a strong second-place finish in the U/16 girls division.
In the inaugural U/12 girls division nine-year-old Ocea Curtis came out of the gates blazing with her first wave the highest scoring ride of the final, a combination of top-turn carves that surprised spectators with the power and speed of the execution.
Curtis took the lead with this wave that became the benchmark the other surfers never overcame.
Soon after she backed it up with another strong ride to lead from start to finish.
Countless local supporters chaired her up the beach after the victory and in a post-heat interview she said, ‘I didn’t think I was going to win,’ while beaming a big smile.
Byron Bay’s Duke Wrencher and Touma Cameron came third and fourth respectively in the U/14 boys division with some excellent performances over the six-day event.
Joel Paxton (Byron Bay) made the semifinals in the pro-junior division and Juniper Harper (Lennox Head) made the semifinal in the U/12 girls.
Kyuss King (Byron Bay) and Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head) made the quarterfinal in the pro junior.