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Byron Shire
October 17, 2021

Wilko on the edge after a difficult day in J-Bay

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Byron Bay’s Matt Wilkinson in action in the Corona Open J-Bay in South Africa. Photo Cestari/WSL

Crystal Cylinders

Byron Bay’s Matt Wilkinson is in grave danger of missing out on a berth in next years championship tour after another poor result at the Corona Open J-Bay in South Africa.

In his Round 1 heat he faced tricky but solid conditions with some heavy offshore winds ripping through the Jeffreys Bay line-up.

The eventual event winner Filipe Toledo from Brazil scored a 9.17, the highest scoring wave of the day to overtake both Wilkinson, who placed second, and Brazilian Wiggolly Dantas.

In Round 2 the stage was set with some two-metre sets pouring into the bay.

Wilkinson started strongly with two solid scoring waves to take the lead but couldn’t better his scores after Brazilian Tomas Hermes dropped the best score of the heat and ultimately failed to overtake Hermes.

The Byron local finished up in equal 25th place and has now dropped down to 30th spot on the rankings, putting his chances of qualifying for the WSL in jeopardy.


Meanwhile, a local group Surfers Against Sand Mine are meeting on the beach this Saturday 14th at 2pm north of the Lennox Hotel to show their opposition to the proposed new sand mine at Lennox Head.

The sand mine is close to North Creek and the Newrybar Swamp drains and will be digging up acid sulfate soils.

North Creek runs straight into the already degraded Richmond River and into the ocean.

Opponents say it will affect the hydrology of the area by removing 3.6 million tonnes of sand from a low-lying wetland area that is very susceptible to flooding, with potential contamination from sulfuric acid.

They are fighting against further degradation of our waterways and ocean.


The 2018 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open returns to Lennox Head bigger and better than ever this week with six days of surfing action starting this Friday.

The men’s Pro Junior is returning along with the welcome addition of a women’s Pro Junior event and a 12 and Under girls division, which is a great example of gender equity in the sport of surfing.

The event has divisions for girls and boys in 12s, 14s and 16s along with the women and men’s pro junior divisions.

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