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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Clean and playful on day 1 of Skullcandy

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Fingal surfer Dane Henry and his high-flying aerial manoeuvres. Photo Ethan Smith.

Yesterday saw the first day of the 2023 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open at Lennox Head with what organisers says was a stellar day of competition, as surfers in the age divisions got the opportunity to revel in clean and playful three-foot surf.

Fresh off a recent victory at the Occy Grom Comp on the Gold Coast, Hunter Anderson (Palm Beach, Qld) carried his same momentum into his opening Under-16 Boys heat at Lennox Head, smashing an array of gigantic backside snaps in the punchy surf to seal himself a position into the third round. Anderson showed seamless flow in his heat to post a giant 15.53 two-wave heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to move through the heat alongside Josh Kelly (Noosa Heads, Qld) who finished in the runner-up spot.

Jesse Fergusson (Noosa, Qld) also showed he would be one to watch in the Under-16 Boys, nailing a solid 15.60 two-wave heat total to earn his position straight into the third round, bypassing the do-or-die second-round requalification.

Critical carves and snaps

Ruby Berry stellar on the first day of the Skullcandy. Photo Ethan Smith.

Ruby Berry (Margaret River, WA) and Milla Brown (Bungan, NSW) sent a warning shot over the head of their competitors with both surfers notching up a series of impressive scores for critical carves and snaps. As a result, both ladies finished the heat with totals in the 15-point range and earned themselves spots into the third round.

With a fresh northerly breeze popping up in the afternoon, Dane Henry (Fingal Head, NSW) managed to use the change of conditions to his advantage as he performed an array of high-flying aerial maneuvers. Henry finished the heat with a giant 16.00 heat total and as a result, booked himself a spot into the quarterfinals.

Rosie Richardson (Sunshine Beach, Qld), Savannah Rielly (Dicky Beach, Qld) and Lani Cairncross (Kiama Downs, NSW) all put on dominant performances in the Under-14 Girls with all three surfers locking in heat totals in excess of 13.00 points. All girls will make their next appearance in the quarterfinals.

Fresh off a recent victory at the Occy Grom Comp on the Gold Coast, Hunter Anderson at Lennox Head yesterday. Photo Ethan Smith.

Five days to go

The six-day event will run from 6 July –11 July 2023 and will comprise of a World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event as well as an elite competition for promising grommets in the 14, 16 and 18-year age divisions.

In a similar vein to preceding years – where the event has attracted surfers from ten different countries – a full international field is again expected in 2023 with surfers coming from as far away as Europe, USA, Hawaii, Indonesia and Japan to make up a field of more than 270 surfers across all divisions.

A five-person judging panel comprised of current WSL Championship Tour and Qualifying Series judges will be on-site as well as a live webcast that collectively sets this event above any other junior competition in the world.

The event will get underway again by 7.30am today.


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