Shoes was an absolute picture for the May world championship comp – great waves, offshore winds, sunshine, huge crowds, two gamboling whales – and surfing entertainment better than the Pipeline Masters!
With swell sweeping out of the south, The Reef served up clean lines for the SuperGroms, Juniors and Open surfers – and every rider rose to the occasion.
The final results in all three divisions were all down to the wire.
Fact is, the contest had everything – big drops, head dips, barrels, wicked over the falls, slashing bottom turns, gouging snaps…and over at Dunnies, a showcase of tubes and mad wipeouts.
Dion Earle left no wave unturned in racking up his third straight victory in the Junior showdown, with an awesome backside attack that underscored – and drew inspiration from – his development as a multiple SuperGrom championship victor.
Not that the other four placegetters in the final were anything other than barnstorming, with Sam Lee (2nd), Shannon Hatheier (3rd), Ned Coleman (4th) and former Groms No 1 Travis Heaps (5th) all pushing the envelope as the swell jumped in size and power as the day wore on.
Matt Cook was also aiming for a third straight final win, but was edged out in a nail-biting final by Rohan O’Sullivan and defending Open Champ Rhys Moffat. The manoeuvres of all three had the massive crowd calling for more. Cookie on his single fin, sub longboard found tubes all over the place, but it was Rohan that went more vertical and Rhys who repeatedly blasted the lip that won the judges’ blessing.
The other three Open finalists – Jedd Felice (4th), Johnno Bonello…(5th) and Mark “No, I didn’t drop in” Campbell (6th) were also in heavy attack mode.
The Groms were equally up to the challenge of the fast moving, heavy crashing swells, every competitor showing guts, determination and technique to conquer the conditions.
Through to the semi-finals are Koby , Casey Earle, Kai Withers, Jarvis Earle, Luca Durante, Riley Lee, Charlie Chegwidden and Jetson Kuch.
The semis will be held on either 24 or 25 May, surf willing.
[Ed. Cookie captured some great photos of the event and surrounding action. Check it out on his photography page on Facebook.]