Photos: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Five new champions were crowned last week at the 2017 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla, following a series of exciting heats in punchy one-foot shorebreaks.
Lennox locals Nyxie Ryan and Mikey McDonagh did their town proud with a second and first place in their divisions.
Mikey McDonagh from Lennox surfed excellently to claim victory in the 16 and under division. Having competed in the event for the better part of a decade, and having taken several titles, McDonagh finished his charge through the event with a bang, posting an impressive 15.27 two-wave heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to take the title ahead of fellow North Coast surfer Jayke Mellows (Cabarita, NSW) who claimed the runner-up spot.
Event standout Zahli Kelly (Clayfield, Qld) continued her successful charge through the competition taking out the 16-and-Under Girls division. Kelly performed an eclectic mix of turns in the heat to claim her third Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla title in as many years. Kelly posted a respectable 13.17 heat total to claim victory in the heat.
The 14-and-Under Boys saw one of the most exciting exchanges of the event, with all four surfers posting a handful of good-to-excellent scores. However, a last minute exchange between event standouts Jarvis Earle (Cronulla, NSW) and Lennox Chell (Avoca, NSW) landed in Earle’s favour as he took the heat with a 15.64 two-wave heat total.
Sai Maniwa (Japan) became the lone international competitor to take a title, claiming the 14-and-Under Girls final. The Japanese competitor came up against an in-form Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) in the heat, however, Maniwa managed to get the upper hand thanks to 7.1 and a 6.9 wave scores, which gave her an accumulative 14.00 heat total.
Ty Richardson (Palm Beach, Qld) put on one of the most exciting displays of surfing in the finals to take out the 12-and-Under Boys division. Richardson surfed like a seasoned professional in the final – posting an 18.17 heat total – to leave his fellow competitors chasing two-wave combinations of scores to knock him from the top spot. Northern Beaches competitor Winter Vincent (Manly, NSW) put up a valiant fight but was unable to find the two necessary scores required to knock Richardson down from the first position.
The premier six-day event ran from July 7 – July 12th 2017 and crown champions across 12, 14 and 16 age divisions.
In a similar vein to preceding years – where the event has attracted surfers from ten different countries – a full international field competed in 2017 with surfers coming from as far away as Europe, USA and Japan to make up a field of more than 170 surfers.
The Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla is proudly supported by Skullcandy, Vissla, Ballina Shire Council, Le-Ba Boardriders and Surfing NSW.
1 – Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head, NSW)
2 – Jayke Mellows (Cabarita, NSW)
3 – Jagger Batholomew (Coolangatta, Qld)
4 – Finn McLaren (Austinmer, NSW)
1 – Zahli Kelly (Clayfield, Qld)
2 – Saffi Veete (NZL)
3 – Anne Dos Santos (Dee Why, NSW)
4 – Holly Williams (Buddina, Qld)
1 – Jarvis Earle (Cronulla, NSW)
2 – Lennox Chell (Avoca, NSW)
3 – Ryley Smidt (Corindi, NSW)
4 – Ethan Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic)
1 – Sai Maniwa (Japan)
2 – Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW)
3 – Coral Durant (Carnarvon, WA)
4 – Charli Hurst (Port Kembla, NSW)
1 – Ty Richardson (Palm Beach, Qld)
2 – Winter Vincent (Manly, NSW)
3 – Rasmus King (Byron Bay, NSW)
4 – Hiroto Mori (Japan)