April 29 - May 5, 2018: Issue 357


Tuesday, 17 April 2018: from Surfing NSW
The Billabong Oz Grom Cup pres. by Flight Centre saw nine champions crowned today as competitors duked it out in an attempt to bag themselves a coveted title.

Ethan Hartge (Caves Beach, NSW) claimed the biggest win of his young career taking out the 16-and-Under Boys division. Despite remaining in second position to Arch Whiteman (Avalon, NSW) for a solid portion of the heat, Hartge was able to slingshot himself into the top spot thanks to posting a respectable 6.93 wave score to jump into the lead, while Whiteman was left to claim the runner-up spot.

Summa Longbottom (Kirra, Qld) joined Hartge in the 16-and-Under winner's circle, claiming the Girls division Longbottom was able to get a narrow lead over fellow Gold Coast surfer Shaye Leeuwendal (Currumbin, Qld) thanks to a respectable 6.00 wave score, which allowed her to claim the top spot on the dais.

Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) claimed his third Billabong Oz Grom Cup pres. by Flight Centre title in as many years, taking out the 14-and-Under Boys. Harrison posted a near-perfect nine-point ride in the final minutes of the 20-minute affair to gain the upper hand over fellow event standout Lennix Smith (Barrack Point, NSW) who finished the heat in second position.

Despite snapping her board in her semi-final, Grace Kama (Elanora, Qld) was able to borrow her mum’s board for the 14-and-Under Girls final. Kama proceeded to execute a barrage of giant and powerful backside carves and snaps to post an excellent 8.83 wave score and get the upper hand against her opposition.

Willis Droomer (Jan Juc, Vic) made his interstate journey worthwhile, taking out the 12-and-Under Boys. Droomer continued to build on the exciting performances he threw down in the earlier rounds, posting a decent 14.00 heat total to get the win ahead of Mateus Bersot (Maroubra, NSW).

Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) added another title in the kitty for the interstate competitors taking out the 12 Girls division. Hardy posted a modest 6.03 wave score for a chain of forehand snaps to get the edge over Amarnie Barber (Peregian, Qld) who finished in the runner-up spot.

Local competitor Will Martin (Coffs Harbour, NSW) finished his Billabong Oz Grom Cup campaign with a bang, locking in a 19.00 two-wave heat total, the highest of the event so far. Martin’s score consisted of a perfect 10-point ride and a 9.00, which left his fellow competitors requiring two-wave totals to take away his lead.

Paddling into waves unassisted paid dividends for Ruby Trew (Seaforth, NSW) in the 10 Girls division as she proceeded to post a perfect 10-point ride. Trew performed an eclectic mix of turns over the course of the final to amass a 17.33 heat total and take the win ahead of Oli Taylor (Peregian, Qld) who finished in second position.

Fletcher O’Sullivan (Sawtell, NSW) ensured a title would remain in the Coffs Harbour region, taking out the 8-and-Under Mixed division. O’Sullivan and runner-up Luca Martin (Coffs Harbour, NSW) both shone in the final with both surfers posting scores near the excellent range, however, O’Sullivan was able to get the nod thanks to a 14.34 total.

All results and two-wave heat totals can be found below.

The prestigious five-day event – now in its fifth year – ran from the 13th – 17th April and catered for over 200 competitors in nine different divisions.

Former champions include 2016 World Junior Champion Macy Callaghan who claimed her respective division in the event's inaugural year. Since then the event has been won by a range of Australia’s best and most promising junior surfers.

Most states were represented with surfers coming from Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Boys and Girls divisions for the event included: Under-8 Mixed, Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16.

16-and-Under Boys
1 – Ethan Hartge (Caves Beach, NSW) – 14.1
2 – Arch Whiteman (Avalon, NSW) – 14.0
3 – Beau Buckpitt (Culburra Beach, NSW) – 13.57
4 – Olly Bolton (Copacabana, NSW) – 8.73

16-and-Under Girls
1 – Summa Longbottom (Kirra, Qld) – 10.57
2 – Shaye Leeuwendal (Currumbin, Qld) – 9.67
3 – Ellia Smith (Coolum, Qld) – 7.13
4 – Carly Shanahan (Wooli, NSW) – 5.84

14-and-Under Boys
1 – Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) – 14.83
2 – Lennix Smith (Barrack Point, NSW) – 12.5
3 – Taj Simon (Port Kembla, NSW) – 9.46
4 – Matt Boyle (Currumbin, Qld) – 7.97

14-and-Under Girls
1 – Grace Kama (Elanora, Qld) – 13.33
2 – Lucy Tandler (Coolangatta, Qld) – 12.4
3 – Liliana Bowery (Tewantin, Qld) – 9.76
4 – Gabi Spake (Collaroy, NSW) – 6.2

12-and-Under Boys
1 – Willis Droomer (Jan Juc, Vic) – 14.00
2 – Mateus Bersot (Maroubra, NSW) – 12.46
3 – Dane Henry (Fingal Head, NSW) – 8.67
4 – Isaak Brown (Lake Munmorah, NSW) – 8.63

12-and-Under Girls
1 – Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) – 10.26
2 – Amarnie Barber (Noosa Heads, Qld) – 9.57
3 – Zahlia Short (Austinmer, NSW) – 9.4
4 – Shyla Short (Austinmer, NSW) – 6.53

10-and-Under Boys
1 – Will Martin (Coffs Harbour, NSW) – 19.00
2 – Mitchell Peterson (Noosaville, Qld) - 10.1
3 – Taj Air (Thirroul, NSW) – 10.03
4 – Ocean Lancaster (Merewether, NSW) – 8.67

10-and-Under Girls
1 – Ruby Trew (Seaforth, NSW) – 17.33
2 – Oli Taylor (Peregian Beach, Qld) -14.2
3 – Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head, NSW) -7.2
4 – Mia Baker (Lennox Head, NSW) – 5.00

8-and-Under Mixed
1 – Fletcher O’Sullivan (Sawtell, NSW) – 14.34
2 – Luca Martin (Coffs Harbour, NSW) – 13.76
3 – Malakai Carson (Old Bar, NSW) – 8.97
4 – Laihani Zoric (Byron Bay, NSW) – 7.2

Arch Whiteman - 2018 Billabong Oz Grom Cup pres. by Flight Centre finals

Gabi Spake - 2018 Billabong Oz Grom Cup pres. by Flight Centre finals

Ruby Trew - 2018 Billabong Oz Grom Cup pres. by Flight Centre finals

Photos by Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW. 

Legendary surfers Mark Occhilupo and Shane Dorian were part of this year's Billabong Oz Grom Cup pres. by Flight Centre.

Shane Dorian - April 16  Facebook post; 
“Stoked to be back in Australia for the @billabong_australia Oz Grom Cup. Thanks so much for having us @billabong rad to see all the groms frothing and surfing so well.”

Shane Dorian and Mark Occhilupo

Patrick Shane Dorian, or "Shane", is an American surfer from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He spent 11 years touring on the World Championship Tour as a professional surfer. Dorian quit competition surfing in 2003 to focus on big waves. He is currently a big wave surfer and one of the best in the world at big wave riding.

Mark Occhilupo, Marco Jay Luciano "Mark" Occhilupo is an Australian surfer and winner of the 1999 ASP World title. Also known as Occy, began his professional career in the World Championship Tour (WCT) at the age of 17. Born in Kurnell, New South Wales, where he began surfing at the age of nine. He soon progressed to neighboring Cronulla.

He won his first amateur Schoolboys contest at 13 and followed up with two Cadet State Titles. After the 10th grade, he left home as an ASP trialist. Virtually unnoticed, he sneaked into the Top 16 at year's end, securing a seed for the following year.

The pair also caught a few waves;

Shane Dorian

Mark Occhilupo

Photos by Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW.