Grommets rise to wave of challenge
Young grommets thrived in the challenging conditions at this year’s Junior Wavefest at Muttonbird on Saturday, as the next wave of young surfers impressed.
Albany Boardriders’ major junior event on the calendar attracted a strong field across multiple divisions, ranging from rookie and push-in through to the under-18 boys and girls.
The small and challenging conditions inspired the youngsters to put on a show as the new guard delivered on their potential.
The boys’ under-18 and under-16 titles were won by Zen Shepherd, while Tyce Shepherd showed he is a name to watch, after capturing both the under-12 and under-14 boys’ honours.
Zen Shepherd won a competitive under-18 boys’ division from runner-up Jed Cummuskey, with Jacob Chrimes and Angus Spencer third and fourth respectively.
In the under-10 boys’ category, Reef Pietropaolo produced a clean day of surfing to win from Freddie Creek, Joshua Mitchell and Louis McLean.
Experienced pair Pemba Spargo and Holly Minter had an enthralling battle in the under-18 girls’ division but Spargo reigned supreme to take title honours.
Another young gun who showed her potential was Maisie Mitchell, finishing with victories in both the under-12 and under-14 girls.
She beat Alaia Williams in the under-12s and edged out Sapphire Shepherd (second), Keilarni Lloyd (third) and Zahra Houderrani (fourth) in the under-14 class.
Albany Boardriders president Peter Bolt said it was another terrific edition of the junior event.
“Everyone made the best of the conditions and made it look far better than it was,” he said.
“This year’s event felt like a changing of the guard, with a flood of new faces and improvements in the level of surfing in our younger juniors, while the last of a generation progressed to senior ranks.
“Well done to all competitors, rookies and push-in surfers who came along with amazing attitude and sportsmanship.”
The senior Wavefest will be held on May 18 and 19.
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