RISING STAR: Contest patron Mark Occhilupo congratulates Occys Grom Comp Under-16 winner Garret Parkes, of Byron Bay.
RISING STAR: Contest patron Mark Occhilupo congratulates Occys Grom Comp Under-16 winner Garret Parkes, of Byron Bay.

From the Gold Coast to Lennox Head

RUSTY Gromfest's reputation as being the best grommet competition in the country was boosted this week, but not in a way you'd expect. All division winners of the Billabong Occy's Grom Comp, which finished on the Gold Coast on Thursday, along with a plethora of finalists, will make the trip to Lennox Head, meaning the Gromfest will host the best juniors in Australian surfing. Byron Bay's Garret Parkes continued his impressive run of form with an emphatic win in the blue ribbon Under-16 event, while Lennox Head's Niki Hoskin took the Grom Comp's Under-14 title. Culburra's Tyler Wright completed a trifecta of wins in the Under-14 girls, winning the trophy for the third year running, while the Under-12 boys division was won by Chris Robertson (Grays Point). Philipa Anderson (Merewether) took the Under-16 girls title. Byron Bay's Soli Bailey finished second in the Under-12 boys to show why he is so highly favoured for the Gromfest title. But it was Parkes' day in the small two-foot conditions and the win gives him a big confidence boost considering he'll be lining up against the three finalists at Gromfest. In a tight tussle Parkes had the win handed to him at the match's three-quarter mark after a mistake by leader James Woods (Coolangatta) that saw him score an interference. Hoskin, fast becoming known as the best 13-year-old in the country, won his first major grommet event.



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