HOT FAVOURITE: Byron Bay surfer Garrett Parkes.
HOT FAVOURITE: Byron Bay surfer Garrett Parkes.

Grommets turn on greatest show in surf

WITH a week to go, the 2007 Rusty Gromfest is shaping up as the best yet, with talented fields across all the draws. Since its inception in 1996 as the brainchild of contest director Max Perrot and former Northern Star circulation manager David Sandercock, the event has exploded into Australia's if not the world's premier junior competition. David Sandercock, unfortunately, died from cancer in 2005, but the event charges on, raising the bar as modern performance surfing rushes into the 21st Century. The 2005 Gromfest winner, Julian Wilson, described it as 'one of the biggest stepping stones of any surfer's life. If you win one of those you know you're going somewhere'. And look where the likes of Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge and Stephanie Gilmore are. Wilson, too, is well on his way to the top, as no doubt will the 2007 winner. With 330 surfers and a double bank format this year, Rusty Gromfest features such stars of tomorrow as Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay), Laura Enever (Narrabeen), Todd Rosewall (Jan Juc, Victoria), Ryan Hawker (NZ) , Murray Antonieff (Stradbroke Island) , Creed McTaggart (WA), Tamaroa McComb (Tahiti) and Tyler Wright (Culburra). All have achieved at state, national and international levels, but the money is on Byron Bay's Garrett Parkes, who Max Perrot says is the undisputed, red hot favourite local surfer. The event is mobile within the Ballina Shire, but is expected to paddle out at Lennox Head next Friday and wind up on Monday, July 9, although Tuesday, July 10, is a back-up. The heat draw and format will be available on the website www.gromfest.com.au soon. , Search error !APOLOGIES to Kieren Perrow and Rip Curl for blowing it in the column last week. Of course it was the Rip Curl Pro Search at Arica and Kieren is one of their surfers a dumb cut and paste mistake. Perrow went on to finish 17th while Wills made it to ninth. NSW State team !A TEAM of 37 Far North Coast surfers at the week-long NSW State longboard titles at Bonny Hills competed for selection for the 2007 Australian titles to be held at Port Macquarie from October 22 to 27. FNC came away with five state titles and five runners-up, plus a stack of finalists. Still undefeated in almost 12 months, Tweed Heads longboard star Chelsea Williams tore up another event to take the open women's title in a final dominated by FNC. The women's over-35 division went to Banora Point's Lisa Nicholson, who also finished third in the open women. The over-35s defending champion, Byron Bay's Steve Mills retained his state title, while Suffolk Park shaper Gary Burden claimed the over-45s. Cabarita's Ben Hutchings had a perfect run, winning every heat and the final of the over-60s. State champions, FNC finalists (top four) and NSW team members: Open 9-foot: 1 Kevin Holt (Wollongong), 3 Dane Pioli (Tweed Heads), 5 Bryce Young (Angourie). Over-35: 1 Steve Mills (Byron Bay). Over-40: 1 Richard Smith (Sawtell). Over-45: 1 Gary Burden (Suffolk Park), 2 Ian Pearson (Banora Point), 4 Phil Mansfield (Ocean Shores), 5 Tony Abood (Kingscliff). Over-50: 1 Mark Ingleby (Emerald Beach), 2 Peter Becker (Palmvale), 5 Ric Chalmers (Pottsville). Over-55: 1 Bruce Channon (Mona Vale), 2 Alan Atkins (Byron Bay), 5 Peter Dutton (Cabarita). Over-60: 1 Ben Hutchings (Cabarita). Over-35 women: 1 Lisa Nicholson (Banora Point), 2 Kirsty Webster (Banora Point). Open women: 1 Chelsea Williams (Tweed Heads), 3 Lisa Nicholson, 4 Kirsty Webster. Under-18 girls: 1 Sam Walker, 4 Kara Nobbs (Ballina). Under-18 boys: 1 Dan McComb (Manly), 2 Bryce Young, reserve Gary Wimbus (Evans Head). Open 8-foot (State level only): 1 Christian Pimm (Long Reef), 2 Scott Channon (Lennox Head), 3 Dane Pioli, 5 Steve Mills. Under-16 cadets: 1 T Claxton, 3 Gary Wimbus. , Classic takes off !ORGANISERS of the 10th annual Lennox Longboard Classic have secured a considerable sponsorship package from SaMoana Resort in Samoa and Virgin Blue Airlines. The two companies have combined to provide an all-inclusive trip for one to Samoa for a week as a competitors' draw prize for the classic this year. The package includes all accommodation, meals, all surf trips, plus Samoan airport transfers. It is valued at more than $3200. The SaMoana Resort Virgin Blue Lennox Longboard Classic will be held on August 4-5 at Main Beach, Lennox Head, opposite the Lennox Point Hotel. Entry forms are available from most surf shops or on websites such as www.lennoxlongboarders.com or www.australianlonboarding.com or www.soulsurf.com.au or by phone or email to Wayne Booth 66877921 or hendo41@iprimus.com.au or George Leslie 0414-935951 or george@islandstyle.net.au , All over head !THE All Girls Surfriders' June round was held in the Lennox Head beach breaks last Sunday and with sets up to two metres, conditions were challenging. All the girls who made it out the back did well and some scored great waves, especially Steph Sallis in the final of the advanced division, racking up a 9.5 score. Results: Advanced: 1 Steph Sallis, 2 Rachel Bonhote-Mead, 3 Lyla Wright, 4 Steph Single. Longboard: 1 Kara Nobbs, 2 Carol Stephenson, 3 Sally Petrie, 4 Marg Bryant. 30+: 1 Roberta O'Brien, 2 Penny Brown, 3 Liz Petterson, 4 Tamsin Franklin. Junior beginners: 1 Tiana Whyatt, 2 Aolani Roy, 3 Sophia Springis, 4 Madeline Tresselt. Intermediate: 1 Cassie Jo Neville, 2 Kara Nobbs, 3 Lexi Goffett, 4 Bradie Walsh. , Surprise, surprise !THE Byron Bay Malibu Club, stalwart residents of Wategos, made a surprise move to the Belongil last Sunday for their June club round. It was, by all accounts, a top day with nice waves and great weather. Results: Old Mal: 1 Chris, 2 Jack, 3 Kev. Fifths: 1 Jim Rogers, 2 Marty Sacks, 3 Dave Freedman. Fourths: 1 Jack Van Delft, 2 Kev Devlin, 3 Steve Dart. Thirds: 1 John Whyatt, 2 Stu Compton, 3 Jess Whyatt. Seconds: 1 Jackson Lovell, 2 Steve Crisp, 3 John Keevers. Firsts: 1 Josh Munro, 2 Jack Milgate, 3 Peter Hall. Keikis: 1 Tiana, 2 Ned, 3 Kiarna, 4 Ellora. Voucher winners: Earth 'n Sea Pizza, Col McKenzie; Hulala Cafi, Jess Walker; Hogs Breath, Chris Ryan; Byron Bay Longboards, Chris Bode. Membership fees are due at the first club round in July. Due to insurance requirements, all surfers must be financial members before competing in club rounds. , Coming up n Le-Ba Boardriders June club round is on today (big Le-Ba) and tomorrow (little Le-Ba). Usual times and meeting places. n Lost Tribes' old mal gathering Evans Head today. n Stand-up paddle surfing day Missingham Bridge Sailing Club area 11am Sunday, with Noosa's Chris De Aboitiz and the Laguna Bay team showing just how its done. n The Lennox Longboarders July club round is tomorrow due to commitments with Rusty Gromfest. n Evans Head Over-8s Malibu Club July round tomorrow starting at 7am. n Occy's Grom Comp on the Gold Coast from today to Wednesday. Go to www.billabong.com.au n Rusty Gromfest from July 6 to 10. The groms will be counting the sleeps. n Byron Bay Boardriders' next club round on July 15. , Surf check !AFTER fantastic swell mid-week, it's back to small waves for the weekend. A 1m-1.5m SE/S swell with W/SW winds will be just enough to get by. The swell forecast is for a quiet week ahead but with a good possibility of a strong southerly swell for the Gromfest.



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