Flood surge conditions on the Gold Coast  gave Byron Bay?s Ellis Ericson, respite from the Occy junior contest, and time to tra
Flood surge conditions on the Gold Coast gave Byron Bay?s Ellis Ericson, respite from the Occy junior contest, and time to tra

Groms left high, dry?

By STEVE SPINKS

BYRON Bay's Ellis Ericson is not having a lot of luck.

The 16-year-old surfer, like everyone, has had problems with the weather.

On Wednesday, the natural-footer was at Duranbah defending the Under-16 Occy Grom title he won last year.

Things were going well, too.

Ericson had won through to the semi-finals by Tuesday.

But the weather turned.

With a dangerous swell, flooding and torrential rain affecting the Gold Coast, organisers of the Occy contest decided to postpone the final day of surfing until next Wednesday.

It allowed Ericson and a host of other surfers to head back to the Northern Rivers to compete in the 10th annual Rusty Gromfest at Lennox Head, which was supposed to start today.

Wrong!

In a first for Gromfest organisers, they have decided to make use of a back-up day to allow the contest to begin tomorrow.

"We are aware of the road closures on either side of us," Gromfest organiser Max Perrot said.

"The airport is closed as well and we have a few interstate competitors.

"There are a lot of competitors already here, but obviously some more local surfers based at either the Gold Coast or Mid North Coast could struggle coming up tomorrow.

"Basically, we are hoping the delayed start allows people to travel here in safer conditions."

Remarkably, this is the first time the 10-year event has had a back-up day.

"We have a debriefing after every year," Perrot said.

"Last year, in consultation with the governing body, Surfing Australia, we decided, given the size of the event, it was in the best interests to incorporate a lay-day."

Competitors are asked to meet at the Lennox Head town centre at 7am tomorrow.

Perrot said that conditions were expected to improve by tomorrow, hopefully giving the grommets plenty of great waves during the weekend.



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