Storm Boy,Soli carves up Lennox
SUFFOLK Park's Soli Bailey mastered gnarly two-metre swells to win the 12 years boys Rusty Gromfest title at Lennox Head yesterday. The solid surf tested all the surfers, but the youngest of the contest competitors showed incredible skills to handle the wild waves. "It was amazing to see such tiny surfers in the big swell," said contest spokesman, Steve Robinson. "Soli and the other three boys in his division were chasing the biggest waves 100 metres offshore. It was tough to spot the competitors they regularly disappeared in the troughs of the swells across a 500-metre stretch." With solid stormy swells hitting the coastline the contest relocated to its traditional home break at Lennox Head beach, which again provided long, challenging right handers for a fitting finale. Six prestigious and much sought-after Rusty Gromfest titles were decided yesterday, the winners joining a very illustrious group of surfers who have won here over the contest's 12 year history. Winners were: 16 yrs boys Davey Cathels (Nth Narrabeen); 16 yrs girls Kirby Wright (Culburra/Sth Coast NSW); 14 yrs boys Matt Banting (Port Macquarie); 14 yrs under girls Tyler Wright (Culburra/Sth Coast NSW); 12 yrs boys Soli Bailey (Suffolk Park); 12 yrs girls Charlie Roach (Sunshine Coast, Qld). For Cathels and Wright, their wins in the blue ribbon 16 and under divisions saw both surfers express emotions of joy and relief as both have been coming to the Rusty Gromfest for the past seven years, both finalists in previous years but neither having won a title and this was their last chance at it! "It's been such a fantastic event and within the grommets this is the big event we dream of winning and I'm super pleased to finally win oneCathels said after his win," Mr Robinson said. "It finishes my grommet years off, especially at this event, with a fantastic memory. All the great waves over the years I love it." Wright was just as happy saying: "I'm super stoked to win this event finally. It's such a special event and both my older brother (Owen) and younger sister (Tyler) have won here and it feels really special to win today. "This year has been fantastic with all the great surf and the surfing across all divisions has been amazing. It's the best way to end my years at the Rusty." Both Cathels and Wright controlled their finals by opening with strong opening rides and solid follow-ups to secure comfortable wins.