Strong showing at Cronulla puts Lennox grom in second round
LENNOX Head surfer Mikey McDonagh has had a strong start to the Rip Curl Grom Search in Cronulla.
He will surf in the second round this morning after a dominant display in his opening heat on Sunday.
McDonagh showed he is a threat in the under-12s division with a 17.67 (out of a possible 20).
The natural-footer took the win in his heat ahead of Riley Lee, Ethan Stocks and Arkie Williams.
It is the last year in under-12 division for McDonagh and he has been one of the leading surfers in competitions across NSW this year.
He finished runner-up in his division at the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open in Lennox Head in July.
Mikey is the younger brother of surfer Cali McDonagh who has had success of her own in various events.
He didn't have to look far for inspiration in his opening heat at the Rip Curl event.
Injured World Championship Tour and Lennox Head surfer Owen Wright was guest judge for part of the event.
The Lennox-Ballina Boardriders club member had to withdrawal from the rest of the WCT events this year with a back injury.
He hopes to make his return in the first event at the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast in March.
"It's been great watching all these kids surf their heats and generally just have an awesome time," Wright said.
"I grew up surfing in the Rip Curl Grom Search events.
"I strongly believe they're a vital stepping stone for all kids who are aspiring to be professional surfers."
Meanwhile, younger sibling Tyler Wright is gearing for the final event on the women's WCT in Portugal.
Wright is in the mix to take out a maiden world championship when competition begins on Thursday.