Young gun surfer makes finals
ANGOURIE surfing prodigy Jeames Young finished the best of the east coast contingent at the annual Billabong Taj's Small Fries U/16 junior event at Yallingup in Western Australia on Sunday.
Young, 14, a rising star in the junior surfing ranks, made it to the finals of the hotly contested event, named in honour of West Australian surfing legend Taj Burrow.
Burrow entered his first competition at the age of nine at a local boardriders club near Exmouth in the state's north.
There were so few young surfers then that a spindly little Burrow was forced into the under-18 division.
Now, more than two decades on, the annual Billabong Taj's Small Fries U/16 junior event is held each January at Yallingup in his honour.
Young surfed brilliantly to make the final against three Margaret River locals, including winner Jack Robinson, who has made the competition on his home break his own.
Robinson, a prodigy of Burrow's ilk, surfed his way to his third straight win in the blue-ribbon U/16 Boys' division. The blond 14-year-old natural-footer held out two other locals, Jacob Willcox and Josh Burke, and the visiting Young.
The Billabong Taj's Small Fries celebrated its seventh edition and "Fries" travelled from around Australia.
Nearly 100 grommets and their families, coaches and minders arrived to compete and encourage each other to the podium across five junior divisions.
U/16 Boys' Final
1st: Jack Robinson (Margaret River, WA) 15.55pts
2nd: Jacob Willcox (Margaret River, WA) 13.50pts
3rd: Josh Burke (Margaret River, WA) 11.25pts
4th: Jeames Young (Angourie, NSW) 9.10pts