TOP SEEDS SHINE ON DAY TWO OF THE 14th ANNUAL TAJ’S SMALL FRIES IN YALLINGUP
A swag of Australia’s best junior surfers have reaped the benefits of an increasing swell on day two of the 14th annual Taj’s Small Fries presented by Flight Centre and City of Busselton.
Shallows just north of Yallingup was again the location of choice, with punchy 2-4ft peaks providing the perfect canvas from some impressive high-performance surfing from each and every division that took to the water.
The top seeded surfers hit the water first this morning, as did WA’s most successful professional surfer and event host Taj Burrow. With grommet like froth still running through his veins, Burrow paddled out to share some waves after recently recovering from a serious knee injury in 2018.
“I couldn’t be happier with how things have been going,” said Burrow. “The past few days have just been perfect for the kids.”
Competing in his first ever Taj’s Small Fries and on his maiden adventure to Western Australia, Jai Glindeman (Lennox Head, NSW) set the pace this morning using his smooth and flowing style to post a healthy two-wave combined total of 15.75 (from a possible 20), which included an 8.50 and 7.25.
“It’s been amazing, staying with Taj, surfing new waves and hanging with all the Billabong crew,” said Glindeman. “I feel really fortunate to be here and stoked the waves turned on for us today.”
Glindeman was joined in the winner’s circle by Jay Occhilupo (Gold Coast, WA), Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown, WA), Danny Benedetti (Margaret River, WA) and Jed Gradisen (Gracetown, WA), who all posted imposing totals.
Coral Durant (Carnarvon, WA), and Taiana Duncan (Margaret River, WA) were the best of the 16 & Under Girls on day two, booking their spot into the semi-finals, where they’ll come up against Maddie Cawood (Margaret River, WA) and Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) in tomorrow’s semi finals.
The 14 & Under Boys semi finalists were also decided as conditions became tough as the afternoon sea breeze intensified.
Lennix Smith (Shoal Harbour, NSW) is another competing for the first time at Taj's Small Fries and has been loving both the waves and Yallingup as an event location. Smith scored an 8.75 and a 7.25 to finish on a combined total of 16.00 (from a possible 20).
“West Oz is pretty sick, this is my first time here, but the waves have been awesome and everyone is very friendly and welcoming,” said Smith. “I’m stoked to be through to the semi’s of my first Small Fries.”
Smith will be joined by Jack Mickle (Trigg, WA), Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup, WA), Jake Hagan (Geraldton, WA), Otis North (Yallingup, WA) and Brock Launders (Margaret River, WA) in the 14 & Under Boys semi finals.
Another kick in the swell is forecast fo the third and final day of Taj’s Small Fries, with the event likely to go mobile to crown its champions in the best possible waves Yallingup can provide. There will be a 6:00am call made for a possible 7:00am start.
Live heat scores and results will be streamed from Taj's Small Fries via www.surfingwalive.com.au
Taj’s Small Fries sits alongside Parko’s Grom Stomp (Sunshine Coast, QLD), The Oz Grom Cup (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and Occy’s Grom Comp (Gold Coast, QLD), to form the Billabong Bloodlines Series.
The 2019 Billabong Taj's Small Fries, presented by Flight Centre & City of Busselton will be based in Yallingup on WA's South West coast from Friday 11th - Sunday 13th January.
Spectators and competitors are encouraged to interact via Instagram: Follow @surfing_wa, @billabong_australia & @citybusselton and be sure to use the hashtags #TajSmallFries.
Stay tuned to www.surfingwa.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the Taj's Small Fries.
About Taj's Small Fries Yallingup:
Taj’s Small Fries, is WA's biggest and best junior surfing event named after Yallingup resident and international surfing star Taj Burrow. The event is celebrating its 14th consecutive year in 2019 after first starting back in 2006. Taj's Small Fries continually attracts some of the best junior surfing talent from across Australasia to Yallingup in the South-West of Western Australia.