Sunrise Beach junior makes waves
Sunrise Beach micro-grommet Quinn Bruce has given notice to the surfing world that he could be one of the emerging talents to watch after impressive form at the annual Billabong Occy Grom Comp at the Gold Coast.
Surfed recently in 1m surf at Duranbah, with the great Mark Occhilupo watching the first-day action, the event has proven to be one of the world’s premier junior surfing contests.
This year’s competition had competitors travelling from New Zealand, Bali, South Africa, Nusa Lembongan, Tahiti, California, Tasmania and all across Australia.
And Quinn gave his older rivals a real run for their money, narrowly missing the finals to finish an impressive fifth.
“Quinn is 11 years old and has just started competing in the last 12 months,” a competition spokesman said.
“Already he has a couple of first places and minor places from other events.
“Relatively unheard of, he did a mammoth job to get fifth – with still another year to go in the 12 and under division, he is definitely a grom to look for in the future.”
In the 12 boys final, Margaret River’s Jack Robinson got the better of Wurtulla’s Kai Hing, California’s Kanoa Igarashi and Angourie’s Jeames Young in the battle on the “micro-groms” .
Occy oversaw the opening day of his grommet event before jetting off to South Africa to compete against three-time World Champion Tom Curren (USA) in a Clash of the Icons at the Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay.
The powerful goofy footer could not pass up on the opportunity to face Curren on the legendary point break, which he is renowned for surfing backside better than anyone.
Even with the Australian surfing legend absent for the final day of competition, the country’s next wave of surfing champions rose to the occasion, busting out a fresh brand of surfing in rising beach break waves.
Port Macquarie star Matt Banting did his surfing credentials no harm after toppling a swag of the nation’s top young guns to bag the blue ribbon 16 and under boys’ crown in the final heat of the day.
A standout from start to finish, the exciting natural foot roused plenty of attention from the spectators on the beach to beat Cabarita’s Damien Norman and Bali’s Purta Hermanwan.