Event 2 of the South Island Grom Series was held at the iconic St Clair beach in Dunedin. A 0.5m east swell with offshore winds greeted the 50 odd grommets.

The U12 Boys were first in the water and it was the local lads, Lewis Murphy and Alexis Owen who impressed the crowd and knocked out Event 1 winner, Sonny Lyons. Other surfers to win their heats were Hamua Tau and Benji Lowen.

Next up were the U16 Boys and it was the four eventual finalists, Koby Cameron, Dara O’Malley, Reuben Lyons and Jai Oakley, who won their first-round heats.

In the U14 Boys it was the same scenario with Tom Robertson, Jack McKenzie, Jack Tyro and Tyler Perry who were all looking lively.

North Island surfer Jack Rosewarne put the southern boys on notice taking out the first heat of the U18 Boys. Local groms Ruben Peyroux and Maddy Barclay also won their heats alongside Christchurch surfer Jai Oakley.

The start of the semi finals saw the conditions deteriorate somewhat with the high tide, but the wind remained favourable and there were still scores to be had. The judges moved down the beach towards the poles for a better view.

In the U16 Girls’ semis Ava Henderson and Leah Wilson looked like the ones to beat. Eve Findlay from Punakaiki looked to be a serious contender for the U18 Girls with some strong frontside surfing. Leah Wilson caused a bit of an upset in the U18 Girls’ semi 2 with a buzzer beater and knocked out Tegan Bishop.

The U12 Girls were the first final in the water after a long wait. Eden Hungerford from Christchurch showed her skills – getting out on the open face and performing some nice turns.

South Coast Boardrider, Alexis Owen, blew his competitors away in the U12 Boys’ final with a solid backhand attack. Alexis will be one to watch in the future.

In the U14 Girls’ final another local surfer, Misha Peyroux, came from behind and pushed Sumner surfer Amelie Wink back to 2nd. Misha performed a massive backhand reo in the dying minutes and gained a 6.5-point ride from the judges to secure the win.

Halfway through the finals the wind swung around to the Norwest and it felt like someone had turned the heater on. The action started to heat up in the water too.

The U14 Boys’ final was action-packed, with all surfers getting some big scores. Kaikōura goofy footer, Tyler Perry, was the one who got the nod from the judges with some on-rail surfing. Surfing with his arm in plaster made his first win in the Grom Series even more impressive!

Waikuku surfer Koby Cameron was looking strong in the U16 Boys’ final until around the 15-minute mark when Jai Oakley latched on to a long lefthander and smashed it all the way to the beach.

Ava Henderson put the disappointment of a second-place finish at the Nationals behind her with two solid wins in the Girls U16 and U18s. Ava was also the lucky recipient of a custom-made skateboard spot prize, courtesy of Moody Evolution Skateboards.

In the U18 Boys’ final local goofy footer, Luke Rogers, came out firing but once again Jai Oakley’s patience paid off with great wave selection and he also took out his second win of the day.

A massive day with 12 hours of surfing. Great comp and a little bit of rain during the day didn’t dampen the vibes. Big ups to the many volunteers who made the comp possible and our sponsor Exitsurf. Close to $2000 in cash was dished out to some very happy finalists. Great to see a couple of North Islanders at the comp and also a massive effort by the West Coast and Kaikōura teams making their way down to Dunedin. Many thanks to the South Coast Boardriders for hosting this event. Next stop on tour is Event 3 Colac Bay, Southland 16/17th February.

Results

U12 Girls
1st Eden Hungerford (NW)
2nd Ana Tau (NS)
3rd Lenka Cargill (BBC)
4th Ava O’Malley (NW)
5th Anika Rudolph (NW)

U12 Boys
1st Alexis Owen (SC)
2nd Benji Lowen (PST)
3rd Travis Henderson (NW)
4th Hamua Tau (NS)

U14 Girls
1st Misha Peyroux (SC)
2nd Amelie Wink (PST)
3rd Eden Hungerford (NW)
4th Ana Tau (NS)
5th Blaise Lyons (KSG)

U14 Boys
1st Tyler Perry (KSG)
2nd Jack Tyro (PST)
3rd Tom Robertson (NW)
4th Jack McKenzie (NS)

U16 Girls
1st Ava Henderson (NW)
2nd Anika Ayson (SC)
3rd Leah Wilson (NW)
4th Misha Peyroux (SC)

U16 Boys
1st Jai Oakley (NS)
2nd Koby Cameron (NS)
3rd Dara O’Malley (NW)
4th Reuben Lyons (KSG)

U18 Girls
1st Ava Henderson (NW)
2nd Eve Findlay (Kahuna)
3rd Leah Wilson (NW)
4th Anika Ayson (SC)

U18 Boys
1st Jai Oakley (NS)
2nd Luke Rogers (SC)
3rd Ruben Peyroux (SC)
4th Maddy Barclay (SC)