The fifth day of the 2022 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open pres. by Vissla saw a giant day of surfing as competitors had to deal with tricky winds and an unpredictable six-to-eight foot swell.
Conditions appeared big, but clean throughout the morning, however, a shifting southerly wind meant the waves began to deteriorate by early afternoon.
Saxon Reber (Manly, NSW) appeared to revel in the stormy and wild afternoon heats as he proceeded to nail a series of eclectic backside snaps. Unfazed by the lumpy chop, Reber was able to punch his board into many critical sections which he successfully managed with style and gusto. Reber was able to muster up a decent 12.37 two-wave heat total to get the win in his quarterfinal.
“That turned into a bit of a washing machine out there,” said Reber after his quarterfinal. “I kept my strategy pretty simple, I just wanted to get two turns on two waves and that was it. I couldn’t really line up with anything on the shore and it was a bit difficult to get my bearings so I just stripped back my gameplan and focussed on what I could achieve. Thankfully it worked. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s semis.”
Sean Gunning (Spain) followed a similar trajectory to his exciting round one performance yesterday as he found a rare left in his round two heat which allowed him to execute one of the most critical turns seen all event. Gunning then backed up his round two victory with a runner-up finish in his quarterfinal and cemented a position in the semis.
Marlon Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld) continued his tear through the Pro Junior division smashing out victories in his round two and quarterfinal heats. The latter victory resulted in Harrison posting a gigantic 17.50 two-wave total, the highest total of the event thus far. Harrison will meet Gunning, Taj Stokes (Sunshine Coast, Qld) and Kobi Clements (Long Reef, NSW) in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Taj and Jahly Stokes (Sunshine Coast, Qld) fuelled each other to respective men’s and women’s semi-final placings in the Pro Junior division. The brother and sister duo both employed a similar approach in their quarterfinals, managing some stylish snaps and carves on clean mid-sized waves. Both surfers will surf in their semis tomorrow.
“The sweep seemed really strong in my heat, so I just wanted to do my best to get a wave as quickly as I could while I was further down the beach,” said Jahly Stokes. “Taj warned me about the sweep before my heat so I wanted to try to listen to him as he managed to get into the semis of the boys. Hopefully, I can get off to a quick start in my semi tomorrow and keep the ball rolling.”
Local young dynamos Juniper Harper (Lennox Head, NSW) and Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head, NSW) kept the dream alive for the local ladies, with Juniper progressing through to the WSL Pro Junior semi-finals and Ocea moving into the Under-16 Girls semi-finals. Both surfers showed a ton of local nous in their respective heats to cement themselves a spot into the finals day.
All WSL Pro Junior results can be seen here.
All age division results can be seen here.
The six-day event will run from 7 July –12 July and will comprise of a World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event, as well as an elite competition for promising grommets in the Under 14, 16 and 18 divisions.
It is anticipated that the event will get underway by 7.00am each day.
Daily press packages will be sent out over the course of the event.
For onsite media contact Ethan Smith on 0432 149 887.
The 2022 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla is proudly supported by Skullcandy, Vissla, Ballina Shire Council, Le-Ba Boardriders, WSL and Surfing NSW.