MAROUBRA | EORA, NSW / AUS (Sunday 24 July 2022) – Maroubra beach hosted the 2022 Havaianas NSW Grommet Titles this weekend. Conditions were testing for the 150 grommet surfers (U12 and 14 division) but today the wind turned off-shore, cleaning up the waves and creating a perfect day for the finals of the Under 12’s.
Despite the challenging conditions the grommets pulled out all their skills to tackle the surf.
The two new NSW Champions, Locana Cullen (Avalon Beach) and Talia Tebb (Avoca Beach) were consistently exceptional from day one. The pair excited the judges with their wave choice and ability to perform excellent manoeuvres heat after heat.
Talia Tebb has had an amazing year in competition. The 11-year-old Central Coast surfer won the Billabong Occy Grom Comp and was stoked to continue her Under 12’s dominance today. She first competed in the Under 12 Grom Titles as an eight-year-old and showed remarkable talent in making the semi finals, today was the day she claimed her first State Title.
“It feels amazing to win the State Titles today. It was a tough couple of days but I just went out there and knew I needed to attack the wave, reset and get back out and do it again,” she said after her win and finishing with a 12.5 total.
“It was tough through the shore break paddling out, it was about timing but I did it and was so happy to get to the final. I was nervous at the start of the final, I was seven minutes in before I got my first wave,” she said. “As soon as I got the first wave on the board I was released but knew it wasn’t over till the final buzzer.”
The Under 12 Boys Champion Locana Cullen was inspirational from the get-go. The Northern Beaches Regional Titles winner has also had a stellar year and to wrap it up with a State Title win is fitting for the 11-year-old surf sensation.
Cullen’s heats were performed with maturity and precision from wave selection to performing perfect critical manoeuvres on almost every wave he took off on. Cullen took out the highest wave of the day each day with the judges awarding him near-perfect 9 point waves.
Despite his dominance, Maroubra’s Jaggar Phillips didn’t let him have the final easily. Cullen started the final strong with an opening 7.33 that had the beach cheering. Phillips answered with a wave of equal score. With the pressure now on, Cullen took no time to come back with a 6.33 to which Phillips couldn’t match but it was a nail-biting 20 minutes but an exciting final to watch.
Cullen has won the both Billabong Oz Grom Cup and Occy Grom Comp and came into the NSW Titles with the number one ranking. This is his first State Title.
“I’m so happy to win my first State Title here at Maroubra, it’s the Aboriginal word meaning ‘like thunder’, I love that,” said Cullen after his win. “It’s been a big couple of days and we’ve all had to work really hard to make heats but to have these cleaner condition today has been epic.”
Honourable mentions to the Coffs Harbour Boardriders who are seeing amazing results from their junior development with two surfers in the Under 12 final today. Well done @luca.j.martin and @max.j.crowley 🤙
The 2022 Havaianas NSW Grommet Titles will finish tomorrow with the Under 14’s.
Due to the demand for junior surfing in NSW, the State Titles are split into two events; the Junior Titles for Under 18’s and Under 16’s (14th-19th July) and the Grommet Titles for Under 14’s and Under 12’s, held at Maroubra 22th-25th July.
The NSW Grommet Surfing Titles is a junior sport pathway event. Entries and seeding of the event is drawn from the NSW Regional Titles held within the 11 regional areas as well as the rankings from the Occy Grom Comp and Billabong Oz Grom Cup earlier in the year.
The winners of the Under 14 NSW Grommet Titles will be seeded into the Australian Junior Titles at Stradbroke Island, Queensland in November.
The 2022 Havaianas NSW Grommet Surfing Titles is supported by Surfing NSW, Storage King, Randwick City Council, Mad Mex and Southend Hotel.
Thanks to @Mayan_Images for the photos.