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This Is Northern New South Wales

Skullcandy Oz Grom Open

As visitors drove into town they couldn’t help but see a big scaffolding setup decked out with sponsor’s logos that dominated the beachfront at Lennox Head beach over the weekend.  It was donated by local businesses and tradies who volunteered to help Lennox-Ballina Boardriders get the structure ready for the inaugural 2012 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open.

Five days of competition kicked off on the Friday with 160 surfers from all over Australia and several international competitors.  The temporary construction was dubbed Skull Towers and came in handy when competition started with wet grey weather on the first day complete with the coldest weather of the year.  By Sunday the cold departed and hoards of grommets soaked up the warm and sunny conditions along with school holiday freedom.  Even though the onshore wind howled on Tuesday for the finals, the young surfing talent made it look good and put on an awesome display.

The world of surfing has changed dramatically and great surfers now come from everywhere, including some quite unexpected places.  The winner of the blue ribbon division, the 16 Boys, was Leo Fioravanti from Italy.  Leo took the win from local Lennox Head surfer Mikey Wright in the man on man final.  Wright started strong and was leading up until the final five minutes when Fioravanti scored a 9.25 and jumped into the lead.  In a fine example of sportsmanship Wright helped to chair his good friend Leo up the beach and congratulated him on his victory.

Ethan Ewing from North Stradbroke Island won the 14 Boys with Lennox local Zac Wightman getting fourth in the final.  Kehu Butler from New Zealand won the 12 Boys with local Byron Bay phenom Kyuss King finishing third. Kehu’s dad busted out a spirited Haka on the sand to celebrate a win for the Kiwis.  Isabella Nichols from Coolum Beach won the 16 Girls with Tahitian surfer Karelle Poppke in third.


Photo’s Max Perrot & Dave (Gravy) Keam