Kanoa Shines in Oz in Round Two of Grom Comp

  • 04.16.2021

Kanoa Igarashi in Australia

Super Young Surfers posting Massive scores on Day 2 at the Billabong Occy Grom Comp

An exciting day of surfing at the Billabong Occy Grom Comp on day 2 at Duranbah Beach with some amazing displays by relatively unknown emerging young surfers.

The international surfers are always a bit of a mystery coming into the event and 11 year old Californian Huntington Beach surfer Kanoa Igarashi quickly caught everyone’s attention today with possibly the most impressive heat ever seen in the 12 year division of this prestigious event.

Kanoa waited until mid heat to reveal his true style when he unleashed on three consecutive waves scoring 9.33, 9.77 and finally a 9.90 to take a massive round two heat win and he has put all of Australia’s top 12 year and under surfers on notice that he is the guy to beat in this division!

After his win Kanoa told us a little about his background saying ” I’ve been surfing since I was three years old and last year I placed 3rd in the USA 12 and under division.

“This is my second trip to Australia but the first time I’ve competed and I love the waves here.

Surfing against Australia’s best is really good for me because there’s so many great surfers here and I’m keen to do as well as I can in this event.”

With sponsor stickers all over the deck of his tiny surfboard Kanoa has clearly been identified as a young talent in the USA and as this division heads into the finals in the coming days there is much anticipation on the looming showdowns with exciting Australians Jack Robinson (Western Australia), Kai Hing (Qld/Sunshine Coast) and Jackson Baker (Newcastle/NSW).

Robinson, Hing and Baker all scored outstanding 9 point rides in their convincing heat wins with impressive heat tally’s on their top two scoring rides out of a possible 20 of 17.94, 16.83 and 16.50 respectively, however they were outgunned today with Igarahi‘s near perfect 19.67.

Surfing Australia’s Head Judge Glen Elliot commented on the 12 and under performances saying, ” That’s the best young surfing I’ve ever seen and as these guys meet in the semi finals they’ll be pushing each other all the way!

“With bigger waves on the way I can’t wait to see what happens and who comes out on top.”

The 16 and 14 Girls round one heats were also completed today with some great performances in the high performance 1m small waves against the Duranbah wall.

Tyler Wright (Lennox Head NSW) is an obvious favourite in the 16 girls division and with an incredible contest record which includes current Australian and World Junior Titles along with a win at the very highest level at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Beachley Classic World Tour event, you might easily think she’s unbeatable here.

But that is certainly not the case and while Wright won her opening round heat, there were higher scoring and more impressive heat winners in round one today.

Local girl Sarah Mason (Tugun/Gold Coast) was super impressive on her backhand to easily advance with fellow Gold Coast girl Eden Putland and Victorian surfer Nikki Van Dijk scored two excellent rides of an 8.57 and an 8.17 to post the highest scoring heat win of the girls today.

Sarah Mason won the 14 Girls division here last year and she’s clearly keen to give it her best to take out the 16 year division this year saying ” Tyler’s definitely going to be really hard to beat but I’m here to surf my very best and there’s quite a few girls in this division who I think can win.

It’s a great event as we all know we have to surf really well just to advance through each round so we’re all chasing excellent wave scores.”

Tomorrows action is most likely to be at Duranbah and the day will open with 16 Boys round one hitting the water and the field lining up in this division is stacked with talent from all over the world.

With bigger waves forecast all the way through to Wednesdays final’s the action is certain to be astonishing.

Surfing Queensland event hotline, 07 3030 6388, will be updated each day by 6:30am with exact event location details.

The Billabong Occy Grom Comp is made possible through the support of Billabong, Sony, Virgin Blue, VW, Surfing Queensland and Mark Occhilupo.

The events official website with heat draws, photos and news also updated daily – www.surfingqueensland.com.au

Photo Courtesy of Billabong
  • 04.16.2021