South West small fries dominate waves in Yallingup

Taj’s Small Fries annual surf contest scored some pumping reef breaks over the three-day event which finished off at the powerful Smiths Reef last Sunday. 

After holding the preliminary heats at Shallows on the first two days of the event, the finalists were greeted with a solid two-metre swell of lefts and rights. 

Locals and Margaret River surfers dominated the finals with some high performance moves going down in from of their idol Burrow. “It’s been such an epic day down here, I’m really glad the waves have turned on,” Burrow said. “The groms have been absolutely shredding and it’s been amazing to see it all going down.”

Gracetown duo Jed Gradisen and Solomon Pogue-Englert went head-to-head in an all West Australian 16 & Under Boys final. 

Surfing with great power and precision Gradisen was simply unstoppable putting on the performance of the event with a perfect 10-point ride and an impressive two-wave combined total of 18.75 (from a possible 20). 

Despite some great surfing from Pogue-Englert who finished on a combined total of 13.00 (from a possible 20), Gradisen could do no wrong, smacking lips, wetting rail, getting tubed and landing big airs.

“The waves really suited my style of surfing and it was great to get out there and try and entertain,” said an elated Gradisen. 

“It’s been a sick event and it’s always good to surf a final against a good mate like Solomon.”

Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA) was over the moon to have won the 14 & Under Girls final, using her smooth flowing style, she posted a total of 12.50 (from a possible 20) to oust Rosie Smart (Coffs Harbour, NSW), Ruby Berry (Augusta, WA) and Lilliana Bowrey (Sunshine Coast, QLD).

Maverick Wilson (Wannanup, WA) won the hotly contested 12 & Under Boys division, using his high-speed, razor-sharp rail game to score a perfect 10-point ride on his way to a combined total of 17.60 (from a possible 20). 

Wilson defeated Remy North (Yallingup, WA), Max McGillvray (Evans Head, NSW) and Creed Smart (Coffs Harbour, NSW), who surfed strongly in the 25-minute final. 

Ruby Berry, Max McGillvray and Isi Campbell were recognised for their great surfing picking up the 'Mayhem Performance Awards’, while Dylan Vernon (Dunsborough, WA) took out the Catch Surf Expression Session.

Reilly Smith (Dunsborough, WA) and Summer Sunderland (Margaret River) won places at the Surf Lifestyle Performance Camps in Dunsborough.

Forecast: Friday looks clean with ESE winds and a fun sized 1.4m swell. 

More of the same on the weekend with a small swell which will rise to 2m on Sunday and clean offshore winds. 

Hotspot: Shallows.