AUSTRALIA, SPAIN AND SOUTH AFRICA WIN WORLD TITLES AT QUIKSILVER GROMMET
Australian surfers won both the Under 19 Girls and the Under 16 Boys World Titles in perfect surf at the Quiksilver Grommet today.
James Wood (Lennox Head, NSW) is the new Under 16 Quiksilver World Grommet Champion and Rebecca Woods (Copacabana, NSW) is the Under 19 Roxy World Grommet Champion after their victories in excellent 1 – 1.2 metre (3-4 foot) surf at North Narrabeen Beach.
Gony Zubizarreta won Spain’s first surfing world title, by taking out the U18 division of the Quksilver Grommet. Spain’s Gony Zubizarreta is his country’s first world surfing champion after taking out the Under 18 Boys Quiksilver World Grommet Title.
In the hotly contested teams event, South Africa narrowly defeated Australia, 51.20 points – 49.70 points, with New Zealand third (31.90), Japan fourth (29.70) and Tahiti fifth (20.70).
Rebecca Woods scored the only perfect 10 of the competition in winning her final against fellow Australians Sheridan Shields (Bilinga, Qld), Jessi Miley – Dyer (Coogee, NSW) and Amanda Clegg (Burleigh, Qld). Woods scored an impressive 22.5 points out of a possible 30. “It is just unbelievable that I’ve won,” Woods said. “I’ve seen my idols do it; I’ve seen so many girls do it and I wanted it so much and it’s here and I’m just so happy – just so elated it’s unbelievable. “I had a shocker early in the final because I had so many nerves, I just didn’t have any waves, and they were scoring 6s and 7s. Then a bomb came and I got a good score, a perfect 10. I knew that if I could just put it together with my last couple of waves it would be OK.”
Woods, 17, said this was her last year in the Quiksilver Grommet as she’ll be too old next year. “If I didn’t win it this year, then that would be it. It’s the biggest victory of my life so far and hopefully I can keep building on it. It means so much to me.”
James Wood, who finished with 22.5 points, had to fight off a determined challenge from runner-up Jay Davies (Yallingup, WA) on 17.5, Wade Goodall (Sunshine Coast) who was third on a countback on 17.5, and the lone South African finalist Paul Love on 16.75.
Wood, 16, ran up the beach with the Australian flag when he realized he’d held on to win.”This title means everything to me. You dream stuff like this,” Wood said. “These aren’t just ordinary things that you can do everyday. I’m so stoked, the happiest person in the world. This is the biggest win I’ve ever had; nothing can describe the feeling.” Gony Zubizarreta, 17, from Zarautz, scored 21.0 points to defeat follow Spaniard Hodey Collazo (16.5), with Australian Tevita Gukilau (Palmyra, WA) third on 15.5 and South African Gerard Du Plesis fourth on 13.75.
Zubizarreta was beaming: “I can’t believe it. I never thought I could win this competition. There were really good waves today, perfect and glassy, and I got some good ones and surfed well. There’s never been a world surfing champion from Spain, only me, incredible.
“And my friend Hodey got second, which is incredible, because there’s been the Australians and South Africans here, all really good surfers.”
Zubizarreta plans to return to the Quiksilver Grommet event next year to defend his International Surfing Assocation (ISA) title. The Quiksilver Grommet teams event came down to the wire, with South Africa narrowly holding on to win. Their main surfer, Ricky Basnett, said the team felt some pressure as they had won the ISA teams title at the Quiksilver World Surfing Games in Durban, South Africa last month.
“But that title also gave us confidence,” he said. “It’s great to win and we’ll be back next year to defend the title.”
Two-time world champion Tom Carroll presented the trophies after earlier surfing in an Expression Session with former professionals Matt Hoy and John Shimooka.