Tahitian born surfer Tamaroa McComb (Coolangatta, Gold Coast) could not have asked for a more perfect last day in Australia – winning the U16 Boys Final of the Billabong Parko Grom Stomp, before flying back to Tahiti this evening.
A standout from start to finish McComb, who hasn’t been home for six months, unleashed his fiery backhand attack at Ann Street, Caloundra this morning, defeating Tim McDonald (North Stradbroke) with a 16.83 heat total (out of 20.00) to McDonald’s 15.96.
“I am so happy to win ‘Parko’s’ (Joel Parkinson) contest,” McComb gleamed. “He (Parkinson) is one of my favorite surfers, so to win his event means a lot to me.”
McComb sealed victory off the first two waves of the 20-minute Final, posting a 7.83 before driving home with a near perfect 9.00 (both out of a possible ten) ride but a late surge from McDonald, who posted a sensational 9.53 meant McComb was not in the clear until the siren sounded for the end of the heat.
“Tim got a bomb and only needed a seven-point score to catch me,” admitted McComb. “Luckily he couldn’t find another score which made my victory even sweeter.”
McDonald’s runner-up finish marked his best result of the year, offering a small amount of consolation for his narrow defeat.
“I’m pretty stoked,” McDonald said. “Tamaroa surfed so well and I just needed another wave to beat him but I’m still super happy with my 9-point ride.”
Gold Coast surfers Jack Freestone (Coolangatta) finished in third, while Thomas Woods (Coolangatta) took home fourth.
In the U14 boys division it was Matt Banting (Port McQuarie) who took his second straight victory in the Billabong Grom Series (Banting won the Billabong Taj’s Small Fries in Western Australia at the start of the year), defeating Tyla Hutchison (Warriewood, Sydney) who finished in second after Creed McTaggart (Margaret River, WA) was penalized for an interference call.
Despite posting the highest individual wave score of the heat an 8.93 (out of 10.00), McTaggart was forced to learn a painful lesson being relegated to third place; while Banting secured victory off a 7.17 and an 8.50 for his signature backhand snaps.
“It was a pretty hard Final and I was happy when Creed got that interference call, it made my job a lot easier,” Banting said. “He probably would have got me if he hadn’t got the interference so I was pretty lucky.”
Tommy Boucout finished in fourth.
In the U16 girls division, Phillipa Anderson (Merewether, NSW) snatched an extremely close victory over Felicity Palmateer ( Perth , WA ); Anderson taking the lead with her pair of seven-point rides while Palmateer struggled to find a back up to her impressive 8.50 ride.
New Zealand surfer Sarah Mason (Taranaki) had the crowd in cheers in the Girls U14 division, executing manoeuvres well beyond her years to defeat Eden Putland (Currumbin), Ellie Jean Coffey (Crescent Head, NSW) and Amaia Doyle.
The U12 boys division saw Joshua Szele (Warrilla, NSW) blow the roof off his competition scoring three excellent eight-point rides off waves triple his size to defeat Jack Germain, Jackson Baker and Harry Bryant.
ASP World No. 6 Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta, Gold Coast) presented the finalists with their prizes and was more than impressed with the level of surfing at his inaugural event.
“I love to watch the younger kids coming up and there is just so much talent in Australian junior surfing right now,” Parkinson said. “I had so much fun surfing along the Sunshine Coast when I was a kid so it’s great to be able to provide a platform for these young surfers on my old stomping ground.”
The Billabong Parko Grom Stomp is the second stop of the three part grom series which culminates with the Occy Grom Comp in July.
U16 Boys Final
Tamaroa McComb 16.83
Tim McDonald 15.96
Jack Freestone 13.00
Thomas Woods 12.64
U14 Boys Final
Matt Banting 15.67
Tyla Hutchinson 13.10
Creed McTaggart 11.93
Tommy Boucout 5.33
U12 Boys Final
Joshua Szele 16.50
Jack Germain 10.90
Jackson Baker 9.60
Harry Bryant 7.27
U16 Girls Final
Phillipa Anderson 14.44
Felicity Palmateer 14.27
Naomi Stevic 12.00
Georgia Fish 9.47
U14 Girls Final
Sarah Mason 14.37
Eden Putland 12.43
Ellie Jean Coffey 12.33
Amaia Doyle 5.56