Quiksilver King of the Groms Cornwall
Fistral Beach Newquay Cornwall
July 4-5, 2008
July 7, 2008: – – St Merryn’s Toby Donachie fought one of the hardest contest battles of his career this weekend to ensure that he retained his title as the Quiksilver King of the Groms and earned himself a place in the European final in Capbreton at the beginning of August and potentially the world final in Hossegor during the Quiksilver Pro France in September.
He’ll be joined in Europe by Newquay’s Josh Piper who came second in the Under 16s category and Bournemouth’s Miles Lee Hargreaves who was jubilant in the Under 14s category. Winners of the Irish and Jersey legs, Aaron Reid and Matt Chapman, will be joining the Newquay ‘Kings’.
With some of the biggest storms hitting the British coast and a significant low pressure front, the two day contest was a challenging affair with intervals of searing rain, wind and then sunshine. Contest organizers The British Surfing Association (BSA) moved the site from North to South Fistral on day one and undeterred youngsters from across the country paddled into the ever changing conditions to pit their wills and skills in the prestigious international tour.
Jack Johnson’s nephew Kona joined the heats in the Under 16s and tested his Hawaii honed skills against strong competitive performances from local groms.
The Under 16s final saw some stunning performances and evidence of the ongoing rivalry between Toby Donachie and Josh Piper. Both have the same coach and train together and in the final, it looked like Josh was going to seize this title. However, in the last minute of the heat, Toby scored a strong wave that ensured that his overall score beat Josh’s and regained him the Quiksilver King of the Groms crown. George Picking and Leon Mansfield took third and fourth places respectively.
The Under 14s saw Luke Millington, Luke Dillon, Harry Timson and Miles Lee Hargreaves fighting it out however it was Bournemouth’s Hargreaves who topped the scores to take the title and win himself the place in the European final.
Given that there’s an ever growing pool of female talent in Britain, the BSA took the opportunity to run a girls section and hot new talent Sophie Sainsbury, Poppy Barlow, Lucy Campbell and Gabi Rowe fought hard for the honor of becoming the British ‘Queen’ with Gabi Rowe gaining the first position and the title.
The Quiksilver King of the Groms is where the stars of the future are born. Originally known as the Pro Junior (won by Miky Picon in his early days) when it was first created some 17 years ago, the competition changed names and became the Grommets Trophy (won by Jérémy Florès), before changing again in 2006, since when it has been called the Quiksilver King of the Groms.
The overall male winner receives an apprentice package that most surfers can only ever dream of: a wildcard enabling him, along with his chaperone, to compete in the trials for two events on the Men’s World Championship Tour: the Quiksilver Pro France 2008 and the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2009 (Australia).
Throughout the British leg, associate sponsor Suzuki provided support and assistance and a special Quiksilver T-shirt sale raised £250 for the ‘Joe Way’ campaign to raise money for the Cornish Precious Lives Children’s Hospice appeal.
Contest director Karen Walton of the British Surfing Association said, “There’s more and more British youngsters keen to get involved and compete at a national and international level and this weekend’s contest really showed this. It was a challenging competition to run given the ever changing conditions but the groms dug in deep and went out there no matter what the elements were throwing at them!”
Spencer Hargraves of Quiksilver UK said, “The weather and conditions were tough this weekend but the standard of surfing from the groms was consistently high over the course of the wholle two days. We have some really strong talent here in Britain and there’s every chance that either Toby, Josh or Miles could go all the way. We wish them all the very best of luck for their heats in France later this year and I just want to say a big thanks to the BSA and Suzuki for all their support this weekend.”
1. Gabi Rowe
2. Lucy Campbell
3. Poppy Barlow
4. Sophie Sainsbury
1. Miles Lee Hargreaves
2. Harry Timson
3. Luke Dillon
4. Luke Millington
1. Toby Donachie
2. Josh Piper
3. George Picking
4. Leon Mansfield