Thursday March 20th (North Stradbroke Island, Qld): SURFING'S Bede Durbidge, is giving back to the Island Community that has supported him over his career by staging his second annual 'Bede's Fox Grom Shootout' at North Stradbroke Island this weekend.
With another big swell predicted to hit the Queensland coastline in time for the event, over 100 local, state and interstate grommets are frothing on the forecast and a classic weekend within the close-knit surfing community.
Durbidge, who is contesting his tenth consecutive year as an elite world tour surfer is looking forward to watching the next generation shred the point breaks where he cut his own competitive teeth. "The waves are going to be really good," said Durbidge. "We have some world class point breaks and we have some big east swell coming, so the kids are going to get some of the best waves they have ever surfed a comp in."
Surfing's established names will be well represented with Jagger Bartholomew – son of 1978 world champion Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew – and Jay Occhilupo – son of 1999 World Champion Mark Occhilupo – expected to be amongst the top performers. "We have some great kids in it," said Durbidge.
"Jagger is the current QLD champion so he is probably the no.1 seed for the U/14's but I'm excited to watch all the kids surf and take the right hand point apart," added Durbidge. Twelve year-old Bartholomew is no stranger to the competitive arena having enjoyed a meteoric roll over the past year, clinching the U/14's QLD State Title and the U/16's division of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club. "Yeah it should be really fun," said Bartholomew.
"The waves are going to be pumping. They are saying a 2 metre swell with southerly winds so it should be really good," he added. "It's just so cool that Bede is doing this, he is on the world tour and one of my favourite surfers if not the best," said Bartholomew.
Durbidge is also excited to offer talented locals such as Jamahl Clough and Piper Blewitt a chance to compete against their surfing counterparts at their local breaks. "The whole community is right behind it," said Durbidge. "The Point Lookout Boardriders, Fox and myself help put it on. It's just a real family affair and a lot of fun and a big weekend."
The two-day event comprises of seven divisions of U/8 Boys (Parent Assist), U/10 Girls (Parent Assist), U/12 Boys, U/14 Boys, Under 14 Girls, U/16 Girls and U/16 Boys. If required the youngest divisions will be relocated to a more protected break on the day. "We have got the U/8 boys and U/10 girls and that’s parent assist," said Durbidge. "Parents go down and push them in, it's so cool to watch. They all win a medal and get a prize pack so they all go home just stoked and wear their hats and medals for about a year," joked the father of one.
Bede's Fox Grom Shoot Out is designed so all surfers entered will get to surf twice, allowing the Groms a second chance. The two-day event will be staged over the weekend of March 22nd to 23rd, with competitors meeting at Point Lookout at 7am Saturday morning.
Over $5000 in total prizes to be won. In addition, all competitors will receive a competition bag including a T-shirt and heaps of goodies.
Bede’s Fox Grom Shoot Out is presented & supported by Fox, Rockstar, Mt Woodgee, Fiik Skateboards, Oam, House of Marley, Stradbroke Ferries and Surfing Queensland. Bede’s Fox Grom Shoot Out is sanctioned by Point Lookout Boardriders Club, North Stradbroke Queensland.