The 17th edition of Taj’s Small Fries presented by Board.Store, kicked off this morning at the spiritual home of WA’s most prestigious junior surfing tournament, with Shallows providing consistent summer surf for the record-field of groms who converged on Yallingup to compete.

By far the most frequented location over the event’s rich history, Shallows transformed into a ‘holiday fun park,’ as competitors made the most of clean early morning conditions on offer, ripping into 1-3 feet surf.

Taj’s Small Fries has established itself as one of the must attend events in the country, becoming a rite of passage for many of the Australia’s best and most promising young surfers since it first ran back in 2006. Boasting an impressive honour roll of previous winners, including the likes of current Championship Tour surfer Jack Robinson, (Margaret River), Jacob Willcox (Margaret River), Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown) and Felicity Palmateer (WA) to name just a few.

Non-elimination round one heats set the tone for an exciting day of surfing, as competitors tore into some great conditions before the winds swung onshore and some light drizzly rain rolled through.

The rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 12 & Under Boys and Girls, who got things underway with some amazing surfing on display from the opening heat of event.

Cruz Uros (Dunsborough), Rhys Bulloch (Secret Harbour), Ace Flynn (Cowaramup), Jahli Clarke (Cowaramup), Cruz Macdonald (Geraldton) and Cam Spencer (Dunsborough) highlighted the 12 & Under Boys.

While, Grace Cook (Cowaramup), Leila Fraser (Margaret River), Harleia Loose (Secret Harbour) and Necco Higgins (Mandurah) were the best of the 12 & Under Girls surfers on day one.

Paige Hayward (Margaret River) stole the show, scoring a perfect 10-point ride in front of event host and WA’s most successful male surfer, Taj Burrow.

Flowing with great style, Hayward tagged a long running left multiple times to the delight of the strong on beach crowd who exploded in excitement.

“I’ve never scored a 10 before,” said Hayward. “This is my first Small Fries event and I think I’ll remember today forever, the waves were so nice out there.”

Surfers continued to impress in the tricky afternoon conditions with the 14 & Under Boys lightning up the afternoon waves. Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough) scored a near-perfect 9.23 (from a possible 10), with Finn Lange (Margaret River), Remy North (Yallingup), Sid Englert (Gracetown) and Kade Martin (Dunsborough) also looking sharp.

“Stoked to get a few waves under the belt,” said Wilson. “Getting into the excellent range is always a nice feeling and I’m glad the waves came to the party.”

Positive conditions are forecast to continue tomorrow with the swell and winds both looking perfect for another day at Shallows. Competition will continue tomorrow form 7:15am sharp.

As well as three days of red-hot surfing action, there will be no shortage of fun and interactive opportunities for competitors and families to enjoy throughout the event, including on-beach coaching, Catch Surf demo tents, and of course the Board.Store Pong Off which is happening tonight at 5pm.

Surfing WA acknowledges and pays respect to Yuat Noongar woman Tiana Bolton and Busselton Senior High School for their assistance and consolation on the 2022 Taj’s Small Fries event artwork.

The health and safety of everyone involved in Taj’s Small Fries has and will remain a priority when planning and executing the event. Event organisers have developed an extensive COVID-Safe event delivery plan to ensure the safety of all spectators, participants and workers on site. COVID restrictions may vary in the short to medium term, so we will continue to monitor the situation and adapt our plan if and when required. As always Surfing WA will deliver this event in line with WA Government regulations.

Live heat scores and results will be streamed from Taj’s Small Fries via www.surfingwalive.com.au and for more information be sure to follow all the action via www.surfingwa.com.au

Surfing WA reminds all our traveling competitors and families of the dangers of sending a text message or using a mobile phone while behind the wheel – Remember #NoTxtNoWrecks.

Taj’s Small Fries Honour Roll (16 & Under Boys & Girls Champions Only)

Jake Hagan (WA)
Zali Hewson (WA)

Macklin Flynn (WA)
Willow Hardy (WA)

Jed Gradisen (WA)
Coral Durant (WA)

Finn Cox (WA)
Emma Cattlin (WA)

Finn Cox (WA)
Emma Cattlin (WA)

Josh Cattlin (WA)
April McPherson (WA)

Kael Walsh (WA)
Mia McCarthy (WA)

Reef Heazlewood (QLD)
Emi Campbell (WA)

Kai Hing (QLD)
Billie Melinz (NSW)

Jack Robinson (WA)
Eliza Greene (WA)

Jack Robinson (WA)
Zoe Clarke (VIC)

Jack Robinson (WA)
Mikaela Greene (WA)

Soli Bailey (NSW)
India Payne (VIC)

Regan Fredricks (NSW)
Laura Macaulay (WA)

Dean Bowen (NSW)
Felicity Palmateer (WA)

Shaun Howe (WA)
Felicity Palmateer (WA)

About Taj’s Small Fries Yallingup:
Taj’s Small Fries, is WA’s biggest and best junior surfing event named after Yallingup resident and international surfing star Taj Burrow. The event is celebrating its 17th consecutive year in 2022 after first running in 2006. Taj’s Small Fries continually attracts some of the best junior surfing talent from across Australia to Yallingup in the South-West of Western Australia.



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