Published on 07/01/2022

Excitement is building as Western Australia’s biggest, best and most prestigious junior surfing tournament prepares for a start, with Taj’s Small Fries set to celebrate a 17th year of grommet stoke on the shores of Yallingup next week.

Since 2006, Taj’s Small Fries has become a rite of passage for many of the Australia’s best young surfers, launching the careers of numerous surfing stars since its inception.

Jack Robinson (Margaret River, WA), Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown, WA), Jacob Willcox (Margaret River, WA), Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW), Kael Walsh (Yallingup, WA), Ryan Callinan (Newcastle, NSW), Mia McCarthy (Margaret River, WA), Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD), Reef Heazlewood (Caloundra, QLD), Felicity Palmateer (Margaret River, WA) and Zahli Kelly (Tweed Coast, NSW), are just a few of the surfers to have captured Small Fries wins in the past as youngsters.

The tradition of unearthing amazing talent will most certainly continue in 2022, with a record number of frothing ‘small fries’ converging on Taj Burrow’s hometown of Yallingup for three days of fun and festivities.

After an amazing international career spanning almost two decades, event host and WA’s most successful male surfer, Taj Burrow is pumped to see another generation of groms tackling the same waves and stretch of stunning coastline he grew up surfing.

“I’m very excited about our 17th year of Small Fries,” said Burrow. “The kids are the future and I’m so stoked to be able to encourage them to be happy, healthy and to be out amongst nature.”

Launching Surfing WA’s extensive competition schedule for 2022, Taj’s Small Fries will see over 130 boys and girls from right across Western Australia compete in eight separate divisions including; 16 & Under, 14 & Under, 12 & Under and everyone’s favourite, the 10 & Under Micro Groms.

Taj’s Small Fries is proudly supported by the City of Busselton, which is the events capital of Western Australia.

“The City of Busselton is proud to host WA’s biggest and best junior surfing event here in beautiful Yallingup. Now in its 17th year, Taj’s Small Fries is a real success story,” said City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley. “The event is great for the sport of surfing and wonderful for the town of Yallingup. It also provides local surfers with the opportunity to compete at a high level on their home breaks.”

As well as three days of red-hot surfing action amongst Yallingup’s world class waves, there will be no shortage of fun and interactive opportunities for competitors and families to enjoy throughout the event.

Caves House will play host to the opening ceremony and competitor registration on Thursday afternoon, before surfing gets underway on Friday and continues through to finals on Sunday. Caves House will also host the event presentations on Sunday afternoon.

Presenting partner Board.Store will be hosting The Small Fries Ping Pong Challenge on Friday afternoon where competitors can play table tennis against each other and Taj for the chance to win a swag of amazing prizes and giveaways.

Surfing WA has partnered with former Perth Wildcat Greg Hire and his organisation, A Stitch in Time (ASIT), which aims to provide programs for youth in the Perth metropolitan area and regional communities throughout WA. ASIT aims to teach their audience the importance of mental health and wellbeing through mentoring & building resilience.

There will also be on-beach coaching and video analysis provided by two of Surfing WA’s high performance coaches to help first time and established surfers perform at their best throughout the event.

“We’ve got another record field of competitors set to participate in this truly iconic event,” said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. “For many this could be their first surfing event, while for others it could be their last attempt at claiming a Small Fries Title. Surfing WA is thrilled to be kicking off our 2022 calendar in the beautiful and iconic Yallingup region.”

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 – Ditch the distraction and 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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