THE 19th TAJ’S SMALL FRIES GETS UNDERWAY IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS SOUTH OF YALLINGUP

Today marked the commencement of Western Australia’s biggest, best and most prestigious junior surfing event, with the 19th instalment of Taj’s Small Fries kicking off at Honeycombs Beach south of Yallingup.

Challenging conditions brought out the best from the youngest of the grommets, with the Under-12 and Under-14 Boys and Girls divisions shinning brightly through the overcast and drizzly conditions, ripping apart the 2-3 feet waves on offer.

Since its inception in 2006, Taj’s Small Fries has evolved into a true junior surfing spectacle, growing each and every year. Now in its 19th edition, the event sets the stage for 2024 as the first marquee junior event of the year, with 10,000 points up for grabs on Surfing Australia’s National Junior Rankings.

 The Under-12 Boys division ignited the day, with stellar performances from local talents Darcy Gee (Dunsborough, WA), Luke Harris (Swanbourne, WA), Nate Spooner (Yallingup, WA) and Ollie Holmes (Dunsborough, WA), who dominated their heats with impressive surfing prowess.

“It was pretty tough out there, but it was still good fun,” said Ollie Holmes. “This is just my second Small Fries event I tried to fit in as many turns is as I could on my waves and it worked out well.”
In the Under-12 Girls, the spotlight shone on Estella Carbonelli (Jan Juc, VIC), Ily Fraser (Margaret River), Summer Barkhuizen (Eglinton, WA) and Luna Thomas (Margaret River, WA), as they exhibited powerful and committed surfing beyond their years, capturing the attention of the judges and applause of the spectators.

 “The waves have more punch than Jan Juc and I just tried my best,” said Estella Carbonelli. “This my first time competing in WA and I love it, the waves, the weather and all the little towns, it’s a special place.”

 Miller-May Berg (Sunshine Coast, QLD), Lily Naylor (Cowaramup, WA), Evie Wilson (Noosa, QLD) and Lulu Wilson (Dunsborugh, WA) also added a dash of excitement, as they wasted no time showcasing their skills, and making an impactful presence in the The Under-14 Girls division.

 “This is my second time to WA, but I’ve never surfed it this big before,” expressed Berg. “It’s pretty hard out there, there’s a lot of water moving around and the waves were breaking in so many different spots, but I still had fun surfing with the girls.”

 The Under-14 Boys delivered many awe-inspiring moments, with Luca Martin (Coolangatta, QLD), Cruz Air (Thirroul, NSW), Jasper Glossop (Bali, IND), Zen Hammond (Gracetown, WA), Ethan Anderson (Cowaramup), Jason Sands (Palm Beach, QLD), Kai Coleman (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and Cruz Macdonald (Geraldton, WA) all displaying polished surfing even as an afternoon sea breeze added an extra challenge.

Evie Wilson (Noosa, QLD) claimed the Nixon Play of the Day, posting the highest two wave combined total of day one with a 14.50 (from a possible 20), which included a 7.75 and a 6.75.

 Anticipation is sky-high for day two, with a little bump in the swell forecast. Stay tuned for more thrills, spills, and unforgettable waves at Taj’s Small Fries, where the next generation of surf stars will leave an indelible mark on the shores of Yallingup. Competition will look to commence at 7am tomorrow.

 You can keep up to date with all the action by following Surfing WA’s social media platforms or by checking out www.surfingwa.com.au and finals day will be webcast via www.streamer.com.au

 And remember, as you ride the waves of excitement, ditch the distractions on the road – #NoTxtNoWrecks.

 About Taj’s Small Fries Yallingup:
Taj’s Small Fries, WA’s biggest, best, and most prestigious junior surfing event, celebrating it’s 19th year in 2024. Named after surfing legend Taj Burrow, the event has been a key stepping stone on Surfing WA’s development pathway since first running in 2006. Each year Yallingup attracts some of the best junior surfing talent from across Australasia for an annual celebration of surf culture and competition.

 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 victories in the past as youngsters.

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