The 2015 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Coolridge saw an action packed finals day as champions were crowned across all event divisions.
Cody Robinson (Jan Juc, Vic) claimed a last minute victory in the World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) division performing one of the biggest turns seen all event. Requiring a 7.53 wave score (out of a possible ten points) to overtake fellow finalist Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW), the Victorian put it all on the line, nailing a critical layback snap, which netted him a 7.57 wave score and the overall Skullcandy Oz Grom Open Pro Junior title.
"I'm over the moon," said Robinson. "When I managed to scratch into that wave I just knew I had to surf my heart out on it. When I got to the beach I just claimed it so hard. I really can't believe it. I've been coming to Lennox Head to compete in this event for a while and this is the best I've done. I love this place so much more now."
Jackson Baker (Merewether, NSW) managed to hold down a solid lead in the WSL JQS division until the final seconds of the battle with Cody Robinson, but was marginally pipped at the post when he let Robinson catch an inside righthander under priority. Despite holding an 8.83 wave score in his total, Baker was edged into second position by 0.04 points.
"I'm not too happy, but congrats to Cody, he surfed really well," said Baker. "I guess I'm a little disappointed that I led the whole way and I let him get that wave under my priority. I guess, in my opinion, I didn't think it was going to be a seven-point wave. It's still a good result overall, but I really would have liked to go one step further."
Jared Hickel (Cronulla, NSW) put up a great battle with Baker in the semi-finals of the WSL JQS division, but failed to get the wave score required when he fell on a critical backside snap. Hickel showed moments of brilliance in the semi-final, posting a 14.63 heat total, but fell short of Baker by 0.53 points.
"I'm happy with this result," said Hickel. "I thought I could get the score on my final wave, but I just slipped really. I can't make excuses. I knew I had to stay busy because I knew he'd keep catching waves, but unfortunately I just came up short."
Local surfer Zac Wightman (Lennox Head, NSW) kept locals on their feet over the course of the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open WSL JQS division, but unfortunately came unstuck in the semi-finals at the hands of Cody Robinson. In the dying minutes of their semi-final bout, Wightman attempted a critical air-reverse, but was unable to successfully ride out of the manoeuvre.
"This is such a good result, so I'm pretty happy overall," said Wightman. "I second guessed Cody's heat tactics a bit and I ended up falling short. I thought I could break my ankles on that last air and then when I landed I just slipped."
The six-day event will saw over 300 competitors duke it out in under-12, under-14 and under-16 divisions as well as a prestigious World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event.
All event divisions, results, images were broadcast live on skullcandyozgromopen.com.au.
The Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Coolridge is proudly supported by Skullcandy, Coolridge, Ballina Shire Council, Le-Ba Boardriders, Surfing NSW and World Surf League.