Young surfers (groms) from all around Ireland travelled to Strandhill at the weekend for the Irish leg of the Quiksilver King of the Groms. Although there had been no waves for several weeks Strandhill produced just enough surf on Saturday morning to kick off the competition. The Quiksilver King of the Groms is a worldwide series to encourage young surfers that culminates annually in a world final in France bringing together the hottest young surfers from all over the World.
In 1-2ft onshore surf the event got going with the U16 Boys. Local surfer, Aaron Reid and Lahinch surfer, Damien Conway were the standouts from the 1st round. Both surfers continued their good form to progress to the final. Ballyshannon surfers Brian Patton and Eoghan Shanley were not so lucky in the 1st round as both were eliminated by Enniscone surfers, Barry Tuffy and Dominic Barrett. However the Ballyshannon boy got a second opportunity to progress in the repecharge round and from here they made no mistakes to progress all the way to the final to meet up with Reid and Conway. Local knowledge was certainly a factor in the final. Reid selected a spot were he new he would pick up the better quality waves, he waited patiently as the other competitors paddled from peak to peak eventually snagging himself the two highest scoring waves of the final to capture the title of King of the Groms. Damien Conway finished second, Eoghan Shanley 3rd and Brian Patton 4th.
The U16 Girls attracted a good enter and eventually ended in a final between last yearâ€™s winner Amy May Garvey, Castlederg, Copper Pigot, Enniskerry, Joyce Dunne, Sligo and Tahlia Britton, Rossnowlagh. Once again Amy May was on form taking the title for the second year with Tahlia Britton close behind in 2nd place, newcomer Joyce Dunne finished 3rd and Wicklow girl, Copper Pigot in 4th. Nine year old Ayesha Garvey (Amy Mayâ€™s younger sister) reached the semi-final and received a special award for her fine performance.
In the U14s it was another title for the Garvey family with James Garvey the clear winner. He was followed Bundoran surfers, Iarom Madden in 2nd and Conor Maguire 3rd, with Eoin Oâ€™Malley Daly, Rossnowlagh 4th , these three young Donegal surfers have been making finals all year and are certainly looking promising for the future.
1. Aaron Reid, Sligo
2. Damien Conway, Lahinch
3. Eoghan Shanley, Ballyshannon
4. Brian Patton, Ballyshannon
1. Amy May Gavery, Castlederg
2. Tahlia Britton, Rossnowlagh
3. Joyce Dunne, Sligo
4. Copper Pigot, Enniskerry
1. James Garvey, Castlederg
2. Iarom Madden, Bundoran
3. Conor Maguire, Bundoran
4. Eoin Oâ€™Malley Daly, Ballyshannon