Billy lets it rip
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
FOR his final event as an under-14 surfer, Sawtell's Billy Kean, 14, certainly made his presence felt.
Billy went vertical and upside down to win the final of the under-14 boys event at the Rip Curl Grom Search held at Duranbah on Friday.
In an exciting final, Billy left it until the last minute with a good scoring way to beat Merewether's Wes Bainbridge by .7 with Blake Ainsworth from Coolangatta third and Sam Patterson of Shelley Beach fourth.
Surfing Australia reported that Billy surfed brilliantly throughout the competition before going on to win the final.
"I am so stoked to win this event with so many exciting competitors involved and it was great to see real size in the waves," he said.
"I've had a few good results but I think this one would be up there with the best because the waves were so good.
"I like surfing in nearly any conditions as long as it isn't completely flat."
Over the five days at Duranbah, Billy said the waves varied between one and two metres which was ideal.
Before his win at Duranbah, Billy was successful in the regional titles held at Crescent Head.
Although he is only 14, Billy already has 12 years in surfing behind him starting at the age of two wearing a bubble while riding on his dad's mal.
You will normally see Billy surfing at Sawtell Beach which has fostered the rise of another Sawtell surfing star Kirra Townsend.
Billy is already thinking about 2005 and the fact he will be a 15-year-old surfing in the under-16 division doesn't phase him.
"I surfed against those guys before so I know what to expect," he said.
His program for next year includes another crack at the Grom Search, the Rusty Gromfest and the regional and State titles.