A decisive tactical ploy from Kirra Townsend paved the way for her win in the Australian under-18 girls grommet surfing title w
A decisive tactical ploy from Kirra Townsend paved the way for her win in the Australian under-18 girls grommet surfing title w

National champion



SAWTELL's Kirra Townsend's smart surfing tactics in the under-18 girls Quiksilver Australian grommet titles paid off as she became the only competitor to win back-to-back Australian junior surfing titles this year.

The 2004 under-16's national champion surfed apart from her three opponents on a separate sand bank to post a convincing win in the under-18 girls division.

The 17 year-old finished with heat score of 14 points to defeat form surfer Angela Keighran from Mullaway on 10.83.

Melissa Burt (Phillip Island) finished third with 10.03 and Jess Grimwood (Bateau Bay) fourth on 8.17.

"Its' so good, I can't believe it," Townsend said.

"I didn't think I would go that well this year stepping up to the U/18's.

"I thought it would be a lot harder!

"I guess I can definitely expect that in Brazil, I'll have the pressure one me there."

The only surfer to post a perfect 10 point ride in the week long tournament, Mullaway's Angela Keighran was honoured with the prestigious Ma Bendall/Isabell Letham Award.

Australia's surfing future looks assured with talented trio Nick Vasicek (Coolangatta), Kirra Townsend (Sawtell) and Owen Wright (Culburra) all securing berths in the 2006 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Championships by winning national surfing titles at Roaring Beach in Tasmania.

Coolangatta's Nick Vasicek will be Australia's top seeded surfer in the Brazilian ISA Games next May after breaking through for his first major victory in the blue ribbon under-18's Quiksilver Australian grommet titles in half metre waves on offer.

The goofy footer carried his week-long, stand-out form into the final to defeat the nation's best U/18 junior surfers from all six states.

Always regarded as one of the best free surfers at his home point breaks on the Gold Coast, Vasicek had yet to carry that winning style into the competitive arena, but with newly found confidence he added his name to a list of past champions that reads like the who's who of Australian surfing.

"From the start of the year I wanted to make the Aussie Titles, I've never made it before and heaps of guys from Coolie like Joel (Parkinson) and Dean (Morrison) have won it, so it's such a great honour," Vasicek said.

"I have had a lot of support here, everyone said I could win, my team mates and coaches gave me a real confidence boost."

Vasicek finished on 16.44 out of a possible 20 to defeat runner-up Caleb Reid (Bronte, NSW) on 14.06, Carl Wright (Phillip Island, Vic) in third with 10.87 and Josh JohnsonBaxter (Ocean Grove, Vic) fourth on 9.60.

There were no surprises in the under-16 boys with long touted Owen Wright (Culburra, NSW) continuing his charge towards surfing stardom by winning his first national title with a dominating performance.

The recently crowned 'Quiksilver King of the Groms' had all three of his opponents requiring a two-wave scoring combination at the half way mark of the 30 minute final.

The 16 year-old posted the day's highest heat score of 18.83 out of a possible 20 to book his berth to Brazil and defeat Davey Cathels (Narrabeen NSW) on 15.70, Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay, NSW) third on 14 points and Sam Wrench (Ulludulla, NSW) fourth with 12 points.

Fourteen year-old Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW) belied her years to add yet another prestigious crown to her mantle by easily outpointing her older rivals to win the U/6's Quiksilver Australian Grommet title.

The diminutive grommet defeated runner-up Darci Egan (Torquay, Vic) on 11.00 points, Dimity Stoyle (Maroochydore, Qld) third with 7.42 and Stephanie Sallis (Byron Bay, NSW) fourth with 7.10 total heat score.

Victoria's Todd Rosewell and Campbell Downey won the under-16 All-stars Schools National title defeating Queensland's Blake Ainsworth and Tyson Kozuscek 23.93 to 21.66.

Nambucca's Heath Joske and Matt Wilkinson claimed a convincing national title victory over Queensland's Shaun Stevic and Storm Hosking in the U/19 All-Stars Schools division.

Phillip Island's Carl Wright was also presented with the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Award.

Both surfers showed exceptional potential as two of the sports future stars.



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