TOP-CLASS: Moonee grom Taj Watson is competing at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles this week.
TOP-CLASS: Moonee grom Taj Watson is competing at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles this week. Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

Taj off to Aussie Titles

LOCAL surfer Taj Watson is about to join the best junior surfers from around the country on the wave rich shores of Phillip Island in Victoria for the Surf Dive 'N Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles.

This morning's opening ceremony is set to start a week of high performance surfing and the Moonee Beach natural footer can't wait to join the NSW team for the week ahead.

"When I go to competitions I get to see all of my friends," Taj said.

At this stage, the forecast for the opening two days of competition which start tomorrow is for 3-4ft of south-west swell and light onshore winds.

Six States are represented at the titles across under-14, 16 and 18 age groups in both boys and girls divisions at the event that is considered the benchmark of junior surfing in the country.

The Jetty High student will have a familiar face he can turn to if he needs any help.

"Lee Winkler was chosen as one of the coaches so he should be a lot of help down there," the 15-year-old said.

In fact the talented grom has received plenty of local support of late just to help him get to Phillip Island.

Both the Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga Boardriders clubs have done plenty of fundraising to help pay for the costs involved in competing this week.

Also Taj's school and the Moonee Beach Tavern have helped with raffles while the Big Banana, Rip Curl and Geoff King Motors have been generous with their donations of prizes.

This week's titles will determine the selection of all positions on the Australian Junior Surf Team for next year's ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

With such a large carrot hanging on the results of this week's event, Watson admits he'll be trying to concentrate more on how he surfs more than anything else.

"I'm trying not to think about that (national selection) too much," he said.

"I've just heard there's a lot of good waves down there and hopefully I'll be able to get some good waves."



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