Taj proves he’s our top grom
LOCAL surfer Taj Watson has become an instant home town hero by taking out top prize in the 2016 Billabong Oz Grom Cup presented by Flight Centre.
Contest director Lee Winkler said over the past six days the Coffs Coast was blessed with an incredible run of waves and conditions.
"The next generation of Australia's surfing stars put in a display of performance surfing that would be hard to match at any junior event across the world," he said.
"Taj was without question the form surfer of the event and completely dominated the boys' Under-16 division.
"He also won the Billabong Bloodline Series award and will now attend the Surfing World magazine Grom Bash and receive world wide media coverage.
"A movie and magazine will be created about him and the three other award winners from Billabong's junior event series."
Coffs Harbour narrowly missed a second title when defending champion Will Martin finished a close second to Phoenix Visscher of Newcastle in the eight years and under mixed division.
In a tough age group, Zahlia Short and Mateus Bersot captured the 10-years and under titles.
Grace Crawford Kama and Marlon Harrison chipped away in 12-years and under.
"They surfed well beyond their years and Marlon is now the back-to-back champion of the event.
"There was a record in the 12-years and under division with Zahli Kelly winning the girls section for the third time, showing she has a massive future ahead.
"For the boys, Lennox Chell was remarkable in winning his second championship also."
Sophia Fulton dominated her final in 16-years girls.
Bella Wilton and Dylan Moffatt were the 18-years and under winners.