Billabong Occy's Grom Comp

Coolangatta kid Jack Freestone is on the track to surf stardom after toppling a swag of the nation’s top young guns to bag the blue ribbon 16 and under boy’s crown at the fifth-annual Billabong Occy’s Grom Comp on the Gold Coast today.

A standout from start to finish, Freestone mixed a polished rail attack with gravity defying aerial moves to beat Avoca’s Wade Carmichael, Banora Point’s Sam Clift and Currarong’s Jordi Watson in a high-scoring, 20 minute final.

“I’m stocked to win Occy’s event,” said Freestone. “I see him surf everyday, so to win the event named after him means everything to me.” In fun 1-metre beach break waves at Duranbah, Freestone was the superior surfer all day and finalised an impressive campaign with a heat total of 18.06 to Carmichael’s total tally of 13.53.

The 16-year-old set-up the win with his second ride (8.83) before going on to post a heat high ride of 9.23 with just minutes remaining to extend his lead. Carmichael did enough to net second, leaving Clift (13.40) in third and Watson (10.40) in fourth.

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Canelle Bulard (FRA), 16, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe Grade-1 Women’s Buondi Pro Junior, her maiden Pro Junior title. Bulard, who defeated reigning ASP European Women’s Junior Champion Pauline Ado (FRA) in the final took the best out of the three foot (one meter) waves to win the opening event of the 2008 season and take the lead of the regional ratings.

Bulard, who faced Ado, Marie Dejean (FRA) and Mariana Macedo (FRA) posted a solid 13.17 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to take the win after getting through two rounds today.

"I am so stoked to win the first event of the year », Bulard said. "The waves were a bit messy and we all had a chance to get the title but it ends up well for me."

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Australian surfer Chris Davidson (AUS) crushed South Africa’s hopes of a second ever South African winner at the Mr. Price Pro, defeating ASP World No. 41 Travis Logie (Durban) before a patriotic crowd on New Pier beach in Durban today.

Competing in crumbling one-to-two foot (0.5 metre) onshore surf, arguably more suited to the Australian’s natural-footed stance, Davidson’s powerful front-side surfing saw him out-position his local rival to win the heat with a 16.10 heat total to Logie’s 12.90, jumping to 7th on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings.

“I’m stoked I made the final and beat the local boy,” Davidson said. “It was tough for Travis surfing little right-handers on his backside (right foot forward stance) so it definitely favoured me. I’ve got tens here in the past, but I was the underdog out there today, so it felt good to come home with the win.”

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