Despite the rain squalls and cloud cover, some great surfing took place for the first Quiksilver King Of The Groms presented by Virgin Mobile in Cape Town this weekend. Saturday, day one of the event, took place in good waves and consistent rainy conditions at Witsands where the surf was small but contestable, with the cold conditions giving the out-of-town surfers a chance to acclimatise and get used to their full wetsuits.
Day two took place at Long Beach in conditions that started off wobbly and small, and ended up with firing waves and sunshine for the finals. In the U20 division it was Brandon Jackson(Durban) and Rudi Palmboom(Bluff) who were looking like the danger men, but both went down in their semi-final heats to Brandon Roberts(Kommetjie) and Shawn Dennis(Durban) respectively.
In the final Shawn Dennis got a great personal result with his second, but Brandon Roberts used his local knowledge to full advantage busting some huge moves in the notorious Long Beach shorebreak to win the final and put his name down on the short list for the series prize of a return ticket to Hawaii.
The premier U16 Grom Division was where it was all going down, with a lot of red-hot surfing amongst the groms. Last year’s King Of The Groms Matthew Bromley from Kommetjie went down in an agonizingly close semi to Nick Godfrey from Seal Point.
In the second semi Beyrick de Vries(Umhlanga) was firing on all cylinders and attempted and made some massive do-or-die moves in the shorebreak, but came up against a rampant Dale Staples(St. Francis) who was smashing the lefts all the way through and finishing off with some classy moves on the inside for the win.
In the final it went all the way with Godfrey getting a few good ones under the belt in the earlier moments of the heat, but it was Staples who had assumed ownership of the tricky conditions and picked up the best waves in the 25 minute final to get crowned as the first King Of The Groms for 2007. “So stoked, so amped!" said Dale on his victory. “I just hope that I can keep it going, win another one, and hopefully get to France for the big event."
The Virgin Mobile Expression Session was owned by Brandon Jackson as he took both awards. Jackson won R1000 for Best Air for a massive forehand air, and also won an MP3 player for Best Wave for a left he cracked all the way from the outside to the shorebreak. Brandon was one of a number of surfers who were really going hard in the testing conditions and these awards made up for his earlier semi-final loss.
The Zigzag Blowing Up Award for the the surfer who was recognised as blowing up the most was won by young talent Indi Rooken-Smith. It was an easy decision for those people judging the award as Indi blasted his earlier heats and was unlucky not to advance. For his efforts he was awarded R1000 and the coveted replica hand grenade.
The next event is on the 26 and 27 May on the South Coast of Durban and the third event is on the 23 and 24 June in Mossel Bay, and all the events are going to be covered on Boardriders TV. Surfing South Africa sanctions the events and the U20 division is part of the South African Pro Surf Tour. The Quiksilver King Of The Groms is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa and forms part of the Pro Surf Tour.