Admired by young surfers from around the globe, 28-year-old professional Taj Burrow has confirmed he will host the second annual Taj’s Small Fries surf event at his home beach of Yallingup, Western Australia from January 19-21, 2007.
2007 will spell 10 year’s on the world’s elite surfing tour for the talented Burrow and after narrowly bowing out of the world title race to Kelly Slater (Florida, USA) this year, the West Australian super-freak is in career best form. Raised in the powerful waves of the South West of Western Australia, the current world number three will lend his competitive knowledge and expertise to his grommet event from January 19th-21st in the New Year.
Overwhelmed by support for the 2006 event, which attracted a record junior field of over 100, the 2007 Billabong Taj’s Small Fries will once again be held at the Yallingup main break, the same spot Burrow battled out the earliest heats of his career. “It was pretty wild to see the little grubs having fun at the contest this year,” said Burrow. “When Billabong approached me about doing it again, I pounced on the idea.”
“The final day of the event last year had some pretty solid waves at Indjidup and I think a few of the kids might not have normally surfed,” said Burrow. “I paddled out with some of the younger kids and they all had a dig, it turned out perfectly.”
The weight of numbers in 2006 has added to an extension of the event period in 2007 from two to three days. Taj’s Small Fries is open to boy’s and girls aged 16 & Under and 14 & Under along with a micro grommet field of 12 & Under boys. “I think we had over 100 kids show up, a record for Surfing WA,” he said. “I grew up doing the state contests, it was pretty much where I learnt how to compete.
“It’s really important for the young kid’s to have a crack at competing at an early age, just get in a heat and have a wicked time,” said Burrow. Surfing Western Australia Events Manager Nadia Auletta said Taj’s Small Fries is one of the most anticipated events on their yearly schedule.
“The younger kid’s just want to be involved in anything to do with Taj,” said Auletta. “The involvement he had last year and the amount of time spent surfing heats with the kids and giving them the encouragement to get out their and have a crack is what made the event such a success.”
Set to attract the best aged 16 and Under surfers from around the state, The Taj’s Small Fries event has also caught the eye of talented East Coaster’s who will make the journey west.
Dean Bowen (Gerroa, NSW) has confirmed as a competitor along with defending 12 and Under champion Matt Banting (Port Macquarie, NSW). Other East Coast surfers set to make the trip include Ryan Callinan (Newcastle, NSW), Mitchell Parkinson (Coolangatta, QLD) and Dylan Cummings (Norah Heads, NSW).
West Australia’s best young emerging talent Creed McTaggart (Margaret River), who won the prestigious Occy’s Grom Comp in July 2006 will start as favourite in the prized 12 and under boys division while Under 16 West Australian state champion Felicity Palmateer (Hilary’s) will be back to defend her 2006 event title.
Taj’s Small Fries is supported by Panasonic, Vodafone, Clearasil, UV Triplegard, Von Zipper, Kustom, Surfing WA and the Local Community of Yallingup. Event entries are available from Surfing Western Australia on (08) 9448 0004 and are strictly limited.
Taj’s Small Fries Defending Champions
- 12 and Under Boys: Matt Banting (Port Macquarie)
- 14 and Under Girls: Felicity Palmateer (Hillarys)
- 14 and Under Boys: Danny Williams (Geraldton)
- 16 and Under Girls: Felicity Palmateer (Hillarys)
- 16 and Under Boys: Shaun Howe (Kalbarri)