Gifted grommets ride wave to glory in state titles win
A rich vein of young Sunshine Coast surfing talent has risen to the top with two state under 12 champions crowned on the Gold Coast over the weekend and under 14 placegetters earning state representative honours.
Hunter Andersson of Moffat Beach and Laney Stokes from Buddina made the most of the invitingly clean two to three foot sets to take out the 2020 Woolworths Queensland Grommet Surfing Titles.
The Southport Spit landed Andersson his first state title today after taking out the double, winning both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast legs of the series.
Andersson had to overcome finals rivals with a strong local beach advantage.
He defeated Lucas Deffenti (Miami), Jai Nield (Coolangatta), Caden Francis (Palm Beach) and Hayden Danswan of Peregian Springs in the overall series rankings.
"I'm stoked to get my first title," Andersson said.
"We had some really good waves on the Sunshine Coast when I won event one, which gave me plenty of confidence heading into event two.
"Luckily we had some great waves today and I was able to take first place overall."
Stokes converted a strong 2nd place on the Sunshine Coast in the first round and a win at Southport.
She defeated Noosa's Pip Taylor, Kauri Heuston-Connor (Reedy Creek), Roxanne Cameron (Reedy Creek and Indy Slattery (Currumbin) in the series rankings.
"It feels really good to win," Stokes said.
"That final was pretty challenging, all the girls were surfing really well. I'm super happy."
In the under 14 state final, her older sister Oli Taylor made the finals, won by Jordy Halford of Currumbin.
Also in with a chance were Stella Scudamore of Peregian Beach and Sarah Young of Maroochydore.
Noosa rising star Landen Smales had to settle for runner-up behind the Rico Haybittle of Burleigh Heads in the under 14 boys series, also ahead of Hunter Andersson and Isaac Markwell of Sunrise Beach.
Having all made the top five, they earned selection in the Queensland surfing team.