Taj’s Fries fired up
WA’s biggest junior surfing tournament, Taj’s Small Fries, will take hold of the Capes coast when it kicks off in Yallingup today.
Since its inception in 2006, Taj’s Small Fries has become a rite of passage for many of WA’s best young surfers, acting as a launch pad for numerous surf prodigies over the years.
This year will be no different, with a record number of frothing “Small Fries” converging on Taj Burrow’s home town of Yallingup, all striving to claim one of the country’s most coveted junior surfing titles.
Burrow, pictured, was the youngest Australian national surfing champion at just 18 years old and won several ASP world tour events including Bells Beach, Jeffreys Bay and Pipeline Master.
Burrow initiated the Small Fries competition to see the next generation of groms tackle the same waves and stretch of stunning coastline he grew up surfing.
“Fifteen years of Small Fries is crazy,” he said.
“I can remember the first year we ran, and it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.
“We’ve had so many great events and made so many good memories, I’m just so happy that Small Fries is going strong after all this time.”
Launching Surfing Western Australia’s competition program for 2020, Taj’s Small Fries will see close to 120 boys and girls line up in eight separate divisions including; 16 and Under, 14 and Under, 12 and Under, and everyone’s favourite, the 10 and Under Micro Groms.
“We definitely try and serve up with three insanely fun days, but the event also provides a stepping stone for the kids’ competitive careers,” Burrow said.
“I remember Matt Banting and Jack Robinson being the most competitive and savvy young surfers I’d ever seen in a 12 and Under division.
“They’ve both gone on to to qualify for the world championship tour.” Surfers from right across WA, and from as far afield as New South Wales, Queensland and Indonesia will be in Yallingup to compete in the event.
Local competitors Otis North, Maverick Wilson, Willow Hardy, Ned Hart and Dylan Vernon will all look to reach Sunday’s semifinals where the best conditions of the event are expected.
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