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Local groms at home on the waves

When you start out as a five year old and get a ton of encouragement from your mad-keen surfing dad there’s a good chance you will grow into a mad-keen surfer yourself; such is the case with three local lads who are beginning to take that passion for the sport out into the world of competition surfing.

Jayden Willoughby and Kora Cooper, Year 7 students at Raglan Area School along with Navryn Malone in Year 6, have returned from their first taste of The Billabong Grom Series, a three competition event held at The Mount, Whangamata and Piha, standing up to compete in the U14 division and doing themselves proud.

“They are having a great time, really enjoying the competition. All three are super keen surfers, just like their Dads and they are all members of Raglan Point Boardriders Club,” says Jayden’s mum Kaz Willoughby.

With half a decade each surfing experience tucked into their tender years it isn’t surprising to hear that the three are seasoned enough to have become regulars surfing the often challenging conditions at Manu Bay, even in winter.

With the Billabong Grom Series now under their belts plans ahead are to enter the Rip Curl Grom Surf in March at Fitzroy in Taranaki along with the NZ Primary Schools Surfing Comp in Gisborne in November, as well as any surfing events held at home-base.

Sue Russell

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