SSF Junior Series, Event 4 – Sandend.

SSF Junior Series Supported by C-Skins

Storm Babet descended on Scotland to coincide with the Sandend Grom Comp 2023. This was both a blessing and a curse. While it ensured there was no shortage of surf, it also gave the organisers, and I’m sure the parents and competitors, some cause for concern as we watched weather and flood warnings get upgraded. But there was a glimmer of hope for running the event on the Sunday. Gales and downpours were soon a distant memory when we thankfully woke to epic, overhead surf (maybe double overhead for some competitors) with blue skies and a light offshore wind.  

Sandend U18 Boys Winner – Ebon Parkin

It was the U18 boys who tested it first. Ebon Parkin was raring to go and paddled out alone before Finn Clark and Joel Carleton arrived to make sure Ebon didn’t get all the waves. They still couldn’t stop Ebon claiming the victory with Finn in 2nd and Joel in 3rd

U18 Boys Results

  • 1st – Ebon Parkin (BHSC)
  • 2nd – Finn Clark (EBSC)
  • 3rd Joel Carleton (BHSC)
Boys U18’s

Next up were the U18 girls with Natalie Kobedza taking on Emily Peace. Babet must’ve been in a bad mood as she was throwing some chunky nuggets at the girls. A brave effort by them but Natalie struggled to find the waves she wanted and Emily’s tactics of selecting the smaller inside waves won the day.  

U18 Girls Results

  • 1st – Emily Peace (LSC)
  • 2nd – Natalie Eva Kobedza
Girls U18

There was a solid battle in the under 16 boys. Local surfer, Ben Kobedza, opened with his trademark backhand blows but Charlie Pugh showed some great carves and took the lead. Oli Peace got a well-deserved 3rd with his surfing buddy, Fraser Brown, finishing closely behind. 

U16 Boys Results

  • 1st – Charlie Pugh (BHSC)
  • 2nd – Ben Peter Kobidza (SSC)
  • 3rd – Oliver Peace (LSC)
  • 4th – Fraser Brown (LSC)
Sandend Boys U16
Sandend U16 Girls Winner – Olivia Mackay

It was another tough heat in the under 16 girls with both girls showing great commitment in some big, powerful surf. Lola Mitchell has been on top of the podium regularly of late but this time it was Olivia MacKay who completed some nice rides to get the best score.  

U16 Girls Results

  • 1st – Olivia Mackay (NSSC)
  • 2nd – Lola Mitchell (BSC)
U16 Girls
Sandend U14 boys Winner – Tam Hood

The under 14 boys division was eagerly anticipated and it didn’t disappoint. This was the biggest category and definitely the most competitive. The early rounds had standout surfing from Tam Hood and Sebastian Ballantyne, with good competition from Rudi Johnston-Forrest, but Tam and Sebastian ended up taking 1st and 2nd respectively. Solid surfing from Ansel Parkin throughout earned him 3rd and William Whyte got the better of fellow Broch ripper, Gabriel Noble, to reach the final and take 4th.  

U14 Boys Results

  • 1st – Tam Hood (BHSC)
  • 2nd – Sebastian Ballantyne (BSC)
  • 3rd – Ansel Parkin (BHSC)
  • 4th – William Whyte (BSC)
Boys U14’s & Contest Director Craig Sutherland
Sandend U14 Girls Winner – Callie Cruickshank

Much like in the boys, the girls under 14 category was fiercely fought. Callie Cruickshank continued her domination of the age group with some great surfing for the win. Maya Kobedza also surfed well on her home break to take 2nd followed by good performances by Rosie Moore in 3rd and another local, Casey Thompson in 4th, making it to the final in her first surf competition.  

U14 Girls Results

  • 1st – Callie Cruickshank (BSC)
  • 2nd – Maya Rose Kobedza (SSC)
  • 3rd – Rosie Moore (BHSC)
  • 4th – Casey Thompson (SSC)
Under 14 Girls
Sandend U12 mixed Winner – Kai Cruickshank

The Under 12 mixed division served up another cracker with great surfing from all the rounds. The waves were big but it didn’t seem to faze them. Joel Christopherson set a high standard in the first rounds, along with Aidan Innes and Lewis Morgan.  Kai Cruickshank followed in his sister’s footsteps to take another top spot in the final, closely followed by Joel. Good surfing from Faraid Winterton, who proudly represented the girls, took her to 3rd, ahead of a battle weary Lewis Morgan in 4th

U12 Mixed Results

  • 1st – Kai Cruickshank (BSC)
  • 2nd – Joel Christopherson (BHSC)
  • 3rd – Faraid Winterton (EBSC)
  • 4th – Lewis Morgan (GCSC)
Mixed U12’s
Skye Brock

Once again, the highlight for many was the Under 10 division. This was non-competitive, although you wouldn’t have known that from the eager kids and parents on the beach start line. There was a great turnout of micro groms and they fully went for it with some great rides, a few wipeouts and lots of smiles. Everyone was a winner (except for Allyn Harper, who has been sacked by son Holden for poor wave selection!) 

Allyn Harper & son Holden

A special thanks to Jolene along with all the volunteers, judges, tabulators, photographers, lifeguards, sponsors, parents and especially the surfers. Also special thanks to the local surfers for giving us the run of the beach and helping out. These groms will remember you when you need pushed into waves. 

– Craig Sutherland (Suds)