For a week the Quiksilver King of the Groms had been a European vacation – all sun and fun, but today it got serious at 8am. That's the when Groms had a look at the golden crown and the throne – a wooden hand carved marvel whose back was shaped like a thruster. At that point they only had one thought on their minds, winning.
And who was going to wear that crown and sit on that throne? Some of the top contenders were: top Aussie junior, Garrett Parkes who scored a 10 yesterday, Hawaiian Kiron Jabour who whose style in and out of the water him make him the lock for the title of "next Bruce Irons," and Jon-Jon Florence, the most famous 13 year-old surfer in history with the hottest surf mom ever.
But who actually took it? That would be Dean Bowen, a tall 15 year-old goofyfoot from Gerringong, Australia with a contest act already so poised and polished he looks like he could plow through the 'QS right now. Bowen combo-ed Jon Jon in the semis and then came back against Jabour in the finals.
After the win Bowen, got the pleasure of a ride atop the shoulders of his mates before getting on his throne and being doused with confetti and non-alcoholic champagne. (Jon-Jon was overheard asking an official, "How do I open this bottle?") But his ultimate prize was a free trip back here next month and a spot in the trials of the Quiksilver Pro France at Hossegor and at the Quiksilver Pro Australia on the Gold Coast next March.
And how does he feel about that? "I can't wait to get in there and try and take some guys out," he said confidently.
The surf today, unfortunately, wasn't up to the stellar standards of the previous days, but was still contestable. Due to a drop in swell, contest director, Marc Serran, moved it 700 yards south from the jetty rights of Santocha to the open beachbreak at La Piste. The waves weren't much, but at least it gave the groms the novelty of surfing next to German bunkers built during World War II.
So that's it, allez les enfants!