TOP TURN: Wooli grommet Carly Shanahan carves the face of a solid right-hander at the Australian Open of Surfing in Manly.
TOP TURN: Wooli grommet Carly Shanahan carves the face of a solid right-hander at the Australian Open of Surfing in Manly.

Wooli grom Carly Shanahan shines at Aus Open of Surfing

WOOLI grommet Carly Shanahan has continued to carve a name for herself in surfing with a top three finish at the Australian Open of Surfing Grom Challenge.

The competition, held in Manly over two days, saw young surfers from near and far take to the ocean to showcase their talents ahead of the surf festival's qualifying series event.

As a competitor in the Under 16s division, Shanahan was up against 15 other girls, and surfed two knock-out heats to make it through to the final.

"In the first heat I got hustled really bad and I'm not good at it,” she said.

"Other girls get taught how to do it by their coaches, so I only just made it through.”

In her semi-final heat, Shanahan's reluctance to push for waves actually worked in her favour, when a 3-4ft right-hander came through where she was sitting just outside the take-off zone.

"The waves were really good and it was a really hard heat because there were some girls I was really worried about - they all hustle for the waves really well,” she said.

"I didn't want to hustle so I was just sitting there patiently. The waves were all lefts but then this fluke right-hander came through so I didn't even have to hustle for it or anything.”

Shanahan posted a score of 8.2 on that wave, which was soon backed up by a 6.33 to clinch first place in the heat.

Unfortunately the final was a different story, Shanahan said, due to a lull in the swell.

It was a low scoring heat, with only 4.53 points between the highest and lowest score. Shanahan scraped through to third place with a score of 8.

"In the two heats before, the waves were coming through so consistently and really good,” she said.

"There were still waves in our final but most of them were closing out, or really small and mushy.

"I was disappointed because not all the girls got to showcase their best surfing, but I still had an awesome time at the event.

"It was really fun so I didn't mind.”



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