The 2010 Rusty Gromfest at Lennox Head Beach.
The 2010 Rusty Gromfest at Lennox Head Beach.

Two surf comps vie for one spot

A SURF war is about to break out in Lennox Head, with two organisations battling for the right to run a popular junior surfing contest.

Rusty Gromfest has been held at Lennox Head for 16 years.

But last month Rusty announced it would take a "short break" from sponsoring the event in 2012 and event manager Max Perrot cancelled this year's Gromfest.

Rusty said it hoped to sponsor it again in 2013 and to "revamp the concept and make it bigger than ever".

An event plan and proposal would be developed after this financial year.

But Ballina Shire Council has now received a proposal from the Lennox-Ballina Boardriders Club (Le-Ba) to run a junior surfing event during the same period, to be called the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open. The event application is now being assessed.

Le-Ba has secured ongoing funding and sponsorship from Skullcandy and wants to host the event in the future.

But if Rusty comes back on board with Gromfest next year, the council would have two surfing contests vying for the same venue and date.

The issue has divided the Lennox Head community.

Gromfest has written support from the Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Life Saving Club, Lennox Longboarders Club and Surfing Australia,

Le-Ba has letters of support from Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre, Lennox Head Combined Sports Association, Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce and Surfing NSW, and a petition signed by more than 30 local business people.

At this week's council meeting, staff will recommend that neither proposal for the junior surfing event be accepted at this stage.

Instead a council workshop will be held in June to review the Special Events Policy to ensure it clearly addresses the issues to be considered as part of any long0 term approval process.