The opening ceremony of the Jeep World Junior Championship was held in Kiama on Wednesday.
More than 40 of the world’s best groms and their families made their way to Kiama Pavilion to kick off the event, with surfers taking to the water on Thursday.
After a long year of regional qualifying events, the field has been decided for the competition from January 4 – 13, when the 2017 men’s and women’s world champions will be crowned at Bombo Beach.
Each of the seven WSL regions, Africa, Australia / Oceania, Asia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America, have been running Junior Qualifying Series events throughout the year.
At the conclusion of each series, the top four men and top two women from each region were selected to face off for a world title.
Mayor Mark Honey expressed his excitement at having the elite event in town.
"On behalf of the Kiama Municipality, I formally welcome all the surfers, their teams, organisers and fans,” he said.
“I’m sure you’ll enjoy our famous hospitality, easy-going lifestyle and beautiful coastline.
"To have the best young surfers in the world, competing on a local beach, in the great spirit the WSL is famous for, is an amazing example to our kids."
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