The Wahu Australian Bodyboard Titles crowned its first six champions after a range of divisions wrapped up in throaty four-foot waves at Gallows Beach today.
Former professional bodyboarder Adam Keegan (Mt. Coolum, Qld) snatched the first title in the Wahu Australian Bodyboard Titles, successfully taking out the Senior Men’s division. The Sunshine Coast bodyboarder managed to lock in some last minute heroics to sneak past Liam Whitelaw (Somerville, Vic) to claim the win.
“This is the first time I’ve competed in a national titles in close to 20 years, so I’m stoked to win it,” said Keegan. “I guess my main plan out there was to just get two good waves. Fortunately, I got that last wave in the final minutes to get the win.”
Luke Jackson (Enoggera, Qld) claimed his second Australian title in as many years successfully taking out the Masters (Over-35) division. The Brisbane based bodyboarder posted a 14.00 two-wave heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to claim the win ahead of fellow Queenslander Dave Ayliffe (Molendinar, Qld).
“This is out of control,” said Jackson. “To be able to back it up and get my second title feels amazing. I can’t believe it. All the guys in the final have an unreal surfing ability and three of us shared the final last year as well. Things are really tight between all of us.”
Steve Watson (Blairgowrie, Vic) claimed the Grand Masters (Over-45) division, after notching up a series of solid wave scores in all his respective heats. The Victorian surfer took the win ahead of multiple national champion Greg Chambers (Mona Vale, NSW).
“This is one of the best run events I’ve ever participated in,” said Watson. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be together in a final with all the other guys. All of us are in our mid-50s or early 60s and we all just wanted to get a couple of good waves and have some fun.”
Dion Myers (North Boambee Valley, NSW) claimed the highly competitive Drop Knee division after a solid performance which included barrel rides and solid turns. The local bodyboarder posted a nine-point ride (out of a possible ten points) for a solid barrel which gave him the upper hand in the final over all of his fellow competitors.
“This is my first national title, so I couldn’t be happier,” said Myers. “This is something I’ve always dreamt of doing, but I’ve been out of the scene for around ten years, so it’s great to be back.”
Sam Gillett (Martinsville, NSW) took down her sister Teigen and Sophie Leathers (Dorrigo, NSW) to claim the Junior Women’s final. Gillett also had the privilege of sharing a combined heat with her mum Shauna, who competed in the Open Women’s final.
“I just wanted to catch as many waves as I could and try my hardest on them,” said Sam Gillett. “My sister and I always surf together, so it’s usually pretty competitive, but it was also great sharing a heat with my Mum. I know she was sitting on a different part of the break, but it was still good having her out there with us.”
The Australian Surf Festival at Coffs Harbour is set to attract more than 500 surfers from around the country, over the 18-day event period.
A hotline – 0458 247 212 – is operating for the festival which will feature a recorded message updated at 6:45am each morning with the confirmed daily schedule and contest venue.
Coffs Harbour is home to a number of great beach break options that work in a variety of wind and swell conditions. The main base for the event will be Park Beach which is located north east of the Coffs Harbour CBD. The event is fully mobile in the Coffs Harbour region with numerous beach break options which include Park Beach, Macauley’s Beach, Diggers Beach, Jetty Beach, Gallows, Arrawarra Beach, Mulloway Beach, Woolgoolga Beach, Emerald Beach and Sapphire Beach.
Live results and daily news will be updated at www.australiansurffestival.com
The 2014 Australian Surf Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event is also proudly supported by Coffs Harbour City Council, Coffs Coast Tourism, Wahu, The Hoey Moey, Nikon, Toyota, Pacific Longboarder, FCS, Australian Institute of Sport, Surfing NSW and Surfing Australia.