The second day of the Australian Surf Festival returned to Macauleys Beach, Coffs Harbour today to crown the champions of four coveted divisions in three-to-four foot waves.
Nic Squires (Corrimal, NSW) managed to save his best until last when he attacked the Open Men’s final. The powerful World Qualifying Series campaigner managed to throw down a series of mammoth hacks and turns to notch up a solid heat total of 18.15 (out of a possible 20 points) which consequently left his competitors chasing a combination of scores to usurp his lead. Despite the best efforts from former World Championship Tour competitor and event standout Jake Paterson (Yallingup, WA), Nic was able to win his first Australian Title. Due to taking the win, Squires has qualified for the upcoming ISA World Surfing Games.
“The win hasn’t sunk in too much just yet, but taking out an Aussie Title was definitely on my bucket list,” said Squires. “I’ve had two bad results recently and I really just wanted to shake them off and come into this event with a fresh start. I wasn’t too confident over the whole event, but I just refocused for the final and did something a little bit different to my earlier heats. Thankfully it worked and I didn’t fall off on any of my turns.”
Jessica Grimwood (Bateau Bay, NSW) managed to take out her maiden Australian Title, winning the Open Women’s division. The Central Coast surfer opened the gates with an impressive 9.25 scoring wave (out of a possible ten points), which gave her an edge over fellow finalists, Philippa Anderson (Merewether, NSW), Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW) and Ellie Francis (Middleton, SA).
“I can’t even believe I won,” said Grimwood. “I couldn’t hear what scores I had or what position I was in, so I was kind of flying blind. When I paddled in I saw that all my friends were on the beach and it was then that I realised I won. I can die happy now I’ve won an Aussie Title.”
Sandra English (Budgewoi, NSW) added an exceptional 13th Australian Title to her mantelpiece when she took out the Over-35 Women’s final. Despite being injured for the majority of the past 12 months, English was able to do enough training to render herself fit enough to compete in the division. English even managed to post a near perfect 9.00 ride in the final to get the edge over her opposition. As a result, English was awarded the FCS Performer of the Day award and scored herself a new legrope and tailpad courtesy of FCS.
“I’m over the moon to win this, especially after being out of the water for so long,” said English. “When I was asked if I would like a wildcard I began to train again to get the fire back. The title wins just begin to feel better and better, especially since I’m beginning to get older and there’s less events for people my age. The camaraderie between all the girls was great as well, which made it even more awesome.”
James Fleming (Geraldton, WA) bagged the maiden win for WA successfully netting himself the win in the Open Single Fin final. In the close affair, Fleming was able to post himself a 13.70 heat total to keep ahead of Single Fin standouts Rob Hazelwood (Narrabeen, NSW), Jake Paterson (Yallingup, WA) and Michael Crisp (Cronulla, NSW). Fleming claimed the win riding a two-day old board shaped by former World Championship Tour surfer Matt Hoy.
“I’m frothing,” said Fleming. “All the freesurfing I’ve been doing definitely paid off. A big thanks has to go to Matt Hoy for shaping me this board; it went amazing out there. There’s a big friendship base in the WA team and it was great to have them behind Jake and I.”
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.
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.
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.