The Australian Surf Festival returned to Emerald Beach today for the third day on the trot, where some of longboarding's elder divisions joined the Open divisions to surf their first and second round heats in the Australian Longboard Titles.
Local surfer John Schmidenberg (Emerald Beach, NSW) set a solid precedent in the first heat of the morning, locking in a 12.60 heat total (out of a possible 20 points) in the Over-45 Men. 2013 Over-40 champion Jason Livingston (Curl Curl, NSW), Jason Russel (Port Noarlunga South, SA) and 2013 Over-50 runner up Richard Smith (Sawtell, NSW) managed to impress the judges in the next three heats with all surfers posting a series of solid heat totals to book their spot into round two.
2013 Australian Over-50 Men’s Longboard champion Greg Brown (Jan Juc, Vic) proved he was the man to watch in the Over-50 Men. The Victorian surfer managed to effortlessly link together a chain of solid manoeuvres to post a 14.30 heat total.
Other Over-50 heat winners included Richard Smith, Mark McNamara (Burleigh Waters, Qld) and Gary Burden (Suffolk Park, NSW).
The Open Women continued to be dominated by interstate competitors with Emma Webb (Jan Juc, Vic), Erin Dark (Tugun, Qld) and Georgia Young (Swanbourne, WA) all posting wins in their second round heats. Roisin Carolan (Binna Burra, NSW) was the only NSW surfer to take a win in the coveted division. All previously mentioned surfers will make a semi-final berth later in the event.
Former World Longboard Champion Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach, NSW) locked in his sixth heat win of the Australian Surf Festival, successfully netting himself another victory in the second round of the Open Men. The local surfer managed to post a near perfect 18.65 heat total to book his spot into the quarterfinals. Over the course of the 2014 Australian Surf Festival, Ingleby has failed to post a heat total less than 15.75.
Kai Ellice-Flint (Ettalong, NSW) and Paul Scholten (Emerald Beach, NSW) fought a tight battle in the Open Men with both surfers locking in a series of respectable scores, however when the heat wrapped up it was Ellice-Flint who got the edge over the local surfer with a healthy 14.85 scoreline.
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.