2018 Burleigh Single Fin Runs First Women’s Division & Felicity Palmateer Wins
It was a little over zero feet but the 2018 Burleigh Heads Single Fin Festival was alive and kicking with locals and competitors saying it was the biggest crowds they’d seen at the iconic break this weekend. What is heralded as one of the favourite events in Australia each year, this year’s event continued to impress. In its 21st year a women’s division was added and despite the lack of waves some of the best were in the lineup. Photographer Fran Miller said, “It was the cherry on the top of the cake of an incredible event.”
Each surfer was required to ride a board that was crafted in 1984 or earlier. They could bring their own or borrow one of the retro rigs on display. The display of sleek and well looked after retro boards along with the live music, food trucks and sultry summery conditions is what draws in the super chilled, community vibes over the weekend.
“It was a classic summer weekend on the Burleigh hill.” Said Fran. The Burleigh Boardriders did an amazing job as always in continuing to make this one of the most fantastic and fun events in the country. To see that many people turning up for the whole weekend to watch the smallest surf conditions, is a testament to the event, the club and the way they keep the spirit of single fin surfing alive.”
Former World Junior Champ and local Isabella Nichols placed second overall and described it as “The most fun and possibly best event ever with no surf.” It was the first time Bella had surfed a single fin but you couldn’t tell, she even pulled out a fin-first ride to mix up the game a little. “I’ve always had a love for vintage boards, and every one of them looked amazing.” Said Bella. “But out there today in the shallows of the Burleigh rocks I was so worried about damaging the boards. I came out with a fair few battle wounds myself.”
The girls were dodging the inside rocks and putting their bodies on the line right into the finals. It was Felicity Palmateer, Isabella Nichols, Pacha Light, Lucy Callister, and local youngsters Pipi and Lily who took to the water. Fran said the commitment they showed was second to none. Bella said of surfing the finals “we paddled out and floated around looking for anything that we thought would break. It was a really fun final with the six girls and was pretty mellow. There were a couple of waves that, if you picked them off right, gave good rides. Flick managed to find the wave we were all hoping for to take the win.”
Flick Palmateer won herself a brand new Chaos Surfboards 5’9 x 19 x 2 1/4 six channel board that the shaper commented that “This weapon is a mixture of old and new and has such a beautiful feminine spray that matches its finer details.”
Congrats to Burleigh Boardriders on another epic event!
Photos by FRAN MILLER