Booming First Day of Competition at Original Source Boardriders Battle Australian Final
The swell came to the party at Cronulla today for the first of 2 days of competition between the winning clubs from each state to contend the 2015 Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle. Defending Champions Snapper Rocks are facing tough competition going into day 2 with North Narrabeen and Merewether hot on their heels and eager to take the title. The event revolves around the tag-team event where each club has a 5 person team that must include 1 female surfer. The heats are 1 hour each with each surfer catching 1 wave and returning to the beach in a relay-style format. Each team nominates one surfer to pick up their bonus points with an additional wave. The event also includes traditional competition with a male and female mini event. (SEE ALSO FINALS DAY RESULTS)
In 4 foot sets and a suckie reef section of North Cronulla the girls took to the water in their individual and team events where they battled not only with each other but also the very testing conditions. Stand outs of day one were local Cronulla Sharks representative Paris Whittaker who dominated a number do small sections to gain big points and a solid lead. Paris said “It was great being out there with all the girls and having fun even though the conditions were tough… The reef out there is quite tricky to know where to sit so surfing it a lot it made it a little bit easier but everyone was ripping so it hasn’t made that much difference… It’s really nice surfing for a team and having the whole team cheering you on.”
Bronte Macaulay was fresh back from the WQS in China and sliced into some bomb sets to post the highest score of the day with a 9.0 and a solid couple of manoeuvres making her Margaret River team mates happy on the beach. Margaret River in Western Australia is one of the countries strongest clubs with the local breaks putting on big, fierce and long waves on regular rotation giving the girls great experience in long, hollow rides and fast open faces.
WCT surfer Tyler Wright had an electric vibe throughout the day showing the beach why she was nearly number one last year, until a freak backhand carve dropped her on the rock shelf and pool chains during her teams heat representing her club Culburra. Culburra, on the NSW South Coast is Australia’s youngest surf boardriders club but with a rowdy beach cheer squad today they appeared as strong as the oldest clubs in camaraderie. Culburra will go into day 2 ready to make their mark in the championship race.
Holly-Daze Coffey replaced Steph Gilmore on the Snapper team to take a number of tricky waves in both her heat and teams event. Holly said after her teams heat “You kind of had to just go for whatever you could and hope it pulled up a good section…I was replacing Steph and I feel honoured to be chosen and be part of such an amazing team that has dominated since the competition has started.” Snapper will be hoping for a couple of strong heat finishes on Sunday to defend their title.
The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle is the country’s biggest grassroots, boardriders event series with $120,000 in prize money. It involved Australia’s best boardriders clubs in eight State qualifying rounds starting last October and culminating in this weekend’s, two-day National Final.
Each club team includes one junior (Under 18) surfer, four Open age surfers, and one over 35 surfer. Each team must include one female surfer. An exciting event format has teams battle it out in a women’s division, five-person teams’ division and a skins competition.
The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle is proudly supported by naming rights partner Original Source and major support partners in Toyota, Nikon, Oakley, Boost Mobile, Sutherland Shire Council, Milwaukee, FCS, Surfing Life, and Fox Sports. The series is officially sanctioned by the World Surf League, which allows Australian WSL World Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective State qualifying events and the National Final.
In total $120,000 is up for grabs across the entire National Series including the National Final. There is $33,000 available across the eight State qualifying events, while $87,000 will be on offer at the National Final. The winning boardriders club will receive $20,000, while $42,000 will be split between the clubs finishing second to 20th.