One Step Closer to Australia's Best Boardrider Club being Crowned at the Jim Beam Surftag
By Renee Miller | 23 February 2012
Some of the action from the stars in the early heats. Pics: Wes Lonergan
The quest for Australia’s best boardrider club moved to the business end today, as finals for the Jim Beam Surftag National series got underway at Lennox Head, NSW. Narrowing it down to the top 24 clubs in Australia, the prestigious title had tensions running high.
The hype from yesterdays Boardriders Cup win from James Wood had Le-Ba team mates running on adrenalin and the winning streak continued through not only the Club challenge, but the Manufactures cup which saw local Stu Kennedy riding for Rusty.
Kennedy followed Adam Melling and world no.2 Owen Wright in what seemed like a perfect team collaboration. His opening 8.5 ride added to his 18.37 score and as James Wood came in, one of the highest team scores of the day was nailed – 84.21.
Earlier in the day Kennedy rode for Emery in the Manufactures Cup and his 25.16 helped push them through to tomorrows final along with team Rusty, Island and JS who featured Josh Kerr and Joel Parkinson.
Parko’s busy surfing schedule always has time to come home and surf with his local boardriders in what has now become known amongst Australian Boardriders as one of the best in the country.
“It’s the biggest prize for clubs to win in Australia, I think its got more prestige than any other surf boardriders tournament”, said Parko
The Jim Beam Surftag offers over $130,000 in cash over the eight event series, along with a trip to the Maldives for the top surfers from each event.
“For a club to have that accolade as the best in Australia, what else do you need?”, said Joel Parkinson who moves into tomorrow’s quarter finals with his club Snapper Rocks A team.
Josh Kerr surfed in the last heat of the day and felt the pressure of his fellow boardriders watching from the Jim Beam Sand Bar.
“These are the most nervous events you can do, in the teams you’ve got to run out there and get you’ve got 2 waves, there’s no screwing up you have to make them both count”,
“We have a pretty good team with snapper but that doesn’t mean anything with these events, you can have the best team ever and get beaten by anybody because you have no le-way, everything counts.” said Kerr who also rides for Snapper Rocks A team.
The Biggest score of the day was in the first heat of the Teams Club Challenge, Bronte Boardriders tallied an impressive 86.62 with riders; Azza Graham, Caleb Reid, Tom Whittaker, Luke Hutchings and Ryan ‘Whippet’ Clarke.
Placing 1st in heat 4 and welcoming the event move north was D Bah’s John Cummings who opened proceedings with a 14.07. Following them in second was Merewether Boardriders, Luke Egan and Jesse Adam’s big scores eliminated Kirra by less than a point, and Cronulla bowed out also.
Phillip Island wowed the crowds and the trip from Victoria was worth it as Steve Nobles 8 point ride moved them into 1st place and took North Steyne with them to the quarter finals which will be held tomorrow.
Held outside of Sydney for the first time since the series began in 2001, the move north has been well received due to the high quality of beach breaks in the Ballina region. Local knowledge is sure to play a big part with Le-Ba (Lennox Ballina) again tomorrow along with Byron Bay, DBah, Kirra and Snapper Rocks relishing the opportunity to compete on home turf.
Watch all the action LIVE at www.globalsurftag.com
The National series is Australia's largest team surfing competition featuring a combined prize pool of over $130,000 and gives club surfers an opportunity to compete with Australia's best surfers. The Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series provides a national competition for over 80 boardriding clubs to determine Australia's No.1 club.
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The 2012 Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series is supported by FCS, Tracks and www.theperfectwave.com.au
The 2012 Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series is a supporter of Surfaid International www.surfaidinternational.org