23 Jan Best of the best set to battle it out
Australia’s best surfers are poised to put friendships aside and club loyalties at the forefront at the National Final of the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle at Cronulla on January 24-25.
Defending champion Snapper Rocks Surfriders lead a strong line-up of Australian boardriders clubs including Merewether Surfboard Club, North Narrabeen Boardriders, Kirra Surfriders, , Le-Ba Boardriders and Avoca Boardriders.
Last year Merewether finished third and will be looking to improve on their result on the weekend.
Merewether’s team is stacked with talent including Ryan Callinan, Jackson Baker, Luke Egan, Marc Adam, Philippa Anderson, Luke Hamilton, Morgan Cibilic and Danielle Hancock.
Marc Adam, ne of the clubs Over 35s surfers, is confident they have the team to give the competition a shake again this year.
‘It’s going to be a great event with all the big names and clubs surfing, but with that said, I believe we are a could chance to take this one out.’ he said.
Ryan Callinan is on the comeback road after a back injury dogged him for much of the second half of 2014 and is keen to get 2015 off to a flying start.
‘It’s always a great weekend in Cronulla for this comp.’ he said.
‘The vibes are good and everyone is happy and competitive.
‘I think we could do really well if everything falls our way and we surf to our potential.
‘We got third last year and I think we can do better this year.’
18-year-old Jackson Baker was one of the club’s junior surfers in last year’s team but will take on the extra responsibility of being an open surfer for the weekend’s event.
‘I’m really stoked to be representing Merewether in the ABB as an open surfer.’ he said.
‘It’s a real privilege to be selected for the spot.
‘I can’t wait.’
Flying the flag for the girls will be Philippa Anderson and youngster Danielle Hancock.
Anderson has just returned from a six-star QS event in China and is looking forward to flying the flag for her club.
‘I’m super excited again.’ she said.
‘Hopefully go can go two better this year.
‘All the teams that I’ve heard are surfing are going to be tough to beat but we have got a super good team in.
‘Hopefully the Black ‘n’ Blue can bring it home.’
The clubs are stacked with the country’s finest surfing talent including World Surf League (WSL) stars and world champions Stephanie Gilmore and Joel Parkinson for Snapper Rocks plus Laura Enever (North Narrabeen), Adam Melling (Le-Ba), Bede Durbidge (Point Lookout) and Adrian Buchan and Matt Wilkinson (both from Avoca Boardriders).
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 culminates in next week’s National Final at Cronulla in Sydney.
The event will be telecast live on Fox Sports 2 (January 24) and Fox Sports 5 (January 25) plus streamed on www.australianboardridersbattle.com.
The final consists of 20 clubs from the eight State qualifying rounds, including four wildcard clubs selected by Surfing Australia and host club Cronulla Sharks Boardriders. The four clubs to win the wildcard spots are Point Lookout Boardriders, Avoca Beach Boardriders, Coffs Harbour Boardriders and Scarborough Boardriders.
The clubs to contest the final are:
NEW SOUTH WALES: North Narrabeen Boardriders, Merewether Surfboard Club, Le-Ba Boardriders, Byron Bay Boardriders, Culburra Boardriders, Bondi Boardriders, Cronulla Sharks Boardriders, Avoca Boardriders, Coffs Harbour Boardriders, Scarborough Boardriders
QUEENSLAND: Snapper Rocks Surfriders, Burleigh Heads Boardriders, Coolum Boardriders, Kirra Surfriders, Point Lookout Boardriders
VICTORIA: Peninsula Surfriders, Phillip Island Boardriders
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Margaret River Boardriders
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: South Coast Boardriders
TASMANIA: South Arm Boardriders
Supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the 2015 The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle is shaping up to be a highlight on the summer calendar.
Each club team will include 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 will see 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 WSL, 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.
The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle also includes a $60,000 Monster Raffle giveaway with one lucky ticket holder to drive away in a new Toyota RAV4 valued at $55,000. Other prize packs will be provided by Milwaukee, Original Source, Nikon, Oakley, Boost Mobile and FCS. The Monster Raffle is open to all Surfing Australia affiliated boardriders clubs with proceeds returning to the boardriders club community.
For more visit www.australianboardridersbattle.com
Pics by throwingbuckets.com.au/redmonkey photography