14 Jan clubs finalised for national title
Merewether Surfboard Club will fly the flag for the Hunter when they travel to Cronulla for the inaugural the Billabong Boardriders Battle national title.
Merewether made the final after winning the Northern eliminator at Booti Booti Beach in October last year.
The final is being held on the Australia Day weekend (Feb 25, 26) and organisers are stoked with the final line-up which boasts some Australia’s best surfing talent.
‘The weekend promises to be an amazing showcase of some of country’s best surfers and a celebration of the Australian boardriders community, which is the backbone of surfing in this country,’ said Surfing Australia CEO, Andrew Stark.
‘All the clubs around Australia have really got behind the national series and there’ll be plenty of great rivalries on show at Cronulla with our best professionals battling alongside their club mates.’
Merewether are yet to finalise their team for the contest, but they have all club members putting their hand up to represent the famous Black and Blue.
Professional surfers Ryan Callinan, Jesse Adam, Jake Sylvester and Craig Anderson are likely to make up the core of the team with club champion Travis Lynch, Philippa Anderson, Mitch Ross, Jackson Brent and youngsters Jackson Baker, Luke Hamilton, Sarah Phelan and several others in line for a spot in the final.
To win the title Merewether will have to be the best team, not the team with the best surfers.
There is some elite talent in the opposition clubs, but the Newcastle club’s greatest strength is their team-first mentality.
Merewether’s team manager, Tim Ryan, is excited about the club’s chances.
‘On paper we did not have the team to win the Northern eliminator and on paper we don’t have the team to win this event,’ he said.
‘What we do have is a team with 25 years of heritage in tag team surfing,’
‘We have a team that works together and the bleeds black and blue for the club,’
‘It is our 50th year this year, we are well drilled, we understand the rules of this format and we go to Cronulla on Australia day with the belief that we can win.’
Their main competition will come from Snapper Rocks and North Narrabeen.
Both clubs are stacked with some of the country’s best surfers including five-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, 2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson and ASP World Tour competitor Laura Enever.
Other big names in Australian surfing that will be on show include current World Champion Mick Fanning (Kirra), Tyler Wright (Werri), Adrian Buchan (Avoca), Taj Burrow (Yallingup) and Mark Occhilupo (Cronulla).
The Be the Influence Australian Boardriders Battle national series is the biggest grassroots, boardriders club event in Australian surfing history with the country’s best clubs competing for over $100,000 in prize money. The series culminates in Cronulla with 16 clubs from each State battling for the top honour.
The final consists of 13 clubs from the seven State qualifying rounds, two wildcard clubs selected by Surfing Australia and host club Cronulla Sharks Boardriders. The two clubs to win the wildcard spots are North Narrabeen Boardriders and Queenscliff Boardriders.
The clubs to contest the final are:
NEW SOUTH WALES:
Merewether Surfboard Club, Avoca Boardriders, Werri Beach Boardriders, Elouera Boardriders, North Narrabeen Boardriders, Queenscliff Boardriders, Cronulla Sharks Boardriders.
Snapper Surfriders, Kirra Surfriders, D-Bah Boardriders
Torquay Boardriders, 13th Beach Boardriders
Yallingup Boardriders, Margaret River Boardriders
South Arm Boardriders
In total, $105,000 is up for grabs across the entire National Series including the National Final. There was $30,000 available across the seven State qualifying events, while $75,000 will be split between the 16 clubs that make the National Final. The final includes a $10,000 Skins event with $1000 winner-take-all up for grabs across 10 heats.
Teams must consist of seven competitors: two juniors (one male and one female), four opens (three males and one female) and one Over 35 (male or female), who will battle it out in a Pairs Division, five person Teams Division and the Skins Division.
The event will be televised live both days on Fuel TV and will also be streamed at www.australianboardridersbattle.com.
The Be the Influence Australian Boardriders Battle also includes a Monster Raffle giveaway with one lucky ticket holder to drive away in a new Toyota RAV4. Other prizes include a Billabong pack valued at $1475 and a Nikon 1 AW1 camera valued at up to $1100. The Monster Raffle is open to all Surfing Australia affiliated boardrider clubs with proceeds returning to the boardriders club community.
In a further incentive to the clubs that make the National Final, the four junior female surfers from the four highest placed clubs will be invited to be part of the Surfing Australia documentary Wildcard.
Wildcard is a one hour documentary following the four female surfers as they are given the chance of a lifetime to win a wildcard spot into the Open division at the Australian Open of Surfing at Manly in February, 2014. The four will be invited to the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre (HPC) for a week-long selection camp to see who will win the wildcard.
This event is supported by the Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, part of the Australian Government’s National Binge Drinking Strategy addressing youth binge drinking and raising awareness of the long and short term impacts of harmful drinking among young people through sport sponsorships and other activities.
The Be the Influence Australian Boardriders Battle National Final at Cronulla on 25-26 January will not only showcase the country’s best surfers but will also feature two Australia Day Weekend free concerts.
The event is the biggest grassroots, boardriders event series in Australian surfing history with more than $100,000 in prize money. It involved more than 100 of Australia’s best boardriders clubs in seven State qualifying rounds and culminates in a two-day, National Final for 16 clubs at North Cronulla.
The National Final will feature many of Australia’s best surfers including world champions Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore plus a host of ASP World Championship Tour male and female surfers representing their local boardriders clubs during the two-day surfing festival.
Each club team of seven will include two juniors (1 male and 1 female), four Open age surfers (3 male and 1 female) and one over 35 surfer (male or female). An exciting event format will see club teams battle it out in Pairs competition, five-person Teams competition and a Skins competition. The National Final will include a lucrative, winner-take-all Skins format across 10 heats with a $1000 jackpot in each heat.
The event will be televised live both days on Fuel TV and will also be streamed atwww.australianboardridersbattle.com.
Both days will end with a free concert from some of Australia’s top music acts at Dunningham Park, Kingsway, Cronulla
Saturday’s concert starting at 4.30pm will feature:
Kingswood – www.facebook.com/KINGSWOODmusic
Calling All Cars – www.facebook.com/callingallcarsmusic
Sun City – www.facebook.com/livefromsuncity
Sunday’s concert starting at 4pm will feature:
Stonefield – www.facebook.com/stonefieldband
The Delta Riggs – www.facebook.com/thedeltariggs
Sun City – www.facebook.com/livefromsuncity