26 Jan Snapper make it back-to-back ABB titles
SNAPPER Rocks Surfriders made it back-to-back wins at the second annual Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle at Cronulla Beach.
At the end of the first day of competition the Queensland outfit narrowly led Newcastle’s Merewether Surfboard Club at the top of the leaderboard.
After opening the competition with wins in the Open Skins and Women’s heats Merewether took an early lead heading into the opening team tag discipline.
Despite being seeded second going into the contest Merewether were handed the hardest heat in round one coming up against the star-studded North Narrabeen, Le-Ba, Point-Lookout and Margaret River teams.
Merewether were also in the final heat of the day meaning the momentum they had built up in the morning contests had been tempered by a three hour break.
Making his debut as an open surfer for the team Jackson Baker led the team off, but he struggled to find a wave in the fickle conditions and took nearly 20 minutes before scoring a 3.83.
This wasn’t the ideal start for the second-seeds and they were unable to claw back the numbers needed as the sides around them racked up big numbers with some amazing surfing.
It was very unlike-Merewether performance who normally thrive in the team tag discipline.
‘Due to the vagaries of the draw we drew some competitive clubs and we were off our game,’ team manager Tim Ryan said.
‘The guys all tried their butts off but it just didn’t fall our way,’
‘Ryan (Callinan) and Philippa (Anderson) got us off to a flier early, but we just didn’t click in the teams event,’
Despite bombing out in the teams event Merewether still sat second on the leaderboard and were a mathematical chance of taking out the title of Callinan could win all five skins on offer on the morning of Day two.
But once again mother-nature didn’t provide the conditions needed and Callinan finished third in his low-scoring heat, putting an end to the club’s hopes of a podium finish.
Far from disgraced however, the team finished sixth in the 20-team National final.
‘Sixth is no disgrace, but we like to see ourselves on the podium,’ Ryan said.
‘We will be back bigger and better next year.’
Despite finishing second in the last event of the day in the teams’ relay division, Snapper had enough points to take the overall title home again.
Coffs Harbour Boardriders will be celebrating long and hard after knocking over Snapper to win the teams’ relay division and take second place in the overall points in their 50th year celebrations.
Coffs were outstanding on the final day led by Jayke Sharp. Culburra Boardriders finished third overall despite being eliminated from the teams’ relay division on Saturday.
‘Thanks very much for another amazing event down here,’ said Snapper Rocks captain Jay Phillips.
‘We love coming down here, we love the locals and enjoy the atmosphere with all the clubs.
‘To our team, we can’t really do it without all the great people and our top gun Joel Parkinson put on a great show for us to stay in the game.
‘We don’t bring many supporters down but we come down with pride and honour and to all our supporters at home at Snapper Rocks we love them and we’re bringing it home. This is what I live for. I love club surfing.’
Parkinson said the club was extremely proud to be taking home the title back to Queensland.
‘It’s one thing to be Australia’s best club once, but to do it twice is something to cherish forever.
‘See you next year for three times hopefully.’
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 included 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 had teams battle it out in a women’s division, five-person teams’ division and a men’s skins competition for the overall title.
North Narrabeen was expected to mount a serious challenge to Snapper, but the Sydney club was surprisingly eliminated from the first heat of the teams’ relay division in the morning and finished fourth. Avoca Boardriders also remained a major threat and could have still taken the overall title had they reached the final of the teams’ relay division but were eliminated in the semi-finals to finish fifth.
In several special awards also presented, Jayke Sharp (Coffs Harbour Boardriders) was awarded the Wayne Bartholomew Medal for the best performing male surfer at the National Final. Stacey Holt (Point Lookout Boardriders) won the Layne Beachley Medal for best performing female. Each surfer also received $1000.
Nick Squiers (Scarborough Boardriders) won the Milwaukee Heavy Duty Hack Award for the surfer who displayed the biggest and best power move and won $1500 in Milwaukee equipment and $1000.
Bondi Boardriders won the Fox Sports Patriot Award and $5000 for the club that demonstrated the most passionate spirit during the National Final after bringing a robust support crew to Cronulla complete with three-piece band.
Snapper Rocks and Coffs Harbour also won $1000 and $500 of FCS product for finishing first and second.
Snapper Rocks Boardriders 5525
Coffs Harbour Boardriders 4800
Culburra Boardriders 4262
North Narrabeen 4250
Avoca Boardriders 4174
Merewether Surfboard Club 4062
Point Lookout Boardriders 4050
Bondi Boardriders 3862
Byron Boardriders 3851
Le Ba Boardriders 3850
Scarborough Boardriders 3762
Margaret River Boardriders 3750
Kirra Surfriders 3674
South Coast Boardriders 3550
Cronulla Sharks Boardriders 3362
Philip Island Boardriders 3162
Peninsula Surfriders 3063
Burleigh Boardriders 3062
Coolum Boardriders 2750
South Arm Boardriders 2550
For full results head to www.australianboardridersbattle.com.