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Battle of the Boardriders Clubs to conclude in Cronulla

 

 

Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle

Surfing Australia
Cronulla, New South Wales Australia
24 - 25 January 2015

Rabbit coaches Snapper Rocks as they eye Boardriders title

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 January, 2015 - Coolangatta - Snapper Rocks Surfriders coach Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew says the incredible depth in several clubs ensures this weekend’s National Final of the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle at Cronulla is wide open.

Snapper won last year’s inaugural title with a powerhouse team including world surfing champions Stephanie Gilmore and Joel Parkinson. But Bartholomew believes a stumble by Snapper late in the event last year when they failed to win the teams section proves the club is vulnerable against several strong clubs heading for Cronulla.

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 this weekend’s, two-day National Final starting on Saturday.

Parkinson returns for Snapper Rocks this weekend, while several clubs including Avoca Boardriders (Adrian Buchan, Matt Wilkinson), Le-Ba Boardriders (Adam Melling) and Point Lookout (Bede Durbidge) all have World Surf League (WSL) surfers in their line-up. Their depth also includes a host of Australian WSL Qualifying Series surfers plus some of Australia’s best junior surfers and several past WSL competitors. The newest club at the event, Cullburra Boardriders, which only formed last year, can call on WSL siblings Owen and Tyler Wright to fly the flag.

The action is scheduled to start at 8.30am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday. The event will be telecast live on Fox Sports 2 (from 8.30am on Saturday) and Fox Sports 5 (from 10am on Sunday) plus streamed live on australianboardridersbattle.com.

“It’s a great honour to be the defending champion, but a lot of things have to go right over the two days,” Bartholomew said. “Even though we had a gun team last year we didn’t win the teams event, but did really well in the other disciplines.

“So this year we’re looking on improving our performances in the teams and that’s going to be crucial to winning.

“It’s just fabulous to be part of the event again. All our World Champions came through the club system and when they became World Champions they still come back and give their time. To be surfing alongside or surfing against a World Tour surfer is not only a real privilege but a great opportunity.”

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 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

Point Lookout Boardriders from North Stradbroke Island in Queensland also loom as a dark horse with Durbidge leading a team including QS surfers Tim Macdonald and Lincoln Taylor and gun junior Ethan Ewing.

“It’s the biggest competition in Australia for boardriders and Point Lookout wants to take it out. Our team’s raring to go and give it a good crack,” Durbidge said

“Boardriders is where it all started for me. I was actually five when I surfed my first heat so now to head down to Cronulla for the final it’s great to give something back to the club. I’m very passionate about this club and I want us to do well.”

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.
 
Several special awards will also presented including the Wayne Bartholomew Medal and Layne Beachley Medal for the best performing male and female surfer at the event with the winners also receiving $1000 each; the Milwaukee Heavy Duty Hack Award to the surfer who displays the biggest and best power move, with the winner receiving $1500 in Milwaukee equipment and $1000; the Fox Sports Patriot Club Award worth $5000 to the club that demonstrates the most passionate spirit during the National Final; and the FCS Team Sponsorship worth $1000 and $500 of FCS product to the clubs finishing first and second.
 
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.

Author: 
Will Hayden-Smith
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