Mark Richards Pro ASP 2 Star WQS Mens event
Maitland Toyota Open ASP 2 Star WQS Womens event
Merewether Beach NSW
18 - 22 March 2009
Finals day tomorrow with two champions to be crowned in Newcastle
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 March, 2009 : - - South Bar Beach, NSW -- ASP World Tour rookie Drew Courtney (Umina, NSW) remains the only ASP Dream Tour surfer in contention to win the Mark Richards Pro final set down for tomorrow afternoon.
But its a different story at the Maitland Toyota Open, where ASP World Tour pairing Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) and Rebecca Woods (Gold Coast) both remain in contention. A three-time winner at Newcastle, Woods defeated Tasmanian Dara Penfold in a low scoring affair. Mulanovich easily outclassed Kirstie Jones and booked herself a match up in tomorrows finals against Kiwi Airini Mason.
Surfers were again confronted with a disappointing lack of solid surf at Merewether, and organisers were forced to move the event back to South Bar Beach for the second day in succession.
With the swell at times offering little more than waves of half-a-metre, surfers who managed to find the waves included South African Travis Logie (17.5), and the Aussie pairing comprised of former world tour surfer Jarrad Howse (16.25) and Drew Courtney (16).
Logie remains the only non-Australian surfer left in the Mark Richards Pro, following todays defeat of Kiwi Richard Christie and Tahitian top seed tormenter Tamaroa McComb (11.7), who was bundled out of todays quarter-final heat by Clancy Dawson (13.15) from Kingscliff in northern New South Wales.
Nick Vasicek : photo Michael Tyrpenou/ASP Australasia
Dawson went into his heat against McComb full of confidence and was pleased with the result. I wasnt that nervous. I knew hed be beatable even though hes a great surfer, I felt pretty decent, he said. Ive been to this event a few times, starting as a junior and I have been on the QS for the last couple of years. This is definitely my best result and Id love to go all the way, said Dawson.
He has his eye firmly on the opposition, and reckons those with experience at the elite level will be toughest to defeat. Id say Drew Courtney and Jarrad Howse are the ones to beat. Ill be up against Jarrad in the next round. Theyve both got really good backhands and were surfing lefts so this is going to be really dangerous. But my philosophy is everyones beatable and thats what Ill go out there thinking, said Dawson.
Howse gave a lesson in just how elite tour experience can work in a surfers favour when it comes to exploiting the priority system in the man-on-man heats that have been running in the Mark Richards Pro since the round of 64. This is the first time many of the competitors have had to battle out man-on-man tactics.
With less than three minutes remaining in his heat against Sunshine Coaster Noah Lane - who was holding priority - Howse waited for Lane to surrender his priority through inexperience. Howse pounced and racked up a 9.25 to take the heat and show the never-say-die attitude that is essential in man-on-man competition.
Michael Spencer : photo Michael Tyrpenou/ASP Australasia
Phillipa Anderson (Merewether) and Sam Lendrum (Catherine Hill Bay) remain the only locals in the hunt at the Maitland Toyota Open and the Mark Richards Pro. Anderson knocked over Sarah Beardmore (Ballina), while Lendrum accounted for Gold Coast hot-shot Chris Bennetts. Lendrum is surprised that he remains the local carrying the hopes for a homegrown champion.
I honestly didnt think Id get this far. Its pretty humbling to be mixing it with these big boys and thats always in the back of my mind, but Ive just got to take it heat by heat and see where it goes, said Lendrum.
In what should be one of the heats of the day tomorrow, Anderson will confront Woods. Action will recommence on Sunday at 7.30am, when the womens quarter-finals will hit the water. Officials will meet at 6am to determine whether the contest will again run at South Bar Beach.
Check the Live Action
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# 2 : Mark Richards Pro & Maitland Toyota events hit Surfest
# 3 : Mitch Crews dominates Day 1 of MR Pro at Merewether
# 4 : Local trio keeping the dream alive at Mark Richards Pro
# 5 : Top seeds Buchan & Neve tumble at Mark Richards Pro