Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival
Birubi Beach, Australia
15 - 18 May, 2014
Kai Bates takes the Open Men's division
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 May, 2014 - Conditions declined for the finals of the surfing component at the 2014 Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival at Birubi Beach today. After locking in the event’s only perfect ten-point ride, Kai Bates (Mollymook) continued to astound the judges over the course of the Open Mens final where he locked in a pair of excellent scoring rides in excess of seven points (out of a possible 10 points) to claim the prestigious title.
“I’m so happy right now,” said Bates. “I feel like I've been having a good event and it feels amazing to win the Opens. The conditions were difficult to read and you had to be pretty aggressive to get any decent waves. My main tactic was to sit and wait for a good wave, which was tough given the conditions, but fortunately it all paid off for me. I couldn’t be happier.”
Surfing in back-to-back finals, Bates came up against a blisteringly in-form Harry Maskell (Wamberal) in the final of Under-21 division. Maskell managed to snag a few diamonds in the rough when he paddled into several lengthy lefthanders. Despite moments of brilliance from Bates, - which included a nail-biting finish in the final minute - he failed to register the scores required to lock in two final wins and had to settle for runner-up to Maskell. Day one standout Toby Cracknell (Avoca) took third position and Nick Walker (Casuarina) took fourth.
Hannah Finlay-Jones (Merewether) maintained her undefeated charge through the Open Womens final. The Novocastrian natural-footer managed to win all her respective heats in the opening rounds and was able to put the icing on the cake in the final when she locked in a respectable heat total of 10.67 to knock fellow women’s standout Jenny Ryan (Ballina) down into the runner-up spot.
Andrew Cassidy’s (Mona Vale) powerful turns were an early highlight in the Over-40s final. The Northern Beaches surfer locked in a 7.67 and a 7.50 on his two scoring waves to take a solid lead. Despite locking in a combination of solid scores, Glenn Turner (Merewether) was unable to find the required 8.41 wave score to move into first place and as a result had to settle for the runner-up spot.
Michael Stokes (Lennox Head) took the win in the Over-50s Men with an impressive display of rail surfing and technical maneuvers. The Lennox Head surfer locked in a heat total of 16.24 to sneak in front of event standout Richard Finlay-Jones (Merewether) who finished in second spot.
The third day of the event is expected to commence at Shoal Bay tomorrow morning. All competitors are advised to ring the event hotline (0458 247 212) by 6.30 on the days of competition to confirm registration time and running order.
World-renowned big-wave surfer and waterman Laird Hamilton will pay a visit to this year's Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival. During the four-day SUP festival, the Hawaiian will do a meet-and-greet - where fans can meet the acclaimed stand-up paddleboarder, - interview with media and support the sport of stand-up paddle.
The surf divisions for the 2014 Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival were located at Birubi Beach, with the racing divisions to be staged at Shoal Bay, right in front of the Port Stephens Country Club.
Throughout the event, there'll be an array of festival happenings taking place such as: free SUP lessons, SUP demonstration and coaching, stalls and SUP yoga. 2014 is the second year, the event has been sponsored by Port Stephens Country Club. Accommodation packages for the event, including board storage are available for competitors.
The four-day event will see the surfing element of the event run on Thursday and Friday with the racing running from lunchtime Friday until Sunday. Events in the racing component include: stand-up paddle board, 14-16 kilometer elite marathon, technical sprint race and a community teams race.
The Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival is proudly supported by Port Stephens Country Club, Port Stephens Council, HIF, Be the Influence, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, Carve, Ohana and Surfing NSW.
1 – Kai Bates (Mollymook)
2 – Toby Cracknell (Avoca)
3 – Glenn Turner (Merewether)
4 – James Casey (Collaroy)
1 – Hannah Finlay-Jones (Merewether)
2 – Jenny Ryan (Ballina)
3 – Tess Adima (Sydney)
4 – Madeline Rayner (Berrahah)
1 – Andrew Cassidy (Mona Vale)
2 – Glenn Turner (Merewether)
3 – Craig Munro (Port Macquarie)
4 – Adam Robinson (Copacabana)
1 – Michael Stokes (Lennox Head)
2 – Richard Finlay-Jones (Merewether)
3 – Glenn Cochran (Macmasters Beach)
4 – David Stretten (Port Stephens)
1 – Harry Maskell (Wamberal)
2 – Kai Bates (Mollymook)
3 – Toby Cracknell (Avoca)
4 – Nick Walker (Casuarina)