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Competitors strategize at Day 3 of Southern Cross SUP Festival

Elite Marathon winners Sondra Purser (Currumbin) and Toby Cracknell (Avoca) © Smith/Surfing NSW



Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival

Surfing NSW
Birubi Beach, Australia
15 - 18 May, 2014

Toby Cracknell on point during Day 3 at Southern Cross

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 May, 2014 - Day three of the 2014 Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival saw the completion of the prestigious paddling components at Shoal Bay.

Surfing standout Toby Cracknell (Avoca) cemented his position as a great all-round SUP surfer, taking out the Technical Sprint (4-6 km) and Elite Marathon (14-16 km). The Avoca surfer took a narrow lead over Grant Hardimen (Narrabeen), James Casey (Collaroy) and Andy Davis (Allambie) to complete the 14 – 16 kilometer Elite Marathon in a time of one hour, six minutes and 49 seconds.

Grant Hardimen finished in second with a time of one hour, seven minutes and 18 seconds, while James Casey finished in third with a time of one hour, seven minutes and 41 seconds.

“I’m feeling pretty sore right now,” said Cracknell after claiming the win in the Elite Marathon. “About a kilometer past the first buoy, I just went for it and tried to split apart from the other guys a bit. When I got to the point where we past the marina at Nelson Bay, I began to look across and saw that Grant [Hardimen] had begun to take an outside line, so I just tried to keep my nose in front of his as a bit of a psych out tactic. My hamstrings and arms were burning at the end. I’m absolutely wrecked.”

Cracknell added: “I try to focus not only on the paddling, but the surfing as well. I think that is the best attack. I think that is the key to being a good stand-up paddler.”

Following in the same fashion as Toby Cracknell, Open Womens surfer Sondra Purser (Currumbin) managed to snag dual wins across the Elite Marathon and Technical Sprint divisions. Sondra took out the Marathon with a time of one hour, 17 minutes and six seconds.

“I’m pretty happy with everything right now,” said Purser. “I think I focused more on the Technical Sprint race overall, but to take out back-to-back wins over the Marathon has made the trip down from Currumbin worth every minute. I’m over the moon.”

World-renowned big-wave surfer and waterman Laird Hamilton visited this year's Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival. The Hawaiian participated in a meet-and-greet - where fans met the acclaimed stand-up paddleboarder and supported the sport of stand-up paddle.

Lennox Head’s Michael Stokes was awarded the Laird SUP Waterman of the Event. As a result, Michael was presented with a paddle from Laird SUP, which was personally signed by the renowned Hawaiian waterman.

“I really didn’t have any pre-conceived ideas about this festival before I arrived, but it’s great to see how enthusiastic everyone is about the sport,” said Hamilton. “It’s an honour to see people like him (Michael Stokes) get what they deserve. It’s great to see and is a win-win for me.”

The fourth and final 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 6.30am on the days of competition to confirm registration time and running order.

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.

The four-day event saw 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 kilometre 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.


Open Men Technical

1 – Toby Cracknell (Avoca)

2 – Kai Bates (Mollymook)

3 – James Casey (Collaroy)

4 – Andy Davis (Allambie)

5 – Grant Hardimen (Narrabeen)

Open Women Technical

1 – Sondra Purser (Currumbin, Qld)

2 – Kéale Dorries (Qld)

3 – Melissa McManus (Woollamia)

4 – Tammy Montgomery (Elanora Heights)

5 – Courtney Cooper (Carey Bay)

40s Technical

1 – Peter Dorries (Qld)

2 – Paul Mackie (Huskisson)

3 – Noel Graham (Lennox Head)

4 – Dale Chapman

5 – Richard Maurer (Kurnell)

50s Technical

1 – Michael Stokes (Lennox Head)

2 – Alain Teurquetil (Byron Bay)

3 – Andrew Allen


Open Men

1 – Toby Cracknell (Avoca)

2 – Grant Hardimen (Narrabeen)

3 - James Casey (Collaroy)

4 – Andy Davis (Allambie)

5 – Sam Parker

Open Women

1 – Sondra Purser (Currumbin, Qld)

2 – Melissa McManus (Woollamia)

3 – Vanessa Smith (Terrigal)

4 – Courtney Couper (Carey Bay)

5 – Tammy Montgomery (Elanora Heights)

O/40 Men

1 – Sam Parker

2 – David Coward (Balgowlah)

3 – Mick Davis (MacMasters Beach)

4 – Mark Rennie (Queenscliff)

5 – Paul Mackkie (Huskisson)

O/50 Men

1 – Alain Teurqetil (Byron Bay)

2 – Brett Baber (Mona Vale)

3 – Glenn Cochran (MacMasters Beach)

4 –John Engel (Bay View)

5 – Michael Stokes (Lennox Head)

Ethan Smith

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