Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing
First Point Noosa, Queensland
8 - 17 March 2014
Tandem, Groms, Bodysurfing, SUP - it all went down with flair
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 March, 2014 - Round two of the Ocean Addicts SUP Men's Open launched the second day, Beau Nixon a standout, living up to his Australian and defending festival champion titles. The four heats made the most of an empty First Point lineup, every wave being decimated by competitors across the board.
The Classic Malibu Team Challenge flooded the beach, the 24 surfers in each heat of the tag-team event waiting patiently as their team members revelled in the building swell. The team challenge is a 40-minute heat, each surfer riding three waves, the top two scoring, while the team' selected power surfer has all three waves scored. Mad cap and mayhem, those on the beach as frenetic as their ocean-bound counterparts.
Local shaper Thomas Bexon of Thomas Surfboards, along with Multiple world longboard champion and today's birthday boy, Taylor Jensen, surfing astoundingly to place their teams in a commanding position. The Deus team of Matt Cuddihy, Zye Norris, Harrison Roach and Husni dominated the fourth and final heat of round one with numerous scores in the high eights and above.
SUPs took to the water again for the semi final of the Ocean Addicts Men's Open, all surfers vying for a place in the afternoon's final, while their female counterparts went all out in their one-round division. Maria Kingy and Jenny Ryan two of the national representatives while Hawaiian Kirra Seale stepped outside of her usual women's open division, taking up paddle and adding international flavour to this open-heat competition.
A stoke-infused afternoon brought the pre-teens into the lineup, the Vegemite Surf Groms enjoying empty waves in a safe and fun environment and there was nothing holding them back from throwing themselves into any wave that came their way. Water Safety chief, Merrick Davis made sure all the kids got their turn, a lighter aspect of the otherwise serious and proficient work he does all week long.
It was a waiting game for defending event champion, Beau Nixon, waves backing off leaving finalists in the Ocean Addicts Men's SUP fighting over the few good waves and practicing patience. Not enough for Nixon, he was forced to relinquish his crown, Justin Holland opening the heat with an eight-point ride and not letting go of the lead for the duration.
Legends past and present presented an incredible display across disciplines, from the short boarding of seven-times world champion Layne Beachley and Merrick Davis, to the longboarding of world champions Californians Taylor Jensen and Jen Smith, Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour) and Noosa's Josh Constable and the phenomenal bodysurfing of Hawaiian legend Mark Cunningham and Harrison Roach.
Festival regulars, Fred and Lily Branger led the contingent of tandem surfers for an exhibition surf, the former world champion duo unleashing some breathtaking new manoeuvres to again wow the crowd with their spectacular display.
A select field of paddlers took to the bay for the Ocean Addicts 5km paddle as a brief squall dampened the sand, but not the spirits and the traditional Ho'okupu ceremony marked the official opening of the 2014 Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing presented by Jeep.
It was again a sell-out affair for the Vetshopaustralia.com.au Dog Surfing Spectacular, the beach standing room only for this ever-popular event. The local indigenous community was gratefully represented by the Gubbi Gubbi dancers, giving thanks and respect to the original locals for this wonderful land.
The dynamic tunes of the Hayden Hat Infusion lit up the Noosa night, injecting infectious vibes into the XXXX Summer Beach Bar, bringing a close to a successful day two.