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Dean Morrison leads Snapper during Jim Beam Surftag

Dean Morrison : photo courtesy Doug McFarlane

Jim Beam Surftag Australian Championship 

Jim Beam Surftag
Northern Beaches Sydney, NSW
12 - 14 February 2010  

Snapper Rocks lay down Surftag Gauntlet in opening round

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 February, 2010 : - - With World Championship Tour contender Dean Morrison in sensational form, Gold Coast club Snapper Rocks have laid down the gauntlet to their rivals with a stunning display in the first round of the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Championship at North Narrabeen beach today.

Morrison scored the day’s highest individual score of 27.63 out of 40 as Snapper cracked the 100 point barrier with a total of 104.66 to join North Steyne, Noosa, Avoca, Dee Why and hosts North Narrabeen as heat winners.

Runners up in the opening round Lennox-Ballina, Phillip Island, Port Macquarie, Merewether, Elouera and Cabarita also progressed to tomorrow’s quarter finals, while Western Australian champions Margaret River and Queensland title holders Kirra were eliminated.

But it was the Snapper Rocks team that was the talk of a packed beach. Surfing without world number two who Joel Parkinson who remained on the Gold Coast to train, Morrison was joined in an emphatic display by Shaun Gossman, Luke Dorrington, Josh Kerr and Jay Phillips.

North Narrabeen’s world championship tour surfer Chris Davidson was also outstanding, surfing first for the host club and amassing 26.16 in just seven and a half minutes setting his team up for a solid victory and 103.66 points – the second highest total of the day. Another to impress was Avoca and WCT surfer Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan.

Buchan, who finished last year ranked number 23 in the world despite a debilitating knee injury, starred for the Central Coast club as they took out the NSW state title in the morning before guiding the same team to a heat victory their Australian champion heat.

In what was an emphatic sign that the goofy footer is 100 per cent fit and in top form ahead of the World Championship Tour’s opening event on the Gold Coast in two weeks, Buchan scored a stunning 24.71 in the NSW final as Avoca totalled 88.61 to defeat Elouera and Queenscliff.

Buchan, along with club mate and world championship tour rookie Matt Wilkinson, were also outstanding in the opening round of the Australian Championship event with Avoca easily winning their heat from Merewether who had former stars Matt Hoy and Luke Egan in their side.

After the event, Buchan, who defeated Kelly Slater to win the 2008 Quicksilver Pro in France, said the Surftag provided a great opportunity for the tour surfers to compete with their mates and also prepare for their world title aspirations ahead. “It’s good to surf with your mates as part of a team because on tour you’re surfing for yourself and don’t have that team supportive environment,” Buchan said.

“The way you surf in Surftag is completely different to the way you’d tactically surf in a WCT event but being in a competition environment is good to get the competitive juices going.

“There is definitely pressure too because you’re performing for your mates. Sometimes I think this event has more pressure than the world tour.” The Surftag, with eight World Championship Tour surfers on show, pits the country’s best 24 club teams together for the more than $40,000 on offer.

The event sees five-member teams given an hour in which each individual must catch three waves, with the second being a “Powerwave” worth double points. All three waves for each surfer count in the scoring and bonus points are awarded for teams that finish before the 60 minute mark.

In the day’s other event, the FCS Manufacturers Cup, Emery Surfboards claimed the National title with 74.19 points from Stacey (64.28) and Warner (61.09). Emery were led by WCT rookie Adam Melling who was joined by Stuart Kennedy, James Wood and Sunny Russell. The Manufacturers Cup is run to a similar format to the Surftag series. Four man teams, made up of two factory employees and two team riders have 45 minutes collectively to get their individual quota of three waves.

Yesterday Adelaide’s Dion Atkinson won the Jim Beam Boardriders Cup for his Seaford club, triumphing over club champions from the nation’s top 44 clubs.

Previous reports:
# 1 : FCS Manufacturers Cup final hits the Northern Beaches

# 2 : Dion Atkinson crowned the number 1 Aussie club surfer

# 3 :
Coming soon
# 4 :
Coming soon

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David Lyall

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