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Dews & Gilbert win technical race at Australian SUP titles

Lincoln Dews © Surfing Australia




Be the Influence Australian SUP & Paddleboard Titles

Australian SUP Titles
Currumbin Beach, Australia
7 - 10 November, 2013

Competitors deal with brutal conditions in Technical Races

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 November, 2013 - Lincoln Dews (Sunshine Coast) and Karla Gilbert (Gold Coast) have defied brutal conditions to win the inaugural Technical Races at the Be the Influence Australian SUP and Paddleboard Titles at Currumbin Beach.

Competitors were put to the test in the 5km events with a howling north-easterly wind and tricky shorebreak providing some spectacular action.

More than 200 of the country’s best paddlers are representing their States in the four-day event. The SUP events are held across three disciplines: surfing; Technical Race involving several laps in and out through the surf; and a 15-20km Marathon. The prone paddleboard titles are held in two disciplines; Technical Race involving several laps in and out through the surf; and a 15-20km Marathon.

SUP surfing was held on Thursday and Friday at Currumbin Beach while the marathon in both disciplines will be held tomorrow, starting at Broadbeach and finishing in Currumbin Creek.

Prone paddleboarding also conducted technical races at Currumbin today with wins to the Sunshine Coast’s Rhys Burrows and Jordan Mercer.

Seventeen-year-old Dews had a hectic paddling battle with Currumbin lifeguard Kelly Margetts and it was only in the final lap when Dews paddled into a small wave to open up a race-winning lead. The Gold Coast’s Beau O’Brian was not far behind Margetts in third.

“That was such a tough race,” Dews said. “This was probably one of the toughest races most of these guys have competed in, so to go head-to-head for an Australian Title with so many great paddlers is such an honour and especially in conditions likes these when anyone could have won it.”

Former irwonwoman champion Karla Gilbert powered through the start of the women’s race to take an early lead and was never headed in an impressive display of surf skills. The chasing pack swapped positions many times as any fall in the choppy conditions always proved costly.

Gilbert finished ahead of New South Wales’ Terrene Black and Queensland’s Shakira Westdorp, who won the women’s SUP surfing title the previous day.

“I made the decision before the race to paddle a slightly wider board,” Gilbert said. “I usually race on a board 24 inches wide, but this one was 26 inches and it was the best decision I made. I was stuck like glue on that board.

“Today was as rough as it gets in terms of stability on a SUP board, so I’m very happy with my decision.”

This event is supported by the Be the Influence - Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, part of the Australian Government's National Binge Drinking Strategy addressing youth binge drinking and raising awareness of the long and short term impacts of harmful drinking among young people through sport sponsorships and other activities. Gold Coast Coast City Council is also backing the event for two years.

The 2013 Be the Influence Australian SUP and Paddleboard Titles are proudly supported by the Be the Influence - Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, Gold Coast City Council, Events Queensland, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, Currumbin RSL, AuSUP, Surfing Australia and Surfing Queensland.

Competitors and spectators can call the Event Hotline after 6:30am each morning of competition for a confirmed start time and location - Ph (07) 30306388

Tim Brimblecombe

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