Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing
First Point Noosa, Queensland
8 - 17 March 2014
Quiver Kaddy Men's Over 50s & Men's Open Amateur also run
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 March, 2014 - Wobbly waves filled First Point at dawn, but, as if on cue, they cleaned up, smoothed out and presented beautifully groomed faces for competitors in the first event of the day, the Bank of Queensland Family Challenge. The usual suspects - the Cuddihys, Matt and Win, and Dane and Dave Wilson - were on cracking form, but a surprise in heat two was Laura Murphy, a comparative unknown laying down some exquisite, sweeping bottom turns and textbook trim across the glassy faces.
As the tide drained out and fast, hollow waves dredged the sand from the ocean floor, round two of the Vans Logger Pro took to the lineup. Sydney boy Matt Chojnacki, always a maestro on this more traditional equipment, blitzed his heat, but Matt Cuddihy fought hard for the locals, holding on through an almost impossible gritty little outside barrel. All the way from Jersey in the UK, event co-commentator, Joe Davies surfed a phenomenal heat on his backhand, spending a staggering amount of time perched on the tip and claiming his heat convincingly.
Age divisions spanned the low tide, with the waves of First Point proving challenging for the Quiver Kaddy Men's Over 50s, the Illusions Noosa Men's Over 55s and the Men's Over 40s. Many of the surfers were caught off guard by a tricky mid section, long rides proving illusive. But luck, and local knowledge favoured the few, Wally Allen in particular benefiting from his familiarity to clock up a huge eight-point ride.
The Men's Open Amateur was a dynamic affair, First Point illuminating for this more dynamic division. Patrick O'Leary was sublime despite injury, posting two massive scores to demolish his heat, including a near-perfect 9.25 ride. O'Leary's right index finger was crushed under 400kg of metal just six weeks ago, the young Caloundra contestant surfing with only minimal use of his hand.
Josh Constable © Ian Borland
Each and every heat of the Vans Logger Pro could have been a final. The calibre of surfing was so extraordinarily high from all competitors as to leave judges scratching their heads over who had won each heat, who had ridden which of the plethora of waves and whether or not they were allowed to score more than ten out of ten.
Frenchman Antonio Delpero performed a disappearing act, tucking himself under a glistening sheet of whitewater, emerging several seconds later to hoots of enthusiasm from the onlooking crowd. There were, of course, the usual suspects, Harrison Roach, Zye Norris and Matt Cuddihy - impeccable in this, the Noosa locals' back yard. Joe Davies again blew minds with his backhand attack of the First Point waves, and Mitch Surman rode his self-titled MS Surfboards log to absolute perfection. It was, to put it bluntly, ridiculous and left everyone guessing over who would progress to the semi final.
As the sun made it's way to the horizon and the Vans Logger Pro drew to a close legend of Australian surfing Bob McTavish hosted a signing of his latest book, xxxx, to begin activities at the XXXX Summer Beach Bar.
Stepping away from the musical programming of previous nights, the evening presented a cinematic smorgasbord. The Drift Short Film Comp saw several shorts presented by several filmmakers, including locals Fred and Lily Branger and the renowned Tom Wegener's progeny, Finley.
Glen Neeson presented excerpts from his upcoming movie, Last Paradise, screening soon in select cinemas across Australia, a moving tribute to the late, great Al Byrne.
Following this, legendary bodysurfer and Pipeline lifeguard Mark Cunningham presented the movie in which he stars, Keith Malloy's 'Come Hell or High Water'. Not a board in sight, this bodysurfing film threw and entirely new perspective on waveriding, an artistic, laid back, highly entertaining way to end day four of the Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing presented by Jeep.