National Women’s Jim Beam Surftag Title
North Narrabeen, New South Wales
1 - 2 March 2014
North Narrabeen take national women’s Jim Beam Surftag Title
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 March, 2014 - North Narrabeen Boardriders clinched their fifth National Women’s Jim Beam Surftag Title yesterday, the club’s third in a row, to solidify them as the strongest Boardriding Club in both Men’s and Women’s throughout the country. With the Men winning their fifth title last season, dominance like this has never been seen in Surftag history, declaring these certainly are the golden years for North Narrabeen Boardriders.
With the event moved to the famed beach break late last week, the home ground advantage was always going to be in North Narrabeen’s favour, but with the biggest field seen for a Women’s team event, including a red-hot DBAH club, converting that advantage into a title was a monstrous task. While it teemed down with rain for the duration of the event, out in the water the break turned it on with 2 to 4 foot waves peeling left and right all day offering fantastic scoring opportunity.
Belinda Hardwick has surfed in all five winning North Narrabeen teams and said 2014 was an extra special win for the club. “We’ve had three consecutive wins now and having it at Narrabeen with all the boys watching too, it was amazing, a really special win,” said Hardwick. “The guys are starting to become aware of the major part women play in the club and I think a lot of clubs are starting to see that now. They are putting a lot more effort and support into backing women’s surfing.”
“It was the best waves we’ve had for this event. That made it a lot more fun to get out there and do some turns. I was so nervous at the end of the final. I knew it was going to be super close and it was going to come down to bonus points. It was probably the most excited we’ve been with a win... we were all jumping up and down like lunatics.”
While North Narrabeen ran away with another crown scoring 77.17 in the final, it was DBAH who arguably made the most noise on the day – announcing their arrival to Women’s team surfing. The event was their debut appearance and they pushed the locals until the end with final surfer Leilani Cummings surfing out of her skin and the judges were forced to deliberate well after the final hooter.
In the end it wasn’t enough and the QLD team finished second on 75.73, a positive result for the newly formed club. Queenscliff Boardriders, led by 8-time World Champion Layne Beachley, was well in the mix for the entire final, but consistency proved to be their Achilles’ heel and took home third place on 70.03. North Shelly finished fourth on 52.00 despite being the second team to finish within the 60-minute time frame.
Hardwick said the DBAH team were a surprise package and pushed her side but local knowledge was the deciding factor.
“The surf was clean and really good in the morning but by the final there was a strong rip running through it as the tide changed. That was the good thing for us having the local knowledge. We were quite aware of the rip and how it can drag you down the beach, you have to be right on the spot to get the best waves.”
“DBAH finishes really strong, they were great. Their last surfer had a good Powerwave and I thought it was getting close. Shelly, our last surfer, really kept it together for us, focused on the time and managed to get a few quick waves because we needed the bonus points.”
The North Narrabeen team included Elle Northey, Tessa De Josselin, Shelly Carrier, Jess Van Der Meer and Hardwick. Van Der Meer dominated the morning heats posting the events highest score, 30.67 in Heat 1, which included a 9.5 on her BOSCH Powerwave.
Queenscliff’s Sophia Bernard who was competing in her first Jim Beam Surftag was a standout and replicated why she’s a powerful surfer in individual competition. Bernard top scored the final, opening QBC’s account with a 23.4 personal total.
“It got so exciting at the end,” she said. “I was pacing up and down the beach wonder who was going to win… it was so close. I surf at North Narrabeen for training and I was looking for the lefts that link up with the shorey so I’m pretty happy with my performance.”
“It’s so good surfing with Layne. She’s such an inspiration to all the girls, not only in QBC, so to watch her surf and get advice from her is really good experience.”