Sailor Jerry Surftag Newcastle Qualifier
Merewether Go Back-to-Back On Home Turf in Women’s Division
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 January, 2018 - North Shelly Boardriders have taken out the Sailor Jerry Surftag Newcastle Qualifier defeating Merewether Blue, Avoca and Merewether Black in pumping conditions at Merewether Beach. The Central Coast Club will now go into the Australian Championships at Duranbah Beach, Tweed Heads in April as the No.1 seeds as they attempt to win Back-to-Back Australian Championships.
North Shelly dominated the one hour final from start to finish with first surfer Saxon Lumsden posting 24.24 followed by Riley Laing with 18.67. Shane Holmes continued the big scores for NSB as third surfer scoring 21.53 and when team captain Russ Molony scored the highest three wave total of the final – 25.66 the Defending Australian Champions had opened up a winning margin that was consolidated with Johnnie Keith’s 11.5.
Holmes had earlier in the day locked in the highest Powerwave of the event – 9.60 with the powerful natural footer reveling in the clean overhead conditions. “Winning this Qualifier is unreal and we knew we could do it as we had the same team that won last year”, Holmes said. “To come to Newcastle and take the win feels really good as the waves were super fun and contestable. Every club was surfing amazing so it’s a good win by the boys and looking forward to the Nationals at Duranbah, bring it on”.
Molony’s smooth and stylish surfing was suited perfectly to the Merewether peaks, “The waves were firing and the surfing was insane”, Molony said. “All the team surfed for each other and to come away with the win was all time. I’m just glad I caught a couple of fun one’s in the final and put up a few good scores, all the boys were ripping”.
The Women’s final was totally different to the Men’s with Merewether having to come from behind against North Shelly, Frenchman’s and Women in Waves Norah Head to claim back-to-back wins at the Newcastle Qualifier.
Competing for the first time in the Sailor Jerry Surftag the Frenchman’s Women’s team stunned everybody on the beach when first surfer Danielle Hancock posted a massive 25.99 as first surfer which gave the debutants a huge lead early in the final. Merewether clawed their way back into the decider courtesy of Philippa Anderson’s 30.80 that included a 9.33 on her third wave. Anderson was well backed up by team mates Alanna Patison -7.71, Sarah Phelan – 10.13, Abbey Paxton – 11.43 and Laura Phelan – 3.54 who also secured 4 bonus points for Merewether for finishing first.
Merewether finished with a total of 67.61 with North Shelly second on 61.77 followed by Frenchman’s – 53.83 and Women in Waves Norah Head – 38.09.
“Team Merewether is so stoked to take back-to-back wins, it was an amazing effort from the girls”, Anderson said. “It was super close in the end with all the last surfers from each team not needing much and Laura Phelan saved the day again with three quick waves and a huge sprint up the beach. We had great waves all day and it’s really good to see four Women’s teams competing”.
Jess Grimwood was the standout for North Shelly scoring 25.23, which played a major role in North Shelly finishing second and qualifying to the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Champiomships.
“Our team is so proud to have made the Aussies and be representing the club with the Men’s team as well”, Grimwood said. “Our community is super tight and to be able to be in a position to mix it up with Australia’s best is what we love to do and shows all of our members that hard work and the love of surfing is what it’s all about. The Merewether girls surfed so well and it was also great to see some new faces and some legendary faces turn up to surf for the other teams”.
The top four Men’s teams – North Shelly, Merewether Blue, Avoca and Merewether Black have qualified to the Australian Championships with the top two Women’s teams qualifying – Merewether and North Shelly.
Results - 2018 Sailor Jerry Surftag Newcastle – Men
1st North Shelly 101.6 Q
2nd Merewether Blue 84.02 Q
3rd Avoca 82.48 Q
4th Merewether Black 81.51 Q
5th Wamberal Express
6th North Shelly “B”
7th Norah Head
11th Newcastle East End
Best Powerwave – Shane Holmes – North Shelly – 9.6
Results - 2018 Sailor Jerry Surftag Newcastle – Women
1st Merewether 67.61 Q
2nd North Shelly 61.77 Q
3rd Frenchmans 53.83
4th Women in Waves 38.09
Best Powerwave – Danielle Hancock – Frenchmans – 7.67
2018 Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Series
13 January – Newcastle (Area - Umina to Port Macquarie)
20 January – Northern Beaches (Area – Northern Beaches, Sydney)
17 March – VIC & SA (Area – Victoria & South Australia)
24 & 25 March – Cronulla (Area – Bondi to Ulladulla)
14 & 15 April – QLD & Northern NSW (Area – Coffs Harbour to Noosa)
27 & 28 April – Australian Championships – Duranbah Beach, Tweed Heads