Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing
Noosa Heads, Queensland Australia
5 - 12 March 2016
Another start in Noosa Woods for Day Five of competition
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 March, 2016 - The Beach Beat Logger Pro kicked off the day at 6:30am sharp, and what a display of skill from surfers riding soft-railed, heavy single-fins. Japanese surfer Yuta Sezutsu proved that there is a bunch of talent emerging from the Land of the Rising Sun, acing his heat and leading start to finish with some impressive scores.
Lawrence Harkness, a seasoned all-rounder and festival regular, joined Sezutsu in progressing, with Josh Woollett from the US making a late charge to fill out numbers in round three.
The gents just out of grommethood followed, with the Kennards Hire Men’s 40 and Over taking advantage of the excellent conditions. Local knowledge, along with some pretty hot talent, came into play, with Noosa’s Scott Ford decimating his heat.
Hailing from Barbados but now calling Noosa home, Wally Allan has evidently been practicing hard, and his year’s progression paid off with a very convincing win to advance.
Dean Bevan surfed a blistering heat, outclassing his rivals for a massive heat score of 16.25 points.
Nic Jones © Noosa Festival of Surfing
It was an international affair for the first heat of the Coast to Coast Earthmoving Men’s Open Ams, with Joe “Rippin’ Brah” Rickabaugh absolutely charging. The Californian has shed his trademark dreadlocks, but no Samson-like loss of power has been suffered, Rickabaugh well in the lead for most of the heat. Most, that is, until Englishman Connor Griffiths, a first-timer at the festival, made a charge in the dying minutes to claim a magnanimous victory.
Nic Jones is a local name who is going places in a big way. A strong contender on last year’s World Surf League circuit, Jones returned once more to the Open Ams in spectacular fashion, exploding into his heat with boundless energy.
Big maneouvres were coupled with expert trim to give Jones a resounding lead from start to finish. There was simply no touching the young dynamo, his maturity and competence belying his minimal age. Jones will be a name rapidly elevating into the upper echelons of longboarding over the next few years.
The Golden Breed Noserider Pro is a long-standing favourite of the Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing, surfers defying gravity every year to amount staggeringly long noserides to vie for the title of King of the Nose. But round one proved to be a disappointment to all concerned.
Onshore winds, coupled with a low tide, made conditions beyond challenging for the nasal pilots and an event that has seen tip time amassing over a hundred seconds reduced to single digits.
Lawrence Harkness returned to the water for a third time, after a successful bout in the Men’s Open, to claim one of the first round’s highest scores – a little under 20 seconds – and nose maestro and Noosa local, Jai Lee, and outstanding performer across divisions, Dane Pioli, didn’t disappoint, each with a low 20-second tally.
In an event usually dominated by the men, this year gladly welcomed several female contestants to the fore. American Soleil Errico, in particular, shone out, defeating a male-dominated heat convincingly to take the win, and noseriding her way into the next round. It was a very welcome return to First Point for the afternoon’s age divisions.
Despite their excellent performances in the younger age divisions, neither Scott Ford or Wally Allan could match the morning ’s results against their more senior peers. Ford mustered a third place to Charlie O’Sullivan and Steve Beaumont respectively, and Allan, took silver to New South Welshman George Haskas, John Thurtell claiming the final qualifying spot.
Wayne Dive surfed to his usual superb standard to claim a win in heat three, while Noosa Mailbu Club’s Glen Gower had a dynamic heat and took an undisputed victory.
The day’s competition drew to a close with the Kennard’s Men’s 40 and Over. Glen Gower maintained his form in the average conditions, holding patience for a couple of set waves, which proffered substantial results. A convincing win for Gower, who was joined by John O’Malley and Aussie Arikan progressing into the third round.
On the other side of the reperchage second round, Chris Dunn and Ryan Chelman were favourites and in front for most of the heat, but third place contention was open. With a final push in the dying minutes, Stev McGinley tipped the balance, claiming the final qualifying spot of the day.
Humanitarian and human rights lawyer, as well as a celebrated surfer and musician, Patrick Burgess provided musical entertainment for sunset, offering a collection of his original tunes, closing with the much-loved ‘Simple Ben’, from the iconic 1972 movie, ‘Morning of the Earth’. Not only was this a huge crowd pleaser, Patrick was also joined on stage by none other than star of the movie, Rusty Miller, who lent his admirable harmonica talents to the rendition.
Closing the evening, winner of Café Le Monde’s ‘Surf Unearthed talent hunt, Jack Gray, eased the appreciative crow into the evening. The 17-year-old heartthrob-in-the-making entertained his audience with a scattering of homegrown and covered tunes, many onlookers taken aback by the level of talent in this young musician.
Day Five of competition begins at 6:30 tomorrow morning.