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Six champs crowned as bodyboard titles wrap

Gary Thatcher © Smith
Gary Thatcher © Smith





2014 Australian Surf Festival 

Wahu Australian Bodyboard Titles 
Emerald Beach, Coffs Harbour 
14 - 18 August 2014

Bodyboard titles finishes up in clean, sizable surf 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 August, 2014 - The Wahu Australian Bodyboard Titles crowned its first six champions after a range of divisions wrapped up in clean four-foot waves at Gallows Beach today. Former professional bodyboarder Adam Keegan (Mt. Coolum, Qld) snatched the first title in the Wahu Australian Bodyboard Titles, successfully taking out the Senior Mens division. The Sunshine Coast bodyboarder managed to lock in some last minute heroics to sneak past Liam Whitelaw (Somerville, Vic) to claim the win.

“This is the first time I’ve competed in a national titles in close to 20 years, so I’m stoked to win it,” said Keegan. “I guess my main plan out there was to just get two good waves. Fortunately, I got that last wave in the final minutes to get the win.”

Luke Jackson (Enoggera, Qld) claimed his second Australian title in as many years successfully taking out the Masters (Over-35) division. The Brisbane based bodyboarder posted a 14.00 two-wave heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to claim the win ahead of fellow Queenslander Dave Ayliffe (Molendinar, Qld).

“This is out of control,” said Jackson. “To be able to back it up and get my second title feels amazing. I can’t believe it. All the guys in the final have an unreal surfing ability and three of us shared the final last year as well. Things are really tight between all of us.”

Steve Watson (Blairgowrie, Vic) claimed the Grand Masters (Over-45) division, after notching up a series of solid wave scores in all his respective heats. The Victorian surfer took the win ahead of multiple national champion Greg Chambers (Mona Vale, NSW).


Grand Masters © Smith 


“This is one of the best run events I’ve ever participated in,” said Watson. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be together in a final with all the other guys. All of us are in our mid-50s or early 60s and we all just wanted to get a couple of good waves and have some fun.”

Dion Myers (North Boambee Valley, NSW) claimed the highly competitive Drop Knee division after a solid performance which included barrel rides and solid turns. The local bodyboarder posted a nine-point ride (out of a possible ten points) for a solid barrel which gave him the upper hand in the final over all of his fellow competitors.

“This is my first national title, so I couldn’t be happier,” said Myers. “This is something I’ve always dreamt of doing, but I’ve been out of the scene for around ten years, so it’s great to be back.”

Sam Gillett (Martinsville, NSW) took down her sister Teigen and Sophie Leathers (Dorrigo, NSW) to claim the Junior Womens final. Gillett also had the privilege of sharing a combined heat with her mum Shauna, who competed in the Open Womens final.


Shauna Gillett © Smith 


“I just wanted to catch as many waves as I could and try my hardest on them,” said Sam Gillett. “My sister and I always surf together, so it’s usually pretty competitive, but it was also great sharing a heat with my Mum. I know she was sitting on a different part of the break, but it was still good having her out there with us.”


Senior Men

1 – Adam Keegan (Mt. Coolum, Qld)

2 – Liam Whitelaw (Somerville, Vic)

3 – Brendan Gabel (Rossmoyne, WA)

4 – Ben Veitch (Margaret River, WA)


1 – Luke Jackson (Enoggera, Qld)

2 – Dave Ayliffe (Molendinar, Qld)

3 – Lloyd Llewellyn (Bli Bli, Qld)

4 – Greg Arnold (Avoca, Qld)

Grand Masters

1 – Steve Watson (Blairgowrie, Vic)

2 – Greg Chambers (Mona Vale)

3 – Paul Mace (Elermore Vale)

4 – Graeme Ellis (Elanora, Qld)

Junior Women

1 – Sam Gillett (Martinsville, NSW)

2 – Teigen Gillett (Martinsville, NSW)

3 – Sophie Leathers (Dorrigo, NSW)

Open Women

1 – Shauna Gillett (Martinsville, NSW)

Drop Knee

1 – Dion Myers (North Boambee Valley, NSW)

2 – Gary Thatcher (Highworth, Qld)

3 – Rory Nelson (Cape Burney, WA)

4 – Mitchell Ashcroft (Sandy Beach, NSW)


1 August – Australian Surf Festival Opening Ceremony

2-6 August – Australian Surfmasters Titles

2-3 August – Australian Single Fin Titles

6-14 August – Australian Longboard Titles

7-10 August – Australian Logger Titles

14-18 August – Wahu Australian Bodyboard Titles

Ethan Smith

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