Southern Cross SUP Festival
Port Stephens, New South Wales
24 - 27 May 2012
Luke Mussett starts strong at Southern Cross SUP Festival presented by d'Albora Marinas
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 May, 2012 : - - The Southern Cross SUP Festival presented by dAlbora Marinas, opened today at Birubi Beach Port Stephens. Welcomed with sunny skies, competitors were eager to get stuck into the highly anticipated four day event. Past and present State, and Australian champions filled the heats, along with a new breed of highly skilled Supers coming from Shortboard, longboard and Surf Life Saving backgrounds.
Well respected big wave charger, Alan Atkins (Byron Bay), holds a few state and National Surfing Titles under his belt. Putting his Longboard skills into play with a few tricky cross steps and a hang 5, Atkins moved through to round 2 after the afternoon requals.
Leaving his mark in the Open Mens dominating his heat, Bondi surfer Luke Mussett left no wave un ridden in the closest heat of the day. Surfing against Noel Graham (Lennox Head), Adam Robinson (Copacabana) and Jeremy Corne (Narrabeen) judges were kept extremely busy tallying the equally impressive rides.
Mussett (2nd) and Graham (1st) moved straight through to round 2 along with Roger Saunders (Minne Waters), Michael Slattery (Loftus), Glen Turner (Merewether) and Andrew Cassidy (Mona Vale) who all placed first in round 1.
Competing in the Open Mens and Open 40s in spectacular fashion was John Christensen (North Curl Curl). Taking first place in round 1 of both divisions with a 12.54 combined heat score in the open mens and an equally impressive 12.83 in the over 40s.
Stabbing the paddle into the wave enabling him to throw up some radical turns and cheers from the crowd was young gun Kai Bates (Mollymook). Bates surfed in not only the under 18s but open mens and will be one to watch in the future. Also competing in combination divisions were Erin Dark (Gerringong) and Hannah Finlay-Jones (Merewether), both ladies performing extremely well in the under 18s and Open Womens.
With entry the Australian Titles and ISA World Games up for grabs, the stakes were high for New South Wales best Watermen and Women in the surf and flat-water race events. We have seen huge growth in SUP and we wanted to provide a quality event that met the standard of all Surfing NSW events. We have run the NSW surfing SUP titles, but this is the first time we have opened it up to racing, said Luke Madden, Surfing NSW Event Manager.
The racing contingent now qualifies through to the Australian Titles and we are expecting competitors from Queensland and Victoria over the weekend festival at dAlboar Marinas, said Madden.
With round 1 and requalifiers now completed on Birubi Beach, tomorrow will see all competitors step into round 2 and the afternoon will bring the finals of the NSW SUP Surfing Titles for Open Men, Open Women, Over 40 Men and for the first time in the events history the Under 18 division.
Competitors will be racing through the d'Albora Marinas in Nelson Bay in an Elite Marathon, Technical Sprint Race (Birubi or One Mile Beach), Short Marathon, Teams Event and d'Albora Dash for Cash' which emulates the ISA World games.
Aside from the elite competitive nature, the event also boasts an array of activities in the Festival of SUP at d'Albora Marinas. Industry stalls, Demos, Board testing, fitness activities and a spectator boat for all SUP enthusiasts that will be a part of the extravaganza taking place at d'Albora Marinas.
Source: Surfing NSW
Author: Renee Miller
Tags: Australia, Surfing New South Wales, Yoga, SUP