Jim Beam Surftag
North Narrabeen, NSW Australia
8 - 9 February 2014
North Narrabeen Boardriders NSW South Jim Beam Surftag Qualifier
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 February, 2014 - North Narrabeen Boardriders have won the 2014 NSW South Jim Beam Surftag Qualifier to continue their dominance over team surfing in Australia. The defending Australian Champions of Jim Beam Surftag managed to have three teams progress as far as the semi-finals with Nathan Hedge, Nathan Webster, Jordy Lawler, Mark Bannister and Chris Enever making up the winning team in firing conditions at North Narrabeen.
It’s a feat never before seen in the 13-year history of Jim Beam Surftag and proved why North Narrabeen is considered the best Australian nursery of surfing talent.
In 3-4 foot waves at their home break and with the dunes stacked full of supporters, North Narrabeen sent their loudest warning yet to every club in Australia, declaring they’ll be hunting down their sixth national title come March. After Nathan Hedge opened in blistering form locking in a 28.27 and Jordy Lawler winning the Tee Ink Man of the Match with his 30.47 total, the Northy boys never looked like slowing down, finishing with a 97.87.
Queenscliff Boardriders proved the depth in their club after both their A (76.77) and B team (53.37) surfed through the two-day event to make the final finishing second and fourth respectively. Meanwhile, the runner-ups to the 2013 Australian Title Bronte finished in third with 65.37.
In his first ever Jim Beam Surftag event, Jordy Lawler showed why he’s considered one of the best Aussie juniors by posting the highest score in the Final – 30.47. “I’m so stoked,” said Lawler. “I was pretty nervous before hand. I was with all the Northy boys and they were amping and I didn’t want to stuff up because it would’ve been awful.”
“It means so much. It’s such a prestigious competition and it means heaps to the club. You can feel the vibe change around the entire suburb.” Jordy admitted the confidence was a little low before he made his way out for his club after recently being knocked out of the Australian Open of Surfing at Manly. “I’ve seen how some clubs have reacted when people fall on their powerwave so I was just desperate not to do that for the club,” he said.
“Hedgey was great for us today. He is the perfect tag-team surfer because he’s quick and gets the biggest scores. It’s ideal. We’re lucky we have him on our side.”
“My first wave I managed to get a couple of turns in and I got an 8. That gave me a bit of confidence and then my powerwave was a bomb so I was a bit lucky in the end. I was stoked because I’d just been knocked out in the Australian Open and I was rattled so to get a win was epic.”
As the Tee Ink Man of the Match, Jordy will compete in the Tee Ink Tee Off at the Australian Championships. This speciality event will see the Man of the Match from the six Jim Beam Surftag Qualifiers compete in a 15-minute heat with each surfer only to catch one wave.
Only arriving back in the country on Saturday night from Hawaii Nathan Hedge continued his great start to the year winning the BOSCH Powerwave Award for a 9.57 ride in Semi Final No. 1.
While Narrabeen will continue to buzz over the coming months, the big showdown for the historic club will come about in March when 32 teams from across the country will make their way to Duranbah, Gold Coast, for the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Championships. $15,000 will be awarded to the winning team as well as five spots on a Maldivian boat trip courtesy of Perfect Wave Travel.
With the top twelve teams qualifying to the Australian Championships from the NSW South Qualifier, North Narrabeen (3 teams) will be joined by Queenscliff (2 teams), Bronte (2 teams), Maroubra, Long Reef, Scarborough, Curl Curl and Elouera on the Gold Coast.