Ian Bell wins South Island Int´l Longboard ProAm event
South Island International Longboard Pro-Am.
15 - 16 March 2003
Longboarders pumped to the max, Ian Bell wins
Australian professional Ian Bell made the most of some massive surf near Kaikoura at the weekend to take out the main events at the inaugural South Island International Longboard Proam.
Held at Kaikoura´s Mangamanu break, a 2-metre swell made for huge waves and spectacular action. The surf peaked on Saturday for the heats, but the waves were still coming through in the big sets in the finals yesterday.
It was the first time that Bell, who is currently ranked No. 14 in the world, has competed in New Zealand, and he showed his class, winning both the men´s open and nose-riding competitions. The 25- year-old Bell, from New South Wales, said the conditions made it exciting, but tough.
"When it´s like this you´re really just looking to make it to the bottom of the wave initially, before trying any moves. It makes it harder to get up the front of the board. "There were some spectacular wipe- outs in the heats -- and if you got caught out there in that you were getting really flogged."
While Bell went on to win the men´s title convincingly, he was pushed hard in the final by Kiwi surfers, Kelly Ryan, who finished second to maintain his lead in the national longboard circuit, and Darryn McBride (third). Bell won the nose-riding competition, which provided some of the best action yesterday, from fellow Australian Trent Dickey, with Christchurch´s Glenn Shuker third. Shuker also won the old-mal competition (using old-style pre- 1967 boards).
The junior title went to Johnny Hardaker, while Nicky Murden, from Mount Maunganui, cleaned up in the women´s.
Organised by Christchurch´s Sumner Longboarders Club, Bell said the event was a winner on all counts. "It´s a world-class break and the surf has been fantastic. I´ll be back."
Lonboard - Surfersvillage