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Club surfer Luke Dorrington preps for Surftag

Luke Dorrington © Wes Lonergan



Jim Beam Surftag

Duranbah Beach, Queensland
18 - 19 January 2014

Luke Dorrington hopes to lead club to back-to-back QLD Titles

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January, 2014 - Queensland’s boardriders clubs will do battle this weekend in the Jim Beam Surftag Regional Qualifier when the state’s best hit Duranbah Beach on Saturday, looking to take their clubs one step closer to an Australian Championship.

Hungry to return to the countries biggest surfing teams event is Luke Dorrington, one of D-BAH Boardriders biggest talents. The host club blitzed this event last year, leaving the stalwart teams from Kirra and Snapper Rocks Surfriders feeling the brunt of a resurgent, youthful club in D-BAH.

After a stellar junior career as one of Billabong’s best young riders, Luke fell short of a contract renewal as the industry shrunk across the board. But instead of tumbling into the pile of has-beens, Dorrington saw an opportunity and like so many other grassroots competitors who compete in Jim Beam events he jumped on the mineral boom.

Thankful to be back on home turf, it’s created new opportunities for Luke and a keenest to represent his club yet again. 

“I’ve been in the mines since 2009 so I’m pretty stoked to get out of there and sleep in my own bed and get a few waves, for sure,” jokes Luke. “It’s what you make it out there. You can either let it get to you or learn to like it. I was grateful to get the opportunity.”

“I guess a big part of coming home was taking over Dad’s shop [Dorrington Surfboards]. The Old Boy had had enough of his shop after being in retail for 30 years. He didn’t want to give up on it completely though, we’ve got a great spot in Kirra… but we’re a local small business, we’re not competing with the big guys on the corner, and it’s a lifestyle for us.”

“It can get a bit addictive out there in the mines, working and earning the money, but I wanted to have a normal life again and the shop was a big part of that.” Not only did Luke inherit the family store, he’s also carried on the craftsmanship skills of his Dad, shaping boards for a number of locals like Dean Morrison and Asher Wales under the brand ‘LD Creations’.

When competition begins on Saturday, Luke will line up next to his brother Brent, Samba Mann, Nick Vasicek and John Cummings as D’BAH attempt to defend their QLD Jim Beam Surftag Title. Snapper Rocks are sure to be ruthless after a disappointing season last year by their own standards. Entering three teams in 2014, Mark Occhilupo, Dean Morrison, Jay Phillip, Shaun Gossman and Mitch Parkinson will all line-up for Snapper Rocks Surfriders.

The powerful club has won this event five times while their neighbours at Kirra have won four titles. Former pro, Jay ‘Bottle’ Thompson will also lead a strong Burleigh Heads team. With Brent Dorrington back from a successful Hawaiian season and fielding two teams this year after their maiden victory, D-BAH will be a hard force to beat but Luke admits he’s beginning to feel the pressure.

“I’m kind of nervous to be honest,” he says. “We had our end of club championship the other week and everyone’s surfing so good. I guess I haven’t been surfing consistently enough… but that’s the thing about club surfing, it’s about surfing with your mates, having a laugh and a good time. It’s not about coming first or last or about one person, it’s about rocking up – that’s what D-Bah is about, it’s the club spirit.”

One thing’s for certain; Saturday’s going to be one brilliant spectacle of competitive surfing. Six teams will progress through to the Australian Championships to be held at the same stretch of sand on March 27-29 and the winning team at the Regionals will receive $1500 plus other prizes will be up for grabs courtesy of BOSCH Power Tools, TEE INK and Jim Beam.

Steve Harrison

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