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Dramatic day 1 as Australian Boardriders Battle lifts off

Bronte Macaulay for Margaret River Boardriders © WSL/Will H-S




Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle

Surfing Australia
Cronulla, New South Wales Australia
24 - 25 January 2015

Snapper Rocks’ Title Under Threat At Cronulla

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 January, 2015 - Cronulla - Defending champions Snapper Rocks Surfriders are facing a major challenge to their title after a dramatic Day 1 of the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle National Final at Cronulla. 

Snapper is in a fierce battle with a pack of heavyweight clubs including North Narrabeen and Merewether. The newest club at the event, Culburra Boardriders from southern NSW, is also in contention despite a day of drama for their star female surfer Tyler Wright.

In a punchy 3-4ft swell with a punishing shore break, the World No.2 put her body on the line for her club when she went left at Alley Reef, but came off and was washed over the rocks, through the chain fence and into the ocean pool. As she attempted to get her board she was forced to jump from the pool wall back into the surf, only to be washed back over the chain and into the pool again.

Her brother and fellow World Surf League competitor Owen was first to reach and comfort his sister. Wright was treated by the event medical team and taken to hospital in a stable condition for precautionary checks.

The incident was part a dramatic heat where club teams of five compete in a relay-style event. Wright had earlier won her individual women’s heat to put Culburra in a strong position on the overall points ladder. The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle is the country's biggest grassroots, boardriders event series with $120,000 in prize money. It involved Australia's best boardriders clubs in eight State qualifying rounds starting last October and culminating in this weekend’s, two-day National Final.

Each club team includes one junior (Under 18) surfer, four Open age surfers, and one over 35 surfer. Each team must include one female surfer. An exciting event format has teams battle it out in a women's division, five-person teams' division and a skins competition.

Earlier, former World Surf League World Tour competitor Nathan Hedge ensured Sydney club North Narrabeen would enter Day 2 in a strong position after winning three men’s skins heats. Hedge not only ensured his club looms as a major threat on Sunday, but also won $3000 for the club coffers.

2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson won two skins and $2000 to keep Snapper Rocks on track, while one skins win by Merewether’s Ryan Callinan and team-mate Philippa Anderson in her women’s heat has the Newcastle club in a strong position.

Will Hayden-Smith

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