Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing
Noosa Heads, Queensland Australia
5 - 12 March 2016
A return to the beach breaks commenced proceedings for a day of teams
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 March, 2016 - Competition began at 6:30am with the Laguna Real Estate Family Challenge. Entrants needed to span two generations, but the event saw in-laws, parents, children and even grandchildren taking part. The indomitable Wilson team of Dane and Dave brought the best wave score of the day, Dane racking up an impressive nine-point ride in the fickle conditions. Dad Dave, defending Over 65 champion, mustered a reasonable backup score to secure the win.
The Schuler family spread themselves over a couple of heats, and both sons, Tom and Matt, put in solid performances to make it through but the backup score from their tema mates failing to deliver, while Central Coasters, John and Jack Norton were undisputed to progress to the afternoon’s semi final.
The Coast to Coast Earthmoving Teams Challenge continued the collective camaraderie, a smorgasbord of trans-global talent brought to the fore. Hawaii, Japan, California and Australia were all represented, some of the biggest names in single fin longboarding surfing for McTavish Surfboards, Deus ex Machina, Hayden, Keyo and collections of comrades gathered for the event.
The McTavish team of Matt Chojnacki, Roisin Carolan, Lockie Marley and the legendary Ray Gleave snuck through to the semi final, arriving almost ten minutes late to their heat, while the young guns from the MS Surfboards/Glass Coffee House Grommets didn't let age stand in their way, winning the heat confidently.
Two former world champions in Josh Constable and Harley Ingleby lead team Golden Breed into round two, with Deus ex Machina performing exceptionally to the appreciation of their team members and the crowd alike.
Despite still partying hard from the night before, the Village Bicycle team surfed on unsteady legs into third place, with Hayden and the Trump A Team, lead by ex-world champ, Taylor Jensen filling out the semi finals.
Back to the Laguna Real Estate Family Challenge, and the Nortons and Wilsons continued the form they have displayed in previous years, taking the first two spots of the finals, while young Jordan Spee was outstanding against his older peers a solid second wave bringing in a win over Di and Lily Ellis and the Oliver team, Tim and Angus.
Without missing a beat, Jordan Spee paddled straight back out for the first heat of round two in the teams challenge. Surfing for the MS Surfboard Groms team, Spee showed no sign of weariness and lead his team into a finals berth, alongside the senior MS Surfboards team.
Unable to make it back to their team box on the beach within the allotted time, the McTavish team was penalized five points, eliminating them from the running, but team Deus and the Hayden Surf team joined the MS duo in the final round, alongside the talented Golden Breed crew and the all-American Cali Ringins.
The final of the Garage Handplanes Body Bash was a true display of water skills, surfers struggling with distinctly mediocre and sporadic waves. But despite below par conditions, all finalists brought their ‘A’ game and took almost all of their maximum ten waves.
From the outset, Tom Marr displayed the talent that saw him claim the world title and lead from his first wave. Dad Jae was also on fine form, but it was Jacob Rosenbrock and Paul Khodor who follow Marr junior, taking second and third respectively behind the unbeatable defending champ. Division host, Garage Handplanes founder David Archer, claimed an honourable fifth place, while Phil Gabel took sixth.
What more can be said about the dogs? Always the largest draw card of the festival, the VetshopAustralia.com.au Surfing Dog Spectacular packed the beach with an enthusiastic crowd. And the hydro-hounds didn’t disappoint, leaping for soap bubbles on the beach, surfing their little paws off and even performing tandem piggybacks with their owners. Posing for photos was all in a day’s work for the delightful doggies and they were inundated with a flood of affection and fans.
Finalists of the Magoo Memorial Men’s 70+ enjoyed a return to First Point, defying the numbers on their birth certificates and surfing well below their years. Local lad, Win Cuddihy was unlucky to back up his highest scoring wave, but Glenn Martin scored a well-deserved victory. Richard Gow took the bronze, with Obi O’Brien, Wayne Yates and Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick filling out the remainder of the final.
The first ever McTavish Trim Invitational drew to a nail-biting conclusion, with Harrison Roach and Thomas Bexon trimming their way along the shoreline on their oversized boards. Just two metres separated the pair, Bexon emerging victorious with a huge, 132-metre ride.
Mr Magic Feet, Ray Gleave, was third, Byron’s Christian ‘Wispy’ Barker, USA’s Sean Tully and Adrian Lopez from Spain’s Basque Coast rounded out the numbers respectively in the division final, with Bob McTavish presiding over the evening’s presentations, as well as commentating the event, bringing his expert knowledge to the audience.
Old Man Friday provided sunset entertainment to the great delight of the crowd, before Bob McTavish came to the stage once more to co-host the world premiere of Phil Jarratt’s ‘Men of Wood & Foam’ – a film celebrating Australia’s surfing forefathers, the men responsible for pioneering the evolution from timber to foam surfboards.