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Joe Hadden claims Wandiyali Indigenous Classic

Wandiyali Indigenous Classic © RedMonkey


Wandiyali Indigenous Classic

Merewether Beach, New South Wales
7 March 2012

Hadden stops Molony’s victory run at Wandiyali Indigenous Classic

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 March, 2012 : - - Indigenous surfer Joe Hadden turned back the clock today when he took out the Wandiyali Indigenous Classic at Merewether beach on the opening day of the 2012 Surfest. Now residing at Kirra, the former Forster surfer - who claimed the Indigenous crown at Surfest in both 2004 and 2005 – managed to break the vice-like grip Central Coast surfer Russell Molony has had on the trophy every year since.
Molony placed second today in 1-2 metre waves that were held up by a south-westerly wind and allowed for some big manoeuvres on open-faced waves. The pair, who both work as carpenters, have traded places on the dais at Newcastle in previous years and while they may be mates out of the water, both remained keen to get the win here.
The 26-year-old Hadden said getting the edge on his mate was a lot of fun and it was “great to turn the tables after running second to Russell heaps of times.”  The win today starts what looks like a stellar year for the 26-year-old.  “I moved up to the Gold Coast about eight months ago to get more exposure,” he said.
“I’m going on a few photo shoots with Oakley this year, as well as surfing heaps and working as well, so it is going to be a pretty flat out year. “Next month I am going to Bali and then to Hawaii at the end of the year. As well there’s a photo trip to North Stradbroke in a few weeks time,” Hadden added.
The chipper chippie said his continued involvement in the Wandiyali contest was a great way to stay in touch with friends that you might not see at any other time. “I really enjoy supporting the contest and I have a lot of fun surfing with these guys every year,” Hadden said.
Beating his friend and longtime water-rival Molony was a bonus to the day’s social aspect.  “It’s a really nice feeling. It makes me feel proud to be Indigenous,” Hadden said. Molony didn’t mind the pressure of expectation being lifted from his broad shoulders and was more than happy to bump into friends and share some stories.
“You get to see friends and family you don’t get to see often,” Molony said. “It’s a good atmosphere  - competitive but fun.”
Organiser Stan Moylan agrees, but additionally points out the importance of the event’s promotion of physical and spiritual wellbeing as an integral take home message for all participants and their families. “The Wandiyali Indigenous Classic helps to create a healthier lifestyle in our community and enhances our spiritual connection to the ocean,” Moylan said.
“It is also a great event because we see friends we don’t see during the year. “It is a real bonding experience for us,” Moylan added.
Forster’s Kate Raines won the Open Women’s Final. The 18-year-old, who is still recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident, showed she is not far from the form that saw her come fourth in the 2010 Australian women’s open title.
Fingal Head’s Kyle Slabb took out the junior final. This was the 15-year-old’s first appearance at the Wandiyali, but he reckons he’ll be back in 2012 to have a shot at defending his crown.
1  Kyle Slabb, Fingal Head
2 Joe Wallace, Caringbah
3 Jackson Maguire, One Mile Beach
1   Kate Raines, Forster
2  Seaneen Wallace, Caringbah
3  Ginaya Henare, Stockton
4  Stella Crick, Coledale
1  Joe Hadden, Coolangatta
2  Russell Molony, Berkeley Vale
3   Beau Wills, Yattalunga
4   Joe Wallace, Caringbah

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Author: Brooke Cousins

Tags: Surfest, Australia, Merewether, Newcastle, Wandiyali Indigenous Classic

Contests: Surfersvillage


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