Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing
Noosa Heads, Australia
7 - 15 March 2015
Swell still MIA, competitors make the most out of small beachbreak peelers
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 March, 2015 - Noosa Heads, Australia - Tuesday kicked off once again at the beach breaks here in Noosa. Still no sign of the promised swell meant tiny waves at First Point, with the second round of the Noosa Today Family Challenge taking place at Access 11 once more.
But the alternate venue and mediocre conditions did little to dampen spirits and a great atmosphere filled the beach.
The three heats of round two of the Noosa Today Family Challenge brought the best of multiple generations together. The sudden death round saw Gus Day again surfing fantastically, the young nephew of former world champion, Josh Constable, was a stand-out in his own right, but paired up with Uncle Josh, the duo was undefeatable. The Norton father-son team followed suit, joining the Constable clan in the final, while it was the Roxburghs, Ruben and Philip, who took out the stiff competition of Win and Matt Cuddihy and Michael and Kai Takayama to claim the last remaining finals spot.
In the Surf Life Saving Sunscreen Men’s 60 & Over round two reperchage, Rob Ritchie was once again on form, having narrowly missed out on round three progression, taking the win in heat one. He was joined by Graham Bulpitt, fresh from the Family Challenge, and Ron Sorrell. Heat two saw Peter Eales take a convincing win, while Allan Spence and resident festival photographer, Ian Borland just squeaked through to round three.
The Almora Surf Men’s Open Amateur division was nothing short of spectacular. Nic Jones was once again showing incredible promise as the ‘next big thing’, utilising his abilities as a performance surfer to make the most of the little waves. Lawrence Harkness showed his proficiency as a noserider, performing hang fives and tens through the most critical sections of the wave, while California’s Devon Howard excelled on his Tyler Surfboards singlefin log. Ni-Vanuatu, John Steven, was a delight to host…
The World Surfaris Old Mal division highlighted the talents of younger surfers on older boards. Barely a surfer amongst them was even born at the time when their pre-1968 surfcraft were shaped, but the surfing was straight out of yesteryear.
In very challenging waves for these antique surfboards, competitors had to work hard to achieve substantial scores. Matt Chojnacki, the young Sydneysider who lives and breathes the ‘60s era, was a standout, his board, a vintage Hayden, the first ever Australian board to be resin tinted.
Devon Howard had back-to-back heats, ending his Open heat before returning to the beach, swapping boards and paddling back out for consecutive second places. Byron Bay’s Roisin Carolan, one of only two girls in the division was unlucky to miss out, but her female counterpart, Yamba’s Kirra Innes, did well to advance to round two.
Harrison Roach was again on form, as was local surfer/shaper Thomas Bexon, and a surprise package came in Jordan Spee. The Maroochydore grommet has impressed throughout the week with the maturity of his surfing, and the Old Mal division produced no less. Riding as if on modern equipment, Jordan combined noserides, critical turns, superior wave-reading and even a reverse walk back to the tail to both stun crowds, induces hollers of appreciation and advance to round two.
Finless surfing requires clean, shoulder-high point break waves, so the contestants in the Seaglass Project Finless Pro faced a far from ideal scenario. Nevertheless, some hugely impressive rides saw the Delpero brothers once again standouts, and multiple Seaglass Project champion, Braden Weir, once again drop jaws in a sublime act of sliding.
In the latter part of the day, the age divisions faced a rapidly diminishing scene. Cross-shore winds combined with a very straight swell forcing competitors to make the very best of the whitewater. Ex-New Caledonian local, Marnie Morat, still nursing a knee reconstruction, made huge improvements on her skills over the last year and qualified comfortably behind the always-strong festival regular, Peppie Simpson. But the one-heat division was owned start to finish by New Zealander, Sasha Brownlie.
The seemingly unbeatable Wayne Dive returned to the festival for the In Noosa Men’s 50 & Over. Not surprisingly, though still impressively, Dive lead his heat throughout. Portugal’s smiliest man, Jose Pedro Marcos, was unlucky to miss out, but will live to surf again in the reperchage round two, Noosa Malibu Club’s vice president, Glen Gower, finished strong for a second place and local, Scott Ford, surfed superbly for a win despite an interference call.
The evening got off to a kicking start with Brisbane band, Pro Vita, providing an energised soundtrack to get the beers following in the XXXX Summer Beach Bar, while Romain Juchereau’s movie, Behind The Tide, was abundantly welcomed to offer a more mellow, picturesque end to the night’s activities. Shot across the world, it explores the connection of surfers, shapers and artists with the ocean, creating their careers around the playground that has brought them so much joy. Well worth a watch to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
And so concluded this, the midway point of the 24th annual Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing.