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Small, fun surf for the Noosa Festival of Surfing

Christian Watch stretches five © Noosa Festival of Surfing



Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing

7 - 15 March 2015
Noosa Heads, Australia

Day two of competition offers up great log waves at the Noosa rivermouth

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 March, 2015 - Noosa Heads, Australia - Competition at the Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing was again down towards the river mouth today, with Access 11 providing beautiful, glassy, if vertically challenged waves. A crystal clear dawn welcomed the early heats, the Classic Malibu Teams Challenge the first to enter the water.

The popular division brought four-person teams from all over the world, each surfer taking their turn to get as many points as they can on a single wave, each score adding together for the team’s final ranking.

The always strong local team of Captain Sip Sops/Thomas Surfboards competed dominantly, winning their heat by a convincing margin. The eponymous team from Classic Malibu was lead by Nic Jones, always a solid performer, while Tom Morat surfed with knowledge and skills well beyond his 14 years.

The Beach Beat Logger Pro is the most popular division of the week for competitors and a huge lineup of some 72 surfers took to the water next in the highly specialised event.

The list of stand-outs was too numerous to mention, but among them, East Coast US surfer, Mikey DeTemple, Californian Devon Howard, local Matt Cuddihy and the Delpero brothers, Antoine and Edouard, were simply world class. Impressive in his own right was Jordan Spee who, at just 15, out-surfed many in his division, coming out second in his heat with some technically brilliant surfing.

Sam Crookshank © Noosa Festival of Surfing

The top three surfers in each round advanced to round two, with four spots reserved for the highest scoring fourth-place getters. Hayden Emery, Troy Brown, Joe Ricksbaugh and Mick Rodgers were the fortunate four, snatching the final placings in a very closely fought division.

An all-Hawaiian, all-girls contingent, featuring the always outstanding Honolua Blomfield and Kirra Seale, along with Jo Rickabaugh and Sierra Lerback, threw a little feminine charm in amongst the predominantly male-dominated division, while the team from McTavish surfboards saw the great Ray “Mr Dropknee” Gleave come out of retirement and return to the Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing for the first time in many years.

Round 2 of the Deus Womp Comp took advantage of the glassy conditions, a gentle cross-shore wind threatening for later in the day. Harrison Roach was again dominant, suggesting once again that he is, in fact, part dolphin, while Don McCredie, one of Australia’s foremost bodysurfers, drew on years of experience to make the very most of his heat win.

Last man standing for the Californian Del Mar team Chris Lafferty lived to womp another day, coming second to Billy Moore, while Ballina’s Rene Nippard excelled to advance to the semis.

With the semis completed earlier in the day, the Mass Nutrition SUP Surf finals suffered crumbling conditions, but not so much as to dampen their enthusiasm. After a stellar heat, Beau Nixon made his annual re-return to the stage, collecting second place, with Keahi DeAboitz in third, Hawaiian ripper, Bernd Rogediger fourth, James Casey in fifth and Ruben Roxburgh sixth. But continuing his unbeatable run, it was Kai Bates who took the gold, surfing fast, calculated and superbly to victory.

In the ladies’ division, the Schremmer girls returned to the lineup, with Mason and Lola gaining fourth and fifth places respectively. Ke’ale Dorries snatched the second, but the ever-impressive Shakira Westdorp was unbeatable once again to take the win.

Crowds flocked to First Point for the VetShop Australia Dog Surf Spectacular. Nothing draws a crowd like the canine capers of the surfing dogs, and today was no different, spectators filling every inch of shoreline as Chris DeAboitz and his happy hydro hounds were joined by several of their friends in a wonderful display.

The VetShop Australia Dog Surf Spectacular © Noosa Festival of Surfing

The Little Humid Costume Party wrapped up the day’s surf program, seeing Elvis, a host of Gidgets, Hawaiian natives, Superman and even a tiger sharing the lineup at First Point. Halse Lodge Awards went to the best costume for The King, best manoeuvre, a young cowboy’s leggie lasso noseride, and best embodiment of the festival spirit for the Hawaiian, beautifully representing the forefathers of modern surfing.

Presentations of the Mass Nutrition SUP divisions, as well as the Deus Womp Comp and Little Humid Costume Party, were followed by a short film and discussion of Phil Jarratt’s new book, Bali: Heaven & Hell. Jarratt took the podium from the perspective of modern day Bali, while Dick Hoole took the roll of Devil’s Advocate, reflecting on the glory days of the early ‘70s, where he spent much time filming and surfing in the region – a fascinating reflection on the pros and cons of tourism in Bali and indeed, around the world.

It was then time for the crowd to cut loose, with the Surf Unearthed trio of bands taking to the stage. An exposé of the region’s musical talent, Surf Unearthed featured young bands The GoGetters, Tea Society and Hobo Magic in a collection of sounds that encompassed funk, punk and psychedelic surf rock. This showcase of highly talented young musical skills played into the night, a fitting end to another enjoyable day at the Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing.

Thomas Leitch

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