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Noosa Festival of Surfing to host nearly 700 surfers

Braden Weir © noosafestivalofsurfing



Longboard News

Golden Breed, Laguna Real Estate return to sponsor events

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 February, 2016 - Noosa, Australia - 2016 will see the welcome return of the Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing’s collection of more renowned and celebrated divisions. Every year, we are stoked to host almost 700 surfers of all ages, genders and abilities to the shores of Noosa Heads, all as happily welcomed as each other, but there are some events that have spectators clamouring for space along the rock walls and pathways of First Point’s natural amphitheatre and photographers trigger happy to capture the action.

Renowned and long-standing brand and sponsor, Golden Breed, returns once more to present the Golden Breed Noserider division. One of the more spectacular events, the Golden Breed Noserider sees talented entrants crouching, stretching and standing tall for as much tip time as possible on a single wave. Scores are measured in seconds and competitors must have either five or ten toes dangling clean off the nose to gain qualifying points.

Whispers around the festival still hark back to the gravity-defying Christian Wach, who several years ago mustered an unbelievable 137 seconds on the nose. Hang fives gain the seconds held, with scores doubled for a clean hang ten, and Wach utilised every ounce of his wave for the massive score. Always the best man, never the groom, local nasal expert, Bowie Pollard has been chasing down both the title and Wach’s benchmark for several years, and 2015 saw him finally claim what he has fought so hard for. 

Silver medalist in 2013 and 14, Pollard faced off against Wach last year and excelled, his finesse and skill reaching new levels to bring him to a victory by less than a second over his rival. With some of the world’s finest longboarders already signed up for the 2016 Golden Breed Noserider, including former world champion, Harley Ingleby, local nose virtuoso, Jai Lee, and Californian toe-hanger, Joe Rickabaugh, Pollard will have his work cut out to defend his title this year, but he definitely won’t be going down without a fight.

Braden Weir has been the undefeated King of the Wegener Surfboards Finless Challenge for the last three years, his faithful, homemade alaia-style board looking little more than a roughly hewn plank, complete with knot holes and asymmetric outline. But Weir’s talents on the wafer-thin strip of timber are sublime, in a class of their own, with rapid, multiple spins, staggering speed and geometrically perfect carves.

Weir’s adversaries have included some of the world’s finest finless sliders – Victorian Jordie Brown, local lad, Jacob Pedrana and Frenchmen Antoine Delpero and Fred Branger – and the continuing popularity of this ancient and highly skilled discipline is sure to see another profound display this March.

Logging maestro, Harrison Roach, had his run of Beach Beat Logger Pro victories broken last year by outsider and fellow Noosarian, Sam Crookshank. The rank outsider but regular First Point resident, Crookshank, came from nowhere, scratching through the early rounds but illuminating in the final, his local knowledge paying dividends, the Noosa crowd thrilled to see the newcomer shine so brightly. But with a lineup of some 55 of the world’s finest singlefinners to contend with, he will certainly be heavily challenged to retain his title.

Roach has also been a powerful contender in the Old Mal division. Surfing original boards often a decade or two older than the surfers themselves, the Old Mal division is testament to the halcyon days of longboarding’s roots. Sydney surfer, Matt Chojnacki, is a regular stand-out in the event and an invariable finalist, emulating the style and technique of those original icons of the mid-Sixties; Russell Hughes, Midget Farrelly, Nat Young and his sponsor and mentor, Bob McTavish.

Roach’s innate surfing talent drew him to a definitive victory last year, the Noosa waves the perfect canvas upon which to draw immaculate lines on the antiquated and challenging equipment.

Modern boards benefit from almost half a century of design, refinements and technology, but the almost archaic old mals are a trial for even the best of surfers and further showcase the exceptional skill levels of all competitors. Bigger than ever before, attracting some of the finest surfers from over 15 nations around the world, every heat of the Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing is a display of superb skill and stoke.

Braden Weir, Noosa Festival of Surfing, Golden Breed Noserider division
Thomas Leitch

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