Bondi Boardriders Contest 1 2014
The reports were showing 8- 10 foot surf at 12 seconds for our first comp of the year. At days dawn it was only 2 foot with many of the micro groms and their parents breathing a sigh of relief.
Bondi Boardriders 2014 was GO! But there was something a little different this year? And as I wiped the sleep from my eyes that difference became clearer, where were the hordes of novice surfers that normally descend on our competition area? And like a super hero there it was in all its glory, the water safety Jet ski…our super hero ski (manned by the legends from Bondi Rescue and Waverly Council) had cleared the water to provide the perfect safe playing field for all competitors to do their best surfing with out fear of a stray mini mal or Sven embarking on his first surf with hire board at the ready to take out and hurt our future world champions.
As the early morning heats commenced the surf was only 2-3 foot providing the perfect platform for these young kids to rip it up! As far as conditions go we could not have asked for more, with every heat and age division going up by the hour, the swell also responded by getting bigger by the hour. By mid morning there were perfect (well Bondi perfect) 3-5 foot lefts peeling into the corner. Having been involved with the club since being a kid the surfing standard across the board we’re higher than I have ever seen. Everyone from the micro groms to the Golden Zima frame oldies (over 50’s) we’re frothing to get amongst the empty line up. To put in simply the waves were pumping and the surfing was red hot!
By midday the waves were not the only things firing so to were the tunes provided by Bondi Beach Radio, they were broadcasting live from our contest site on the hill and local and tourist alike were thoroughly enjoying the Bondi Boardriders atmosphere. As the day went on some big upsets went down, former WQS and Bondi Boardriders champion Mick Marge was out, a fearsome competitor who would have been heavily backed in these growing conditions. Luke Mussett who has beaten cancer last year was on a tear and it was great to see him back in a contest singlet. In fact, as I looked around, the hill it was chock full of competitors, more than I have ever seen.
Looking a little more closely at the running schedule we were not going to finish by dark. Luckily for the Boardriders Ben Davies with his assistants Alex Tucker and the gorgeous Vicky Austin were on hand to run the competition and arrange the heats in the water to run on time. With some great back up from the boys we had two groups of judges scoring simultaneous heats and they did not skip a beat. Sometimes we as surfers have to adapt to an environment and seeing two groups of micro groms taking on the new system was awesome. These kids were surfing well beyond their years with double barrels and big turns all going down in front of a host of very proud parents who were beachside applauding every ride. Young Grayson and Zohan have developed a healthy rivalry that we all look forward to see progressing over the years. These young kids ripped (even when they were forced to surf a different bank) and they certainly have a big future. Also young Will Emmanuel along with all other Micro competitors put on a great show.
As the day drew on and the light faded the finalists in all categories were set to do battle, a lot of trash talk went on especially in the masters. Jason Burland and Tarmati talked up a big show down on facebook the week leading up to the comp but both were glaring omissions from their finals bowing out in the early rounds, these boys take their Boardriders seriously but it was great to see some new heads do battle in the finals. Ben Davies put on a great showing but was unlucky to catch a rail on a wave that would have seen him through to his first and well deserved final.
Perth Standlick was ripping all day in the opens, he is currently doing the WQS and only just missed out on qualifying for the CT last year. He took out the opens that ended in the near pitch black of night. 2nd place opens went to Luke Musso and 3rd to new kid on the block Casper Ettelson. Other standouts included JJ 3ed, Andy Davies 2nd and Tim Ellis in the Grand masters bringing home 1st Place. In the masters our new President capped off the perfect start to the year, Eamon was almost at unmatchable odds to win but a brain explosion saw him get an interference on Christian Berresa leaving Ray to take out a well deserved win.. The Juniors was won by Louis K Hunt Cadets and Grayson Hinricks Micros
My man of the match on Sunday went to Luke Musset. As I touched on before he has just smashed cancer in the same fashion he takes on a wave, with full tilt no holds approach. He cracked every lip that came near him and always has a smile on his dial. Over the years Luke has given a lot back to the local grommets, taking them on many trips and filming them for their progression. He is now a newish dad and I am sure a legend dad at that.
Ray Vuko, the new president, had some big and wild ideas leading into this year. With many doubters he took the first contest by the horns and delivered. The bank for the first time in BBR contest history was cleared for the entire event (I am sure this will entice many a retired Board Riders back to the fold). Along with the water safety crew we had the entire event professionally filmed by Lornie of Insight Media Sydney and professionally judged by Surfing N.S.W legend Phil Coutney. Live tunes were broadcasted with Bondi Beach Radio’s Chris Williams. Beach Burrito are providing $50 vouchers for 1st place winners in all divisions and Ifit Bondi will provide 2 x free 45min personal training vouchers for the Masters division 1st and 2nd place winners. Jeds Bondi giving 2 x $40 vouchers to 1st and 2nd place opens division.
I must say that this has been the biggest turn out I can recall. The waves did there bit and a big thank you must be given to Waverly Council, the professionalism shown by our lifeguards, and of course all our sponsors. It was a great way to get the year started and our BBR committee is looking forward to going even bigger and better at our next comp. There are some bugs that we need to iron out, but let me assure you that we will be all over it. Lastly I wish to express a heartfelt thank you to all the passionate parents that help us on Sunday by looking after all the groms.
We are a club run by the community for the community and I for one can t wait till the next one.