MOLLYMOOK LONGBOARDERS CHARITY CLASSIC 2014
The annual Charity Classic contest was conducted over the weekend of 9/10 August, with 88 individual entries in eight divisions. The Open 8 foot division was the most popular with 30 competitors, closely followed by the Over 48 division with 25 entries. Curl Curl Longboarders were again strong supporters of the contest with 16 entries and a gaggle of spectators. There was also a contingent from Broulee who entered as a tribute to Mollymook Longboarder Dean Cristallo who died in March, and whose presence was greatly missed at the contest.
In the week leading up to the contest the swell forecast was encouraging for good size waves at Golf Course Reef on the Saturday, fading into Sunday when the finals would be held. And so it proved to be. Saturday dawned with regular 5 foot sets at HQ, and a crew chomping at the bit to get into it. The 8 Footers began proceedings in the most competitive division, and Heat 1 set the benchmark with some power surfing by Dan Rowlands and Sean Dry who each scored 8+ rides. However, despite the size of the waves there were lulls between the sets, and some likely contenders had difficulty in finding more than two waves. Rhys Williams and Christian Pimm had a close battle in a mid-scoring heat; Pam Burridge in her first longboard contest in a few years was a narrow winner over Tom Leach in Heat 4 with each scoring 9+ rides; and, Heat 5 saw a similar high scoring battle between George Noonan and Matty Cook.
Local board shaper Vern Jackson took a spare slot in the Over 38 division and was the clear winner of his heat from another local in Keith Purvis. Sean Dry with the experience from his 8 Foot heat clearly won his Over 38 heat from Joe Skinner who wasn’t far behind, with both recording 8+ rides.
In the Over 48 division, heat winners were locals Phil Jirsa, Phil Cumming, and Steve Rutten, and Curl Curl riders Simon Cox and Alex Hay-Mackenzie. Previous winner of the division and NSW and Australian title winner Ross Murphy had a shocker in his heat and was relegated to the repechage rounds. In the same heat local paramedic Jim Moore jagged one of the waves of the morning to progress direct to the semis.
The premier division, the Open 9ft, was the next into the water. Local Adam Maher won the first heat to progress direct to the semis, with Matty Cook, Christian Pimm, and Tom Leach all winning their heats, to set up similar battles in the semis to the previous three years.
As the morning progressed and the tide dropped, the size of the set waves did likewise, but the availability became more consistent, and most riders were able to find four rides in the later heats. Bruce Metham had a win over David Pimm in the first heat of the Over 58 division, whilst Jon Lavers with six waves had a win over Greg Furmage who waited until late in the heat for a second wave that got his nose in front of Carrey Klein and Neil Frederiksen who couldn’t find a second high scoring ride after being the early leader.
Unfortunately there were a few withdrawals from the Junior division, but there was no denying the enthusiasm of the groms to get out into the Golfy lineup. Max Howitt set a high bar in the first heat but Louie Pantelic was far from outclassed. In the second heat Tom Oliver’s first two rides scored 6+ and he was always ahead of Otis Rabbidge.
There was excellent support for the Women’s division this year with 10 locals amongst the 13 entries. Pam Burridge provided some coaching out in the lineup to lift the level of confidence that saw many tackle the biggest waves in their surfing experience. Pam and Bernie Murphy won their heats, and there were several mid-average scores amongst the placegetters. A great effort.
The Old Mal division was again well supported, with 15 entries. Josh Brown, Josh Dunn Rhys Williams and Troy Moorehouse all demonstrated the full range of old mal manoeuvres with some spectacular nose riding, coffin rides, head dips and pull-outs on display that had the spectators hooting.
Saturday finished with 8 Foot and 9 Foot repechage heats, which provided some of the best riding of the day. With only first and second to progress from the 8 Foot heat, competition was intense, and there was less than 0.7 points separating second to fifth place. Josh Dunn, surfing on an old mal, was the clear winner, with some long nose rides, but also including manoeuvres that defied the vintage of his board. Wayne Dive was second, just squeaking ahead of Rob Couriel. In the first of the 9 Foot heats George Noonan with some powerful rail-to-rail turns and inspiring commitment scored two 8.5+ rides to be a clear winner, garnering much hooting from the spectators. In a much lower scoring second heat Keith Purvis grabbed the two best waves early in the heat and was never headed, although Jack Hayes came close toward the end of the heat.
After such an incredible Saturday when every surfer was stoked to be able to surf in a contest at Golfy in almost perfect conditions, Sunday always had the risk of failing to live up to expectations: surfers don’t expect much do they! Regrettably the swell dropped overnight, and there were no contestable waves at HQ at 6:30 AM (boo hoo), so the decision was made to shift the contest to Mollymook Reef, where there were plenty of waves, but far from the quality of Saturday. However, the weather was sunny and warm, and most surfers and supporters set up on the grass directly in front of the action to enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere.
The second repechage rounds of the Over 48 and Open 9 Foot were the first in the water, and showed how much more fickle were the conditions. Wave choice was vital, with the larger waves closing out, and the best line-up spot shifted as the tide changed. There was also the usual backwash from the beach to contend with close to the shoreline. But good surfers will always find the waves with the best scoring potential. There were no surprises in those surfers who progressed from the rep heats to the semis of the Over 48 and Open 9 Foot divisions. Ross Murphy had his best scoring heat of the contest in his first repechage heat, but he didn’t progress beyond the next round. Pam Burridge continued with her amazing form, and won both her rounds of the Over 48 repechage heats, and also progressed to the Open 9 Foot semis.
The semi-finals got underway with the Open 8 Foot division. Of those who failed to progress to the final, Sean Dry Dan Rowlands and Pam Burridge were probably the biggest surprises based on their heat form. However, it was a different day to Saturday. The Old Mal semis were close affairs with Josh Brown having a win over Josh Dunn, who had surfed his old mal in the immediately preceding 8 Foot semi. In the other semi Rhys Williams had a win over Chris Brown. Pam Burridge easily progressed to the Over 48 final from her semi, along with locals Rob Maher and Steve Rutten. From the second semi, Simon Cox, Wayne Dive and Alex Kiss progressed, over locals Jim Moore, Richard Austen and Phil Cumming. From the 9 Foot semis all of the usual suspects progressed plus Pam Burridge who made it three finals for the contest. Rhys Williams and George Noonan were the major casualties. Local Adam Maher also found the conditions far less suited to his style (and board) than Saturday.
The finals kicked off with the Women’s division. Most considered it a foregone conclusion that Pam Burridge would be the clear winner; however, in a high standard heat, it was a split decision that saw her edge out Bernie Murphy, with local Jen Campbell a creditable third. The Junior final was a close contest between Tom Oliver and Max Howitt. Tom took the early lead and although never headed, Max came close with his last ride. The tide turned as the Over 58 final started and conditions were noticeably changed from the previous heat. Mike Greentree went to one bank and the rest to the other, and it paid off initially for Mike who took an early lead with a mid-average score. Bruce Metham scored the best wave of the heat, but was unable to find a second. Jon Lavers persisted with his line-up position and with two mid-average scores late in the heat just nosed ahead of Mike Greentree and Dave Pimm. From the Over 48 final onwards, results were largely determined by where the surfers sat in the line-up. Those who had watched previous finals and sat on the south bank seemed to pick off the best runners and the highest scores. Pam Burridge took the early lead in the Over 48 final with a long high-average ride and was never headed. Wayne Dive and Alex Kiss fought out second and third and were a fair way ahead of the others. The Old Mal final was a tussle between Josh Dunn, Josh Brown and Rhys Williams. These three seemed to pick waves that peeled in the right direction for them and there was some exceptional nose riding and stepping demonstrated, and in a split decision Josh Dunn was adjudged the barest of winners. The Over 38 final was a generally low-average scoring heat, but Gavin Stuart managed a high average score mid-heat and finished ahead of Keith Purvis who just needed another runner on the south bank. Sean Dry was third in conditions that probably didn’t suit his style of power riding.
The 8 and 9 Foot finals were greatly anticipated, and the crowd wasn’t disappointed. Both finals were a two horse race between Matty Cook and Christian Pimm. Matty Cook sat on the north bank for both finals, and Christian on the south bank. Matty got the better of conditions in the 8 Foot final, and edged ahead with his final wave, whilst Christian scored two long runners in the 9 Footers that included a number of floating reos and saw him ahead at the siren. The standard of these two riders in the conditions was amazing and had the crowd hooting and whistling; an absolute pleasure to watch. Rhys Williams wasn’t very far behind in the 8 Foot final, and neither was Pam Burridge in the 9 Foot final.
The ambience at the contest on both days was as laid-back as could be expected and in keeping with the waves on Saturday and the weather on both days. The food tent as usual was the centre of social activity, and the theme music added to the atmosphere, despite some philistine comments about the traditional classical music session on Sunday morning.
Particular thanks to Julie Sicco and Geoff Barnett for the catering, and to Sue Maris, Michell Morrisey, Bruce Metham, Mike Yule, Losal, Steve Campbell, Curly Longboarder Dean Hannam, and especially to Piper Hoyer, for their dedicated contribution to the outstanding operation of the food tent and associated activities. The assistance of club members under the direction of President Cazza was also essential to the setting up and cleaning up of the venues on both days, particularly when the venue needed to be changed at short notice on Sunday morning.
Honorary club members Graham Sorensen, head judge, and Stephen Pinnington, results tallyer, were again vital to the smooth progress of the contest.
Thanks to the following sponsors: Keith Purvis Podiatry; Cronulla Car Sales; and, Deering Street Printers. Special thanks to Kent Saunders and Southern Man Surf Shop Ulladulla for organising the prize pool that included items from: Rip Curl; Billabong; Balin; Dragon; O’neill; Arnette; Rusty; Nixon; Xcel; Dakine; Mrs Palmers ; and, Vissla. Designtech Signs & Screen Printing produced the contest T-shirts. Ken Peek shaped and glassed the immaculate Sea Crest longboard that was the raffle first prize that was won by Mollymook Longboarder Rob Maher, who seemed particularly happy when his ticket was drawn by Ken’s mum-in-law, and regular barrel girl, Marnie.
Thanks also to everyone who competed and spectated; your support was and is essential to the success of the contest. As in previous years, net proceeds from the event were just over $4000, and will be donated to local charities and community groups as voted by club members.
There are contest photos and video links on the club web site at www.mollymooklongboarders,com
See you again next year, when the contest will be held on the weekend of 8/9 August 2015.
|OPEN 9 FOOT||OPEN 8 FOOT||OVER 38||OVER 48|
|1 Christian Pimm||1 Matty Cook||1 Gavin Stuart||1 Pam Burridge|
|2 Matty Cook||2 Christian Pimm||2 Keith Purvis||2 Wayne Dive|
|3 Pam Burridge||3 Rhys Williams||3 Sean Dry||3 Alex Kiss|
|4 Dan Rowlands||4 Wayne Dive||4 Vern Jackson||4 Simon Cox|
|5 Tom Leach||5 Tom Leach||5 Troy Moorehouse||5 Steve Rutten|
|6 Josh Brown||6 George Noonan||6 Rob Maher|
|OVER 58||OLD MAL||JUNIORS||WOMEN|
|1 Jon Lavers||1 Josh Dunn||1 Tom Oliver||1 Pam Burridge|
|2 Mike Greentree||2 Rhys Williams||2 Max Howitt||2 Bernie Murphy|
|3 David Pimm||3 Josh Brown||3 Angus Oliver||3 Jen Campbell|
|4 Bruce Metham||4 Jake Ida||4 Louie Pantelic||4 Roz Johnston|
|5 Carrey Klein||5 Chris Brown||5 Otis Rabbidge||5 Izzi Burridge|
|6 Greg Furmage||6 Dru Guerin||6 Karen Ingold|