Red-hot form in tough conditions
ANGOURIE Boardriders Club held its first pointscore competition of the year at Turners Beach on Sunday.
For such trying conditions the club was extremely happy with the huge roll-up for the first competition of the year and while the surf was less than ideal the surfing was red hot across all divisions.
The family-orientated atmosphere was there for all to see, with a dozen children entering the Micro Groms, where they were assisted by willing parents.
They were followed by the Fleas, which is a novice division for children still learning to negotiate by themselves in what turned out to be very trying conditions.
The brave young talents – all under 11 – charged into some good sets.
However, it was the under-15 and Open competitors that the spectators came to see, and there was some progressive and radical surfing on show from some of the best talents in the Yamba/Angourie area.
In the under-15 division some of the youngsters pushed the more established juniors Morgan Cibilic and Frank Murphy were giving away as many as five years’ experience to their junior rivals and both only marginally missed a finals birth. A final seems just around the corner for either of these shredders.
In the end though it was the polished Chris Zaffis who took the final.
The Zaffis patented forehand snap proved too strong and clinical in the final, overcoming Seeland Hulett in second, who is showing a maturity in his surfing that only comes with time in the water.
Drew Vanagas and Cody Jones tied for third.
In the Opens there was some radical surfing from the first round and while Bryce Young was an early standout he suffered a semi-final where he couldn’t find a decent wave and was bundled out earlier than his talent deserved.
Zane Byrne, who is about to embark on an assault on the WQS, showed his hunger, along with a powerful attack, to win the Open Division.
The loose and often fins-free approach of Suncha Hulett gained him second place, followed by Chad Horton and Mitch Heywood, who surfed solidly all day but couldn’t find too many clean-faced waves in the faltering conditions.
For Byrne it was a confidence-boosting hit-out before he attacks the dog-eat-dog world of the WQS tour.
Angourie Boardriders will hold its AGM at Yamba Bowling Club on March 16.
1. Zane Byrne
2. Suncha Hulett
3. Chad Horton
4. Mitch Heywood
1. Chris Zaffis
2. Seeland Hulett
3. Drew Vanagas
3. Cody Jones