Yamba longboarder wins Aussie title
THIRTY seconds is a measure of time that comes and goes in the blink of an eye, but it was all the time Yamba longboarder Frank Murphy needed to claim the Australian Longboard Junior Titles.
Held in punchy four-foot waves at Coffs Harbour on Saturday, the four-man junior final provided a nail-biting finish when third-placed Murphy took a chance in the dying minute of competition.
"I was coming third the whole heat with a 7.5, and in the last 30 seconds I saw a wave coming," he said.
"I kind of went down the beach away from the others so they couldn't really catch me, and no one else was going for it so I did."
With a score of 5.75 needed to beat front runner and Queenslander Nicholas Brewer, the 16-year-old carpentry apprentice pulled out all stops with hang five into a close-out snap.
"By the time I rode it all the way in the hooter went," he said.
Confident in his wave, Murphy knew he was in with a chance to take the title but had to wait until the scores dropped before he could celebrate.
"I kind of put my arms up and claimed it just asking what else I need to do," he said.
"I waited about 20 seconds while they were waiting for the scores, and then they said it's looking good, and screamed it out."
The triumphant teenager said it felt great to be carried up the beach in a chairlift with the Australian flag draped around his arms, but he didn't have long to celebrate before he had to return to the water for the semi-finals of the Logger heat.
He went on to place third in the Logger final, and sixth place in the open mens titles, where he was up against Australian and world champions.
Speaking of his title win, Murphy said he had been determined to try to take it out in his last year as a junior.
"In 2014 my friend Joel Skinner won it, and ever since then I've wanted to win," he said.
"I didn't think it was going to be easy but I surprised myself."
Yesterday, the teenager was back at work, but he already has his eyes on the next prize - a career as a professional longboarder in the World Surf League.
"There are still a few junior competitions I can do but I'm pretty keen on going into the Australian Longboard Surfing Open at Kingscliff," he said.