PORT MACQUARIE, New South Whales — Australian surfing history was created at the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival in Port Macquarie today, with the first ever open women’s stand up paddleboard (SUP) champion crowned.
Town Beach provided the ideal arena for the maiden final, pumping out some of the best conditions seen for a final of a stand up paddleboarding event in Australia since the fledging sport boomed in the country.
In clean 3ft (1-metre) waves, Emma Web (Jan Juc) etched her name in the record books, netting a 15.50 two-wave combined total, which included a pair of 7.5’s, to beat Jenny Ryan (Qld), Davina Drinan (Mermaid Beach, Qld) and Sondra Purser (Merewether).
Web, who competed in the final on a borrowed board, looked in sync with the highly contestable conditions on offer, mixing some powerful backhand moves with a smooth flow to take the crown.
“It feels so good to be a part of SUP history,” said Web. “All the girls were ripping in the final, so I feel privileged to come away with the crown.” The second annual open men’s final was also decided, with former Australian Longboard Champion Jackson Close (Currumbin, Qld) edging out Tweed Head’s Beau Nixon, the Sunshine Coast’s Keahi De Aboitz (Noosa) and Coffs Harbour’s Sinclair Black in a high scoring final.
Close, who made the quarters of last week’s Australian Longboard Titles, got busy from the opening siren, nailing an 8.50 on his first ride, before backing it up with a 7.50 on his very next wave to setup the win. Final scores: Close (16.00), Nixon (15.10), Aboitz (14.85) and Black (11.00).
“I felt I redeemed myself with my win today after a poor finish in the longboard division last week,” said Close. “It was a great result. There were some fun waves and I’m really happy I came away with the title.”
Competition will continue tomorrow with day four of the Australian Open Surfmasters Titles. Next call 6.45am.
The Running Schedule for both the Australian Longboard Titles and Australian Open Surfmasters will be released on a day-by-day basis as swell and weather conditions will affect scheduling. An event hotline will be operating for the event which will feature a recorded message updated at 6:45am each morning with the confirmed daily schedule and contest venue. Please call the Event Hotline on 0458 247 212 after 6:45am each day of event for Event Hotline message.
The 2010 Country Energy Australian Surf Festival is proudly supported by Events NSW, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, The Mercure Centro Hotel, Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, the Glasshouse Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre.
Suncorp, Saltwater Wine Surf Centres, Australian Sports Commission, Coastalwatch, NBN Television, Port Macquarie News, Star FM, 2MC FM, Surfing World Magazine, Pacific Longboarder Magazine, Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW.