THE NATION’S richest surfing competition for Indigenous surfers saw four new champs crowned at Merewether beach today as part of the 35th Surfest Newcastle Australia.
Under a bright blue sky signalling the first day or autumn, the men’s open division was won by 17-year-old Finn Hill in right-handers up to 1.5 metres fanned by a light southerly breeze.
An International Gromsearch winner, the natural-footer has previously collected the junior division at this event and the junior trophy at the national Indigenous titles.
The Avoca beach boardrider’s club surfer also claimed the runner-up spot in the junior division today to pocket a total of $6500 in prize money for the weekend – some of which he will use to further improve his surfing.
“I won the trip to the Mentawais when Avoca won the ABB at Newcastle two years ago and I’ll probably book a trip to Bali tonight,” he said.
“It was so fun here at Merewether. There’s always waves up here in that little corner presenting bowls and it’s a terrific event,” he said
In the open women’s division, reining Australian Indigenous women’s champion Jasmine McCorquodale from Bateau Bay on the NSW Central Coast claimed her third Wandiyali ATSI title.
The 16-year-old from Wamberal boardriders said luck was on her side today.
‘Leading up to the comp I wasn’t surfing my best but was just lucky in the final that a couple of good waves came my way. The other girls were all ripping but it came down to those waves.
“This is one of my favourite events by far. Everyone is so nice and the crowd is just so lovely and it’s somewhere I’ll keep coming back to.
Jed McDonagh (Forster, NSW) won the junior division and Rhys Collins (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria) took home the trophy in the longboards.
Results: Wandiyali ATSI Indigenous Classic
1. Finn Hill (16.20) $6000
2. Billy Bain (13.60) $4000
3. Joe Haddon (12.90) $2000
4. Byron Simon (11.93) $1500
1. Jasmine McCorquodale (15.00) $1500
2. Phoebe King (12.76) $750
3. Bodhi Simon (8.07) $500
4. Summer Simon (7.80) $250
1. Jed McDonagh (13.00) $1000
2. Finn Hill (12.76) $500
3. Taj Simon (12.30) $300
4. Billy Kennedy (8.34) $200
1. Rhys Collins (16.13) $1000
2. Matthew Molony (14.84) $500
3. Jamie Archibald (9.20) $300
4. Tom Avery (9.06) $200