Frenchmans Boardriders claim 2019 crown at Orica Team Challenge

Frenchmans Boardriders Club: Winners of Surfest’s 2019 Orica Team Challenge. Pic by Paul Danovaro

(Stockton beach, Surfest Newcastle Australia, 24 February 2019)

FRENCHMANS Boardriders have taken back-to-back victories at Surfest’s Orica Team Challenge today when they claimed the 2019 title at Stockton beach today.

Twenty-four teams from 13 boardriding clubs saw more than 100 surfers converge on Stockton beach for the $10,000 Orica Team Challenge over the weekend.

In wind-affected conditions that made it difficult to impress judges, 13-year-old Dom Thomas rode the winning wave with under a minute on the clock to squeeze past final-leaders North Narrabeen A by less than a quarter-of-a-point.

The Frenchmans A-team – comprised of James McMoreland, Ethan Hartge and Dom Thomas – took home a purse of $5000 for their efforts at the Orica Team Challenge.

McMoreland said the effort of the youngster and his last wave ensured the clinching of the title for the club.

“It’s hats off to our little 13-year-old grom who pretty much got us into the final and who pretty much won the final for us,” McMoreland said.

“I’d also like to thank all the guys who came up from Frenchies and Caves – you guys got us across the line in the end. Also thanks to Daniel Frodsham who surfed for our team yesterday,” he added.

This was the third title Frenchmans have won at the Orica Team Challenge Stockton, having been inaugural winners in 2013 and having also claimed the 2018 title.

Orica Kooragang Island’s General Manager Paul Hastie said Orica was again pleased to back this community-based event which is now in its seventh year and a fixture on the Stockton community calendar.

“Congratulations to Northside Boardriders in Stockton for their organisation. This is now our seventh year and we are more than pleased to support it. It’s a great pleasure to contribute to the local community and we look forward to many future years of being able to do so,” he said.

Surfest organiser Warren Smith said the growth of the event showed team surfing remained central to Australian surfing culture.

“With the clubs maxing out organisational capacity in record time after entries opened, it’s clear that surfing clubs and the friendships involved remain integral to surfing,” he said.

“To see a 13-year-old grommet put in that amazing effort as the clock counted down is a dream-come-true for him and fantastic for Frenchmans and club surfing.

“Onshore, the markets last night, although faced with inclement weather, still managed to draw a terrific and supportive crowd.

” Stocko has really got behind this community event. I reckon next year it will be even bigger,” he added.

1. Frenchmans A (44.14) $5000
James McMoreland, Ethan Hartge, Dom Thomas (Jnr)
2. North Narrabeen A (44.11) $2000
Shane Carroll, Chris Salisbury, Arch Whiteman (Jnr)
3. North Avalon Surfing Association A (40.28) $1000
Christo Hall, Jackson Carey, Ethan Raper (Jnr)
4. North Avalon Surfing Association B (38.28) $500
Lliam Mortenson, Billy Bain, Van Whiteman (Jnr)