Lake Mac Festival of Surfing 2016 champions crowned

Sunday February 7 2016 (Redhead Beach, Redhead NSW Australia)

The second year of the Lake Mac Festival of Surfing travelled from Redhead Beach, Redhead NSW to the southern edge of the Lake Macquarie LGA and the picturesque and historic township of Catherine Hill Bay for two days of intense competition. The heavy surf conditions on Redhead Beach over the weekend meant that the southern corner of Catherine Hill Bay beach was protected and was offering very contestable 1 – 2 metre smooth lefts and rights.
Organisers held all the rounds of the short board masters, longboards and stand-up paddleboards anticipating returning to Catherine Hill Bay on Sunday. The swell had dropped slightly but was perfect for competition on Sunday. Moving to Catherine Hill By was a master stroke as the swell remained solid and clean with a light offshore wind making for some spectacular surfing.

The large south swell straightened during the finals with consistent 2 metre sets closing out the bay at times.
The short board masters finals were a repeat of 2015. Justin Lee, Redhead NSW who won both divisions in 2015 was in form to dominate both the over 35 final and the over 40 final. But to the surprise of many Justin was unable to repeat this performance in 2016. He could only manage a 4th in the over 40 final. He made amends in the next final, the over 35 final, with couple of excellent point rides to close out his opposition.
Justin said, ‘I knew I had a shocker in the over 40’s. I was sitting in the wrong spot in the rip. I changed take-off spots in the next final and it paid off.’

In the stand-up paddleboards 17 year old Harry Maskell from Terrigal, the 2015 open stand-up paddle board champion, dominated the event winning the stand-up paddleboard open final again without losing a heat over the two days of competition.

Harry said, ’I’m stoked the organisers moved it to Catho. The surf today was amazing. There was solid sets out there but the sand banks are there as well so it was fun.’
Harry demonstrated his versatility coming in a close second in the Open longboard final with power surfing not often seen in longboard surfing. But it was Shane Baker, Caves Beach NSW who caught the cleaner, bigger waves in the Open longboard final.

Shane said, ‘I had a shocker at last year’s event so I was keen to make amends. I only got a couple of good ones I thought. It was solid out there and I couldn’t see what the other guys were catching. I‘m very happy to win this title though.’

The inaugural Lake Mac surfboard club team challenge featuring Redhead, Frenchman’s, Dudley and Catherine Hill Bay Boardriders was held on Sunday with the winning team earning a wildcard entry into the Surfest Orica Team Challenge on Stockton Beach NSW February 12-14. Past Orica champions Frenchman’s Boardriders were the favourites to win the wildcard and in a dominant and consistent display featuring their impressive stable of junior talent and experienced surfers they were too strong.

Short board masters Over 35
1st Justin Lee
2nd Dale Thomas
3rd Bryden Galbraith
4th Luke Bartlett

Short board masters Over 40
1st Bryden Galbraith
2nd Simon Hasson
3rd Paul Snow
4th Justin Lee

Longboard Open
1st Shane Baker
2nd Harry Maskell
3rd Matt Rawson
4th Dean Wilson

Longboard Over 40
1st Jeremy Smith
2nd Tony Rae
3rd Matt Rawson
4th Shane Ross

Longboard Over 50
1st Tony Rae
2nd Mike Pimm
3rd Michael Howe

Stand-up Paddleboard Open
1st Harry Maskell
2nd Glen Turner
3rd Andrew Cassidy
4th Blair Moore

Stand-up Paddleboard Over 40
1st Andrew Cassidy
2nd Jeremy Smith
3rd Matt Rawson
4th Gareth Grant

Stand-up Paddleboard Over 50
1st David Stretton
2nd Hugo Simpson
3rd Harry Goldstein

Lake Mac Board Club Team Challenge
1st Frenchman’s Boardriders