(Stockton Beach, NSW, AUSTRALIA 5 February 2017)
NORTH Narrabeen have defended their Orica Team Challenge title from 19 surfboard club teams at Stockton beach.
Cooper Chapman, Dylan Moffatt and Matt Cattle made up the North Narrabeen A team (60.12) that convincingly defeated Merewether (43.45), North Shelley (42.47) and North Steyne (39.44).
North Narrabeen A team captain Cooper Chapman is no stranger to leaving the Orica Team Challenge with the winner’s cheque.
“This is my third time in the final for three wins with three different teams,” Chapman said.
“It shows the depth of our club and the mateship in the club. Thanks to Orica for an epic event. It’s a great warm up for Surfest’s main event and the Australian Boardriders Battle.
A win for a local club in the Orica Team Challenge remains elusive. Merewether appeared strong in the earlier rounds and the team of Jackson Baker, Morgan Cibilic and Travis Lynch looked to have one hand on the trophy after the quarter-finals with the highest score (194.52), followed by former Orica Team Challenge champions North Shelly Boardriders from the NSW Central Coast (172.86), eventual winners North Narrabeen A (160.17) and North Steyne Boardriders (152.05).
Merewether captain Travis Lynch said his young team had put up a great effort.
“We were close and look forward to meeting North Narrabeen at the Australian Boardriders Battle. We had a young team and I’m proud of their effort,” he said.
Merewether have less than a fortnight to regroup before the Australian Boardriders Battle gets underway at Newcastle Beach on the weekend of 18-19 February.
The general manager of Orica Kooragang Island, Scott Reid, said the team challenge will be on again in 2018.
“This event is very important to Orica as it is definitely one of the premier events we sponsor globally. I am always excited about how keen teams are to surf in this event,” Mr Reid said.
This venue on Stockton has proven to be very versatile with waves along the beach always delivering a great contest.
“We are especially happy with the Surfest organisation and the hosts Northside Boardriders whose commitment is always astonishing.”
“We congratulate all the clubs who competed and especially the winners North Narrabeen,” he said.
Out of the water, the 3 Peas market drew a huge crowd to the Stockton foreshore. Despite sweltering conditions, thousands flocked to the Pines and sought out bargains from over 90 on-site stall holders.
“Many of these stall holders and performers have booked for the 3 Peas markets – Beats N Barrels – on Merewether beach on the final weekend of Surfest on the 25th and 26th of February,” said organiser Bianca Gowie.
“Last year around 5000 people came to the markets at Stockton and with a beautiful day today we think we bettered those numbers.
“The markets are an important part of Surfest for our business and many small businesses who get to experience the crowds who are attracted to the international flavour that is Surfest,” said Ms Gowie.
Surfest organiser Warren Smith said the Orica Team Challenge shows there is a growing interest in club team surfing events.
“We’ll be back for sure in 2018. We’ll continue to listen to clubs about the best way for the event to grow and both showcase and reward some of the finest established and emerging surfing talent in the nation,” he said.