North Narrabeen win Orica Tag Team Challenge at Surfest Newcastle Australia

Photo: Davey Cathels leading the North Narrabeen Boardriders to their first Orica Tag Team win.

Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Sunday 2 February, 2014.

THE maiden surfing competition of the 2014 Surfest Newcastle Australia has been won by North Narrabeen Black, who pocketed half of the $10,000 on offer for their effort.

Now in its second year, the Orica Tag Team Challenge was hosted by Stockton’s Northside Board Riders club based on Stockton beach.

One of the traditionally strong surfboard clubs in Australia and boasting an enviable history, North Narrabeen entered two of the eighteen teams that signed up for the 2014 event.

In a howling nor-easter, the North Narrabeen ‘Black’ team consisting of Cooper Chapman, Davey Cathels and Chris Enever defeated the Merewether Junior Team comprised of Zane Clifford, Morgan Cibilic and Louis Stackhouse in the final.

North Narrabeen’s Davey Cathels, who will surf in the round of 96 in the Association of Surfing Professional’s 6-star Burton Toyota Pro that will commence at Merewether beach on February 17, says the North Narra boys were thrilled with the win and would love to be involved in more club contests.

“It’s been fun. We came to Stockton as a competitive team for the first time but we see each other every day. We know a lot about each other’s surfing. The format was less complicated than some of the other club comps and getting a good score for the power wave is so vital,” Cathels said.

The unique format used in the Orica Tag Team Challenge saw all clubs surf on both the first and second day, with three teams having a competitor in the water during each heat. Scores were progressively tallied and each competitor’s second wave — the power wave — had its score doubled.

North Side Board Riders Club spokesman Paul Smart says the event was bigger and better than its inaugural outing and the spirit of friendly rivalry underpinned a fantastic three days.

“It was terrific to see more than 50 surfers get involved in the Orica Tag Team Challenge. North Narra came here to win and there was a bit of expectation given the reputations of that club and those surfers but they didn’t have it easy. They deserved the win for sure but there wasn’t much in it,” he said.

Orica’s General Manager Greg Holmes said the company was thrilled with the growth of the event.

“Orica is really pleased to be involved with the club competition and while it’s a bit of a shame a local club couldn’t get up, the best surfers on the day won the trophy and congratulations to them. Club surfing has strong ties to community involvement and Orica are proud to be the sponsor of the Challenge. We’d like to see this event grow and maybe next year there will be even more teams, Mr Holmes said.

The next event of 2014 Surfest Newcastle Australia will be the Port Stephens Toyota trials.

Eligible local surfers from between Hawks Nest and Catherine Hill Bay will do battle for a wildcard into either the ASP 6-star Burton Toyota Pro or the Hunter Ports Womens Classic. Competitors are to meet at Birubi Point at 7am on Sunday 9 February.

Photo: North Narrabeen surfer Davey Cathels – RedMonkey Photography