MEREWETHER BEACH, Newcastle, NSW/AUS (Wednesday, February 12, 2015)
In one of the biggest upsets in the 13 year Wandiyali Indigenous Classic history, 21 year old Beau Wills (Avoca Beach, NSW) won his first Open Men’s Wandiyali Indigenous Classic title.
In a very convincing performance in the 20 minute final Wills opened his score sheet with two early waves in the excellent range. The other finalists, Simon Knox (Kirra Beach, QLD), the nine times Wandiyali champion, Russ Molony (Bateau Bay, NSW) and the current Australian indigenous champion, Otis Carey (Coffs Harbour, NSW) were left to play catch-up.
The surf at Merewether deteriorated during the final as the onshore north easterly wind made wave selection very tricky. Wills spent the rest of the heat looking for a wave to better his opening rides.
Simon Knox (Kirra Beach, QLD) steadily built on his score catching a wave in the excellent range to move within striking distance of Wills. With less than 10 minutes remaining Otis Carey (Coffs Harbour, NSW) scratched into an inside wave that built up as it raced along the Merewether Rocks. This wave scored in the excellent range. Wills must have begun to worry as he could not find a wave to better his first scores.
Then Molony caught his highest scoring wave but without a back-up wave he was unable to catch Wills and the other finalists.
A very excited 2015 Wandiyali Open Men’s champion, Beau Wills said after he was presented with an original hand painted Col Wightman surfboard, “I’m really, really happy. I’m also very proud to win the Wandiyali Classic. This contest means a lot to me. I know the organisers are talking about making the event even bigger next year. That would be awesome. I will definitely be back to defend my title in 2016. I really want to thank Steve Kilroy of Wandiyali ATSI and all the hard work they do for indigenous people.”
In a second upset of the day the 2014 Wandiyali Women’s champion Stellar Crick (Coledale, NSW) was beaten by a diminutive teenager Summer Simon (Wollongong, NSW).
Joe Wallace (Cronulla, NSW) claimed the Wandiyali Junior title for a second year in a row with a powerful performance over his younger rivals.
1. Beau Wills (Avoca, NSW)
2. Simon Knox (Kirra, QLD)
3. Otis Carey (Coffs Harbour, NSW)
4. Russ Molony (Bateau Bay, NSW)
1. Joe Wallace (Cronulla, NSW)
2. Noah Munro (Norah Head, NSW)
3. Jackson McGuire (Merewether, NSW)
4. Taj Simon (Wollongong, NSW)
1. Summer Simon (Wollongong, NSW)
2. Stella Crick (Coledale, NSW)
3. Amber Mercer, North Coast, NSW)
4. Jarrah Clark, (NSW)