Surfers did battle in small waves with two-time Longboard World Champion Taylor Jensen and Karina Rozunko taking top honours in the Australian Longboard Surfing Open World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) divisions at Kingscliff on Sunday.
The men’s final started off slowly as two-time reigning World Champion, Harley Ingleby (Emerald Coast) and reigning event champion both suffered a slow start.
Ingleby took the first wave after almost ten minutes of competition and scored a 5.5. Jensen nudged forward with a score of 5.63 after the first wave exchange. Jensen then caught a great looking wave and netted a 7.67 for his powerful and precise surfing. Further adding to the pressure, Jensen made the most of the tough conditions and secured his third wave under priority and increased his overall score with a 5.77.
Needing a 7.95 to win, Ingleby caught his final wave with only 10 seconds remaining but could only score a 5, leaving Jensen to win his 2nd final of the day. Jensen had earlier won the Villa World Logger/Old Mal division, once again, beating Ingleby.
The rivalry continued in the Noserider final, with Jensen once again triumphant.
‘Wave selection was critical’, said Jensen said. ‘It was a tough heat, no waves came through as it was the bottom of the tide, but I’m really happy with the win.
‘I got busy towards the end of the heat. I knew it was going to come down to who had the highest of the medium scores and I just got lucky with the wave.’
In the women’s Final two WSL Longboard Championship competitors went head to head, but it was Karina Rozunko (USA) who was dominant against Victoria Vergara (France).
Rozunko got an early start over Vergara and secured an early score of 5.5, followed by a 6.33. Vergara was constantly chasing and only managed to get small scores early in the Final. Rozunko continued to dominate, but Vergara didn’t give up easily, entertaining the crowd and not afraid to catch the small waves to try and score big.
‘Conditions were a bit tough, but that’s the whole thing about a contest, you go out there and you see who can surf the best’, Rozunko said. ‘Victoria (Vergara) is a good friend and we knew one of us was going to win and one of us was going to lose, but it was still good fun to surf with her.’
The 2015 Australian Longboard Surfing Open has been hugely successful with great crowds at the beach to watch the surf and attend the lifestyle events as part of the Longboard Surfing Festival of the Asia-Pacific. Events featured have been the Scoot Miss Beach Girl competition, surf films, yoga, art, classic car vehicles and lifestyle stalls.