With challenging two foot waves and shifting winds on offer, surfers really had to rely on smart wave selection and some creative surfing for day one at the Australian Longboard Surfing Open at Kingscliff yesterday.
Taylor Jensen (USA), reigning two time ASP World Longboard Champion, excelled in the tricky conditions cruising through his Round 1 heat and absolutely destroying his opponents in their quarterfinal scoring an amazing near perfect heat total of 19.57 (out of a possible 20), the highest of the day. ‘It’s funny but the waves that look good aren’t really that good; the smaller ones kind of double up and run further so I just looked for those runners and I found two of them and it worked out,’ said Jensen. Japanese surfer Shohei Akimoto also advanced to the semifinals in second position behind Jensen.
2009 ASP World Longboard Champion Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach) looked unstoppable all day, posting two big heat wins to also advance through to the semifinals. Ingleby held off local surfer Jackson Close (Tweed Heads) who scored four waves over 7.00 in an entertaining affair where the waves turned on for all surfers. ‘That was a really close heat!’ said Ingleby. ‘It’s always a really tough draw at the Australian Open, the world champ (Jensen) has set the bar pretty high but of course it’s my goal to win it.’
Yallingup surfer Justin Redman was the last surfer of the day to win through to the semifinals alongside Ray Lawrence (AUS), finishing first and second respectively in their quarterfinal. Redman who has managed to sneak under the radar so far surfed two smart heats in slow conditions, but is focused on achieving a big result. ‘I’m pretty stoked to get through,’ said Redman. ‘I’ve made it to a few semifinals here before but never a final, so I’m definitely focused on making that extra step.’
In the Cancer Institute ASP LQS Women’s event, ASP World No 5 and the highest ranked surfer in the draw, Georgia Young, sneaked through in a low scoring affair over Samantha Suendemann (AUS) and Kirsty Webster (AUS), who finished second and third respectively. ‘It was a tough heat,’ said Young. ‘I wasn’t where I wanted to be sitting for that heat but I managed to get one good wave and an okay backup, which was all I needed in the end. The bank is there but it’s a challenge just finding those really good ones that allow you to link up a few manoeuvres, but I managed to sneak through.’
Young will face Crystal Dzigas (HAW), who won her heat comfortably, as well as Rosie Locke (AUS) and Suendemann in the first semifinal on Saturday.
The pros will enjoy a few days off now with the Noserider, SUP Pro Surf and Illusions SUP Amateur Surf divisions hitting the water tomorrow.
MEN’S ROUND OF 24
HEAT 1: 1st – Taylor Jensen 15.47, 2nd – John Mcdonald 8.07, 3rd – Kimihiko Nishizaki 6.50
HEAT 2: 1st – Shane Morton 12.66, 2nd – Patrick O’Leary 9.27, 3rd – Michael Cottier 7.04
HEAT 3: 1st – Jared Neal 13.27, 2nd – Shohei Akimoto 11.27, 3rd – Dane Pioli 9.00
HEAT 4: 1st – Thomas Kibblewhite 10.50, 2nd – Beau Nixon 8.5, 3rd – Tony Silvagni 8.47
HEAT 5: 1st – Harley Ingleby 13.60, 2nd – Justin Redman 12.60, 3rd – Clinton Guest 8.63
HEAT 6: 1st – Matt Aldridge 10.76, 2nd – Heith Norrish 10.17, 3rd – Michael Young 8.63
HEAT 7: 1st – Ray Lawrence 11.83, 2nd – Nick Fargo 9.57, 3rd – Jack Entwistle 9.34
HEAT 8: 1st – Nic Jones 14.20, 2nd – Jackson Close 11.93, 3rd – Lawrence Harkness 10.24
Q1: 1st – Taylor Jensen 19.57, 2nd – Shohei Akimoto 13.10, 3rd – Beau Nixon 11.83, 4th – Shane Morton 9.20
Q2: 1st – Thomas Kibblewhite 15.30, 2nd – Jared Neal 15.00, 3rd – John Mcdonald 12.64, 4th – Patrick O Leary 10.27
Q3: 1st – Harley Ingleby 16.04, 2nd – Jackson Close 15.27, 3rd – Matt Aldridge 11.03, 4th – Nick Fargo 9.67
Q4: 1st – Justin Redman 11.67, 2nd – Ray Lawrence 11.33, 3rd – Heith Norrish 11.03, – 4th Nic Jones 10.23
Q1: 1st – Georgia Young 12.24, 2nd – Samantha Suendermann 8.60, 3rd – Kirsty Webster 8.07
Q2: 1st – Crystal Dzigas 15.67, 2nd – Rosie Locke 10.63, 3rd – Hiroka Yoshikawa 9.80, 4th – Roisin Carolan 6.90
Q3: 1st – Alice Melissa Limoi 11.40, 2nd – Erin Dark 9.33, 3rd – Claire Norman 8.1, 4th – Wen Ling Chou 5.60
Q4: 1st Melissa Combo 11.26, 2nd – Fernanda Daichtman 10.9, 3rd – Geodee Clark 7.17, 4th – Lucy Small 6.60
For more information visit www.australianlongboardopen.
From the ASP website: http://www.aspworldtour.com.