The Australian Surf Festival at North Haven this week has had some of longboarding’s elder statesmen surfing their heats and semifinals in the Australian Longboard Titles.
NSW’s Richard Smith and Victoria’s Greg Brown went toe to toe for the lead in the Over-50 Men semifinals with both surfers trading excellent scores and lengthy waves. When the final hooter sounded it was Richard who got the nod by less than half a point. Both surfers booked their spot into the Over-50 Men final.
John Lane showed he would be one to watch in the Over-50 Men final after snatching a solid win in the remaining semifinal. The Victorian surfer successfully locked in an 8.25 and an 8.50 to steal the win from NSW surfer Gary Burden.
‘I was rapt with that score; it felt awesome. It was probably a fluke though,’ laughed John. ‘It was one of the best semifinals I’ve ever surfed. Greg Brown shapes my boards, so it’ll be great to surf a final with him. This year will be the fifth time I’ve made the final of the Australian Titles; in the past I’ve got two thirds and two fourth places, so I’d love to beat that this year.’
John Skinner and Glenn Mahoney impressed the judges over the course of their respective Over-55 Men semifinals, both locking in heat wins and booking themselves a finals berth. The two NSW surfers will be joined by Allan Brown and Jack Howarth in the final of the Over-55 Men.
‘I’m pretty happy with the way I surfed. I feel like I could have surfed better, but I think I performed as well as the waves would allow,’ said Glenn Mahoney. ‘I won the Australian Title in 2009, so it’d be great to do that again this year. I always love coming down to Port Macquarie for this event. It’s only two hours away for me and it’s a beautiful part of the world. It’d be great to see more swell over the next few days.’
NSW’s Daniel Bond and Queensland’s Neville Smith both put on an impressive display of traditional manoeuvres to qualify for the Over-60 Men and the Over-65 Men final.
‘I’m really happy about qualifying for both finals,’ said Neville. ‘The waves were a little bit slow, but everyone is in the same boat. I figured I would try to catch the set waves and work them through to the reform section. It obviously worked for me. With the swell having lifted slightly, I opted to sit a little north of the other competitors and pick off whatever I could.’
All heat results, event highlight clips, images and news, are available at www.australiansurffestival.com.
2013 AUSTRALIAN SURF FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
10–18 August – Australian Longboard Titles
16–18 August – Australian Logger Titles
16–18 August – Australian Longboard Titles – Under-18 Boys and Girls
19–23 August – Australian Surfmasters Titles
21–23 August – Australian Single Fin Titles