Australia’s richest longboarding event, the 2014 Australian Longboard Surfing Open, got underway yesterday at Kingscliff with a massive day of Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) surfing, with the Legendary Pacific Coast Men’s Pro and the Pretty Shady Women’s Pro running through multiple rounds of competition.
Harley Ingleby from Coffs Harbour, the 2009 ASP World Longboard Champion, powered through the difficult conditions, posting excellent scores seemingly with ease, showing exactly how he won this event last year and why he’s one to watch again this year.
In his Round 3 heat win today Ingleby was near flawless, laying down carving turns and critical noserides to post two excellent scores – 9.33 and 8.83 (out of a possible 10).
‘I don’t even remember which wave my 9.33 was,’ said Ingleby. ‘I was lucky that I was able to find a few waves that allowed me to open up a little. I think the key is to get multiple noserides and a variety of turns, but you have to be lucky to get the right waves – and it turned out that I was.
‘I really like that we are using the CT format in this event; it will be good for the guys that qualify for the ASP World Longboard Championships to get experience in this format and surfing with priority.’
Wini Paul (NZ) won through to the quarterfinals of the Pretty Shady Women’s Pro this morning thanks to a couple of long and smooth rides where she was able to execute a series of clean and classic carves and turns. Paul finished equal 13th at the ASP World Longboard Championships in China last year, and is looking good heading into the business end of this event.
‘I’ve strained a tendon in my arm and I need to ice it when I get out of the surf,’ said Paul. ‘It’s great to be through to the quarterfinals of the Pretty Shady Women’s Pro. The conditions are tough today. I just tried to complete my rides and make sure that I had flow between my turns. I’m not the best noserider, so I had to make sure that the rest of my surfing was spot on.’
Taylor Jensen (CA/USA), two-time ASP World Longboard champion and former Legendary Pacific Coast Men’s Pro champion, was on point at Kingscliff. Jensen picked the best waves during his heats and used his trademark smooth, yet powerful, brand of surfing to easily advance into the quarterfinals.
‘It’s pretty much victory at sea out there,’ said Jensen. ‘It’s nice to be back in a contest jersey again. The last one was the ASP World Longboard Championships in China last year, so it’s good to get back into it. Hopefully the weather improves and the surf gets better for the weekend, but there’re still good waves out there if you can find them.’
Chelsea Williams (Gold Coast), Jennifer Smith (USA), Jared Neal (AUS) and Heith Norrish (AUS) were among the day’s other standout performers. The event will resume at 8am tomorrow.
The festival is located in the world-class surfing destination of Kingscliff, only 10 minutes’ drive from Snapper Rocks. Running from March 26 to 30, 2014, ALSO pays homage to the history of longboard surfing with surf vehicles and classic car display, the Miss Beach Girl competition, surf films, surf yoga, art and lifestyle stalls.
Upcoming Legendary Pacific Coast Men’s Pro Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Jackson Close (AUS) v Patrick O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 2: Lawrence Harkness (AUS) v Ricky Cunningham (USA)
Heat 3: Nick Farago (AUS) v Nic Jones (AUS)
Heat 4: Jack Entwistle (AUS) v Michael Cottier (AUS)
Upcoming Legendary Pacific Coast Men’s Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Heith Norrish (AUS) v TBD
QF 2: Harley Ingleby (AUS) v TBD
QF 3: Taylor Jensen (USA) v TBD
QF 4: Jared Neal (AUS) v TBD
Upcoming Pretty Shady Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Jennifer Smith (USA) v Erin Dark (AUS)
QF 2: Chelsea Williams (AUS) v Nava Young (AUS)
QF 3: Rachael Tilly (USA) v Roisin Carolan (AUS)
QF 4: Wini Paul (NZL) v Rosie Locke (AUS)