Sydney surfer Otis Carey has been crowned Australian Indigenous Surfing Champion at Bells Beach, taking down former Australian Champion Russell Molony from the Central Coast in small but clean waves.
The well-known natural-footer wowed the crowds with an incredible display of progressive surfing mixed with powerful carves.
Carey was dominant all through the event, taking out the top four heat totals over the two days and four of the top five wave scores.
In the final, Carey blasted his way to a 16.80 heat total, including an event high 9.8, to best Molony’s 10.63.
James Mercy from Currumbin and Simon Knox from the Sunshine Coast finished third and fourth respectively.
‘I’ve always wanted to win this contest so I’m really happy,’ said an elated Carey. ‘Last year I was not riding great boards but this year my boards are really good and I feel a lot more healthy this year.
‘I really just came down to catch up with everyone and that’s the attitude I had coming into the event.
‘Its hard to explain winning this competition. It’s such a special thing for all the Indigenous surfers to get together and that’s probably the most special thing about the contest.’
Carey will now gain a wildcard into the Open Men’s division at the Australian Surf Festival along with an all-expenses-paid trip to the Surfing Australia Hurley High Performance Centre.
The Open Women’s final was again taken out by Gold Coast surfer Amber Mercy, who relished in the small waves at Bells Beach.
Amber was able to find a great wave at the start of the heat, which set her up for the victory over Danielle Page (Coffs Harbour). Shannon Dabono and Amber Harrison finished third and fourth respectively.
Former Pipe Master and World Tour competitor Robbie Page (Central Coast) has again taken out the Masters Division for the third year running.
Showing he has not aged a bit, Page was dominant in his heats with his trademark style and flair.
‘This is such an awesome competition to see all the communities come together in such a special place.
‘Just watching the Open men’s final was an incredible experience.’
Page scored a heat total of 16.23 to better Matthew Molony (Central Coast) on 11.10 points.
Ronnie Thomas (Wreck Bay) and Steve Parker (Phillip Island) placed third and fourth.
Full results can be viewed at indigenous.prosurfinglive.com.
~ Photos Liam Robertson – Nikon