2019 proved to be a year of change in the sport of surfing, with one of the biggest changes being the introduction of equal prize money for men and women by the WSL.
The year also saw Byron Bay’s Kieren Perrow step down after six years as the ASP/WSL Tour commissioner, while Soli Bailey sported both the Indigenous and the Australian flags on his CT jersey for his debut on the CT.
‘I’m an Indigenous Australian going to compete against the world,’ Bailey said.
But through it all local talent continued to shine and this included the amazing run of victories in the AS2 division of the International Adaptive Surfing circuit by Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart.
In the longboard arena Lennox Head’s Ben Dickens won back-to-back titles in the O/40s men’s logger division at the Australian Longboard Titles, while Lee Middleton (Lennox Head) won the ladies division at the 22nd annual Lennox Longboard Classic.
Byron Bay Boardriders president Neil ‘Freddo’ Cameron proved he is the best over 60s shortboard surfer in the country, winning everything he entered.
Our pro surfers had some success too with Byron Bay’s Owen Wright winning the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o and helping lead team Australia to a win in the ISA Aloha Cup at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games.
In the juniors, Lennox Head’s Mikey McDonagh won his first ever WSL QS event at Yallingup (WA), while Lennox Head’s Nyxie Ryan finished third on the WSL Pro Junior rankings in Australasia, won the U/16s at the 2019 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open and was the NSW High School U/19 All Star Champion.
Other standout juniors included: Byron Bay’s Touma Cameron and Henley Smith, Leihani Zoric (Broken Head), Keke Brain (Lennox Head), Juniper Harper (Lennox Head) and Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head).