It was a fitting finale to the 29th annual Northies Alley Masters held in perfect one-metre waves on a classic winter surfing day on Saturday.
After nine hours of competition in one of the event’s biggest ever fields, the four man final consisted of three former winners and the Cronulla Boardriders club champion.
Power surfing won the day with the Alley lefts turning on for Elouera’s Jared Hickel who dominated the peak to win his second blue Masters jacket in three years.
Hickel, who leaves for the European leg of the World Qualifying Series on Friday, showed he has what it takes to make an impression on the World Tour to follow his clubmate Connor O’Leary’s recent success.
Joey Sear, the 2012 champion, was runner-up with defending champ Matt Griggs third and Jordan Widenstrom fourth.
In the under-13s, the rivalry between blonde goofy footers continued with Jarvis Earle pipping Kalani Van Depolder in a high-scoring event. In the under-16s, Cronulla’s Jay Brown swept the field taking out Van Whiteman, the son of former Cronulla champion, Dean.
Lilly Brown won the women's title with evergreen Greg Hourigan taking out the over-60s. Veteran Rob Gaddes took the coveted over-50s Master’s title to win the port.
After two days of flat surf the ocean finally came alive yesterday in Cronulla when a 2 metre South swell hit mid-day making surfers run for their boards.
Flat at 11 and 5 ft at Wanda at 2pm-conditions were ideal with a 15 knot offshore keeping faces clean and this morning things were still looking nice on the beaches.
Swellnet predicts plenty of south swell ahead this week with most days having clean conditions and varying sizes of south swell between 2-5ft. The best pulse looks to be late Thursday early Friday with winds offshore all week.
Americans Sage Erickson and Kanoa Igarashi claimed victory at the Vans US Open of Surfing in two-to-four foot waves on the southside of the Huntington Beach Pier. A capacity crowd witnessed Erickson clinch the win at Stop No. 6 of 10 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and Igarashi take out the Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 event.
Erickson claimed her first Championship Tour victory after defeating 2016 event winner Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in an intense Final. The 26-year-old will now vault from 9th to 6th on the Jeep Leaderboard, just 1,450 points behind World No. 5 Johanne Defay (FRA).
Cronulla’s Connor O/Leary had his best result at the US Open making the 4th round (17th)and getting 2 thousand rating points.
Surfers now head to Tahiti for Ct 7- the Billabong Pro and the big Voodoo Connor surfed might help him get over the ledges there.
A heap of new Australian shortboard champions were crowned at the Australian Surf Festival, following action-packed days of finals in picturesque four-foot waves at Duranbah Beach last week.
In a first, no Cronulla surfers made a final with Ricky Marshall making the semi’s in the over 40’s and no Mal riders even making the event and there were eight different divisions.
Finally the International Surfing Association (ISA) has been honored with a Special Recognition Award at the annual Waterman's Awards, hosted by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association in Laguna Beach last weekend.
The prize, presented to ISA President Fernando Aguerre, will be awarded by the world's foremost gathering of surfing industry leaders for the "unwavering and successful efforts in getting Surfing included in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games."
This has led to former Pipe Master, Triple Crown Champion and long-time World Surf League competitor Bede Durbidge accepting the role of Surfing Australia Elite Program Manager in a major boost to Aussie medal hopes at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Gold Gold Gold!