The man known as the “people’s champion” dominated the 20th anniversary of the Shark Island Challenge to take out his maiden title.
South coast legend Jase Finlay won the contest in good four to six foot swell to finally break his duck after previously finishing fifth, fourth, third and second in 2016.
The format of Shark Island as an APB World Tour specialty event was made up of 25 invitees from around Australia.
Riders surf two rounds and the top five highest-scoring surfers using their best three waves go into the final.
Finlay had a slow start in round one but pulled off a huge air reverse in a heavy surge section to gain the only perfect 10-point ride of the event in round two.
The final was held on the back side of the high tide and the conditions became more dangerous as the six-foot solid east swell started dredging over the shallow reef.
Local Alex Leon got sucked over the falls on a six to eight foot surge bomb and bounced on the reef.
Lachlan Cramsie and Chris Deller struggled to find makeable waves in the final but it was Finlay and Shaun Pyne who went neck and neck in a very close exchange of surfing.
At the end of the 40 minutes it was Finlay who claimed his maiden Shark Island Challenge championship title.
Cronulla surfers have had everything this week-last Wednesday after a storm rolled through the swell picked up and the wind blew offshore leaving us with 6-8ft of pure pleasure.
The swell and conditions stayed with us into the weekend but now I'm afraid its back to summer-yesterday we had 1-2 ft of east junk crashing onto our shoreline and today its no much better-even though it was glassy.
Todays pics are from this morning at South Cronulla ,last week at the Wall and the Shark Island Challenge.
Swellnet predicts the best day to be Thursday with a peaky 3-4 ft NE swell with easing North winds. Friday the winds are tricky with a mix of easing NE windswell and a very inconsistent building E/NE groundswell. Saturday we should have small waves with an easing mix of swells with light winds.
The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour and the third gem of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing kicked off yesterday with incredible Pipeline backdoor barrels for the opening round of competition.
We wont see competition run today due to diminished swell and onshore winds -just like us but smaller!
The world’s best surfers lit up the beach in the first nine heats of Round 1 in solid eight-to-ten foot (2.4 - 3+ metre) conditions at the world-famous Banzai Pipeline,with Backdoor getting all the attention.
Current No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard John John Florence (HAW) was the first surfer in Heat 6 to post a score. With cheers from the beach, Florence started his world title campaign and quickly built his scoreline to a solid 13.50 to take top position over Pipe Invitational winner Dusty Payne (HAW) and Brazil's Wiggolly Dantas . Wearing the Jeep Leader Jersey, Florence looked confident and in rhythm at his home break and kept busy throughout the 30-minute match-up to secure his place in Round 3 and move one step closer to defending his World Title.
Connor hasnt surfed yet,he is in Heat 11 with Joel Parkinson and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)-The event was put on standby after Heat 9 when the winds shifted onshore .
Surfline, the official forecaster for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for ”Strong, but fading, NNW swell prevails Monday with light wind early in the day; we should see some good waves at Backdoor. A new NW swell will build Tuesday afternoon and peak on Wednesday with XXL size surf washing Pipe out (along with onshore N wind). Thursday and Friday will see a decreasing trend in swell with strong NE trades. A mid-size NW swell looks possible for the 17th-18th (Sun-Mon) with at least a chance for light wind”
So it looks like they wont be waiting too long for swell,but the trades will be a problem.
Finally ,Coolum Beach played host to over 190 frothing groms from across the country yesterday for day one of the 2017 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre. The Sunshine Coast is the fifth and final stop of the nation wide series before the national final in January 2018-Cronulla’s Jordan Turansky had a good first heat and has progressed into the second half of the draw.