Jared Hickel powered through the outrageous stormy conditions to win his third Northies Alley Masters title on Saturday scoring back to back victories in Cronulla Sharks Boardriders most prestigious contest.
The event, supported by Vissla, was run in windy onshore and unpredictable two-metre conditions. The beaches were closed with rain squalls and wind shifts the order of the day.
WQS competitor Hickel was unstoppable from the outset scoring a nine-point ride in the first second of the first heat of the day and was never really headed going into the final.
Bolstered by three former champions in the Masters final, Hickel was going wave for wave with former CT surfer Kirk Flintoff until a dominant backhand display put the heat beyond doubt.
Flintoff, Dylan Hannah, Dane Durbin, Jordy Turansky and Van Whiteman rounded out the 30th Masters final.
In the juniors, it was Turansky who surfed through six heats on the day to win his first Masters trophy with a close victory over rival Kalani Vandepolder, Will Gibson, Fin Browning and Mason Ho in the under-16’s final.
The cadets should have all been given a medal as they battled the six-foot onshore conditions with compact power surfer Tate Browning taking the win over Kurnell’s hyperactive Jake Brown and Zeke Fahey, Zai Brown, Kash Brown and Ryan Scott.
With safety the order of the day the 10th year of the women's event had to be abandoned due to the extreme conditions.
Competitors were fed by Cronulla’s Beach Burrito with Rob Gaddes winning the coveted Masters division. The celebrations back at Northies were appreciated by everyone who had spent the day in the extreme elements.
In another boost for Sutherland Shire surfing, Surfing NSW has appointed Cronulla surfer and former Hawaiian World Championship Tour star John Shimooka as its new general manager.
“I’m extremely honoured to take the reigns as the new GM of Surfing NSW,” Shimooka said.
“Being a part of such an amazing group of talented individuals in an organisation that continues to create multiple pathways to the podium. I’m looking forward to being involved in all forms of surfing in events, programs and brand partners space.”
Surfing NSW have also appointed a second female director to its six-member board.
After days of onshore wind and wild conditions yesterday the conditions cleaned up and there were nice waves to be had on all the Cronulla surf breaks-the banks are still finding their feet on the beach but the offshore wind helped clean up the faces for a rare day of good surf.
I hope surfers made the most of it because the prediction isn't pretty with this mornings southerly bringing with it a week of pain.
Todays 2-3ft east wind chop doesn't leave Cronulla surfers with many options but at least there is an incoming tide so you may find a half decent shorey.
These onshore winds from the east will bring a new 6-8ft Sou/east swell for Thursday which will hang around head high through the weekend and into next week for the kids to go back to school.
In Hossegor, France, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro, stop No.9 on the World Surf League Championship Tour, has been on hold due to unfavorable conditions on offer but it kicked of yesterday in nice waves.
World No. 3 Julian Wilson (AUS) and No. 4 Italo Ferreira (BRA) scored some of the biggest numbers in the men’s opening round. Wilson put together a dreamy French combination, starting with a long and deep barrel, followed by an alley-oop and finishing with a big snap to round up the wave for an 8.50 (out of a possible 10) and the win.
Jeep Frontrunner Toledo couldn’t find the right waves in his heat and faced tough competition in Connor O'Leary and local wildcard Jorgann Couzinet (FRA). In a low-scoring affair, O’Leary found two average waves and walked away with the win, sending the current World No. 1 into a deadly matchup in Round 2 against Couzinet.
In early Roxy heats,Jeep Frontrunner Stephanie Gilmore had a really close Round 1 encounter with Sage Erickson (USA) and wildcard Vahine Fierro (PYF). The reigning World Junior Champion Fierro led the affair for most of the 30-minute heat, but Gilmore answered with back-to-back waves in the last five minutes to take back the lead and advance into Round 3.
In a World Surf League specialty event on Monday at Hossegor, Brazilian Yago Dora won the Red Bull Airborne France, in four foot (1.2 metre) waves at Plage des Culs Nus.
The inaugural Red Bull Airborne hosted an 18-man field consisting of a cross-section of the world’s best surfers from the elite Championship Tour and a global field of aerial specialists. 22-year old Dora topped the Final, which included Griffin Colapinto (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Kalani David (HAW), Matt Meola (HAW), and Eithan Osborne (USA).