Elouera Boardriders got off to a hot start at the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle at Newcastle on the weekend with two wins in their first round with Connor O’Leary dominating his heat and Rachel McKendrick doing enough to top her women’s heat.
The local Merewether Surfboard Club won the Australian Boardriders Battle national final in front of a huge home crowd at Newcastle Beach.
2017 Championship Tour rookie of the year O’Leary landed a mammoth frontside air to take out AirAsia Air of the Event Award and after a few years on the QS and a couple competing on the CT, O’Leary believes this is one of the best events to compete in.
“Having the chance to compete with your mates is so much fun,” O’Leary said.
“There are so many guys and girls that come out of the woodwork from around the country and rip so hard, it’s fun to watch the high standard of surfing.
"It’s also great just having a team atmosphere as we don’t get too much of that in surfing.”
The individual results in the Oakley Open men’s, Hyundai Open women’s, Woolworths juniors and AirAsia masters divisions set the seeding order for the teams finals and decided which clubs surfed against each other in the knockout teams format on Sunday.
The ‘Dunny Hangers’ then finished a strong second behind North Shelly (33.60 points) in their first teams heat with 30.25 to progress to the third round where they finished out of a place in the battle of the heavyweights – finishing seventh overall.
The Merewether Surfboard Club claimed it’s first national title in fun 2 to 4 foot waves on the Sunday afternoon.
In the final team heat of the day, Merewether came up against former two-time champs Snapper Rocks Surfriders, an inform North Shelly Boardriders and event dark horse North Shore Boardriders.
After falling just short of the win at last year’s event and losing two of their top surfers to injury this year, Merewether came into the event with relaxed expectations. The shift in attitude seemed to help them as Jesse Adam, Mike Clayton-Brown, Philippa Anderson, Mitchell Ross and Morgan Cibilic brought home their club's first ABB title.
“This is the best day ever,” said Merewether Surfboard Club President Jesse Adam.
“All of the team members are such legends I can’t believe how proud I am of them all. We had two of our guys pull out of the team with injuries so we had a different lineup to normal and came in with low expectations.
"After coming so close a few times and feeling the heartbreak of just missing the win, this has made it all worth it – and to do it at home is so sick.”
If you don't know why everyone is getting so excited this is the weather map-and that is tropical cyclone Oma.
Cyclone Oma is threatening Queensland's southern coastline its the same system which reformed after inundating the state's north with massive floods.
All flights to Queensland are booked out with Snapper and Noosa already 300+ deep with frothing surfers.
At home in Cronulla we wont get much of that Nor East action BUT start to wax your guns because there is also a slow moving low that's coming up the Tasman channel and is going to smash New Zealand and push big waves back at us over the weekend (Sunday 10 ft?).
The Southerly that blew through yesterday has messed up the good ENE swell we did have the last few days leaving us with 4ft of Southerly windchop but there are some waves on the high tide-this will slowly build over the next couple of days into our first big swell of the year ,the only bummer is the winds will also be onshore.
I took todays pics at Wanda and North Cronulla where its had its moment’s but at least we have had some shoulder high waves to break things up.
Only time will tell but things are going to get interesting for the Nutri Grain final at Wanda this Saturday!