Merewether Boardriders bring the title back home on their local break in Newcastle today at the Jim Beam Surftag Australia series, in an epic day of surfing jam-packed with high scores on a perfect Summers day.
Craig Anderson (Merewether) surfed outstanding at the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series. CREDIT: Wes Lonergan
The roaring crowds were treated to world class surfing with top Surfers Adrian Buchan (Avoca), Darren O’Rafferty (Port Macquarie), Craig Anderson (Merewether) and North Shelley surfer Sam Patterson putting on a memorable show in the final.
Local Merewether surfers were keen to win back the title that North Shelley Boardriders won in 2011 on their home break. The tight final saw local Ryan Callinan push Merewether riders into the lead and team-mate Craig Anderson followed Callinan with huge back hand cracks on the shore.
Avoca Boardriders were keen to make their mark as Brent Power cut back into the tight pockets at Merewether, but Port Macquarie favourite Darren O’Rafferty demonstrated the world-class surfing he is known for and Port Macquarie took the lead early.
The tight final saw the lead change from club to club throughout and the Jim Beam Surftag final at Newcastle could have been anyones.
With North Shelley’s Tom Feilder and Avoca’s Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan on fire all day, Craig Anderson (Merewether) threw some vertical snaps on his last wave to bring it home and team mate Jesse Adam’s solid consecutive three waves was enough to win.
“We came down here early after hearing it was on our favourite wave ‘the rocks’, it all came together in an awesome day”, said Merewether Team captain Mitch Ross.
“We had so many highlights, veteran team surfer Parksy saved the best till last and Craig Anderson absolutely ripped all day in his first Jim Beam Surf Tag event”, said Ross.
Merewether’s Adam and Anderson were stand out surfers all day and Adam dominated with three consecutive waves as he paddled in and out of the well-known surfers.
“I wanted to get my waves quick and I saw that there was really experienced guys out there and I knew I just had to paddle around them a lot and get those waves straight away. It worked and we won and now were heading to Ballina for the finals”, said Jesse Adam.
It wasn’t just the finalists who dominated, early heats saw Boomerang Boardriders Mick Moltzon take three waves in 6 minutes getting barrelled on his last, and Boomerang were narrowly knocked out in the semi’s.
Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan will find himself on a seven day adventure in the Maldives, after a massive 32.33 (out of a possible 40), won him a surf trip courtesy of the Perfect Wave Surf Experience.
Buchan also walked away with $200 courtesy of Jim Beam for scoring the highest Jim Beam Black Powerwave - a 9.5 in the semi final, which doubled to a 19 point ride out of 20.
Final results saw Merewether take first place with 88.7, closely followed by North Shelley on an equally impressive 83.64, with Avoca in 3rd (68.88) and Port Macquarie in 4th (63.56).
Pics of the Day
Sixteen clubs from the NSW Central and Mid North Coast competed in the Newcastle tag team event, which pitted teams of five surfers against each other in one-hour heats. Each surfer had 12 minutes to catch three scoring rides with their second wave score doubled as a ‘powerwave’.
The National series is Australia's largest team surfing competition featuring a combined prize pool of over $130,000. The Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series provides a national competition for over 80 boardriding clubs to determine Australia's No.1 club
2012 Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series Schedule
October 21 – Surf Industry Challenge – Winners – O’Neill
October 22 – Trade Off – Winners – The Labourers
November 19 – WA Championships – Winners – Trigg Point
December 3 – VIC Championships – Winners – Phillip Island
January 7 – NSW North Championships at Newcastle
January 14 – QLD Championships at Duranbah
January 21/22 – NSW South Championships at North Narrabeen
February 5 – Women’s Championships at Curl Curl
February 21 – Boardriders Cup at Ballina
February 22/23 – Australian Championships at Ballina