Bells Beach / Djarrk, Wadawurrung Country (Friday, 26 May 2023): In the 10th running of the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles presented by Rip Curl the competitors were greeted by superb waves and enjoyed epic comradery. The event commenced with the Opening Ceremony by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles. Great waves followed with multiple excellent rides scored from incredible performances.
Across the day Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head, NSW) stood out in two different divisions getting into the excellent range in both of her heats. Her momentum started in Round 1 of the Open Women where she kicked off the heat with a huge down carve into a string of multiple maneuvers on a set wave.
This committed surfing instantly caught the eye of the judges with Curtis scoring an 8.50 point ride (out of a possible 10 points) and an early heat lead. She was able to keep up her strong performance for the rest of the heat earning her a 12.97 combined heat total (out of a possible 20 points).
This explosive surfing earned Ocea Curtis the Surf Better Now ‘Wave of the Day’ with Curtis receiving a year subscription to Surf Better Now.
With an early heat win under her belt Curtis went into her Junior Girls Semifinal knowing exactly the type of waves that would allow her to score big again. In the early moments of the semifinal, she was able to replicate her previous performance earning another 8.50 point ride. This gave Curtis the confidence to push further as she went all out on a huge section to receive an 8.17 point ride for one maneuver.
“I’m honoured to receive the Surf Better Now ‘Wave of the Day’,” exclaimed Ocea Curtis.
“It was so sick surfing out at Bells Beach with only two other people out,” she continued.
“The vibe out in the water was great, I’m friends with all the girls so it’s so good.”
Another standout from the day was Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW) whose backhand attack saw water being displaced in huge quantities. Page smashed his first round heat in the Over 50 men posting a 15.57 point combined heat total. This came from his two dynamic waves in the bowl at Bells Beach/Djarrak scoring a 7.50 point ride and an 8.07 point ride
“Over the 21 events I’ve surfed at Bells, I’ve gathered a lot of information on what sort of waves to ride, which I reckon is 70% of the challenge out here,” said Robbie Page.
“When this indigenous event is on there’s no ego in the carpark, this is a real modern day corroboree” he continued.
“It’s where all the saltwater and freshwater mob come and practise our skills.”
Page also used his 21 years of Bells competition knowledge to progress his way through to the semifinals in the Open Men Longboard division. Utilizing the back half of the longboard he placed his board in the perfect position to maximise the turning potential of his craft.
The event will continue on Saturday morning with a 7:15 check in for a 7.30 am start at Bells Beach.
Live scores, video and photos for the event can be found at www.australianindigenoussurfingtitles.com
May 26th – May 28th, 2023
Bells Beach / Djarrak
The Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles is presented by Rip Curl and Head Sox supported by the Victorian Government, Surf Coast Events, VicHealth Surfing Australia, Play It Safe by the Water, Wadawurrung Tradional Overseers, Indigi-Print, Space Cubes and Feed Me Surf Coast.