Bells Beach / Djarrk, Wadawurrung Country (Saturday, 27 May 2023): Day 2 of the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles presented by Rip Curl did not disappoint with Djarrak/Bells Beach producing perfect 6 foot plus long running waves. From dawn to dusk non-stop lines pumped through the ocean with the competitors taking advantage of every wave that came through.
It was a magical start to the morning as a pod of dolphins made their way through the lineup and even enjoyed a wave with a competitor. The magic continued in the Open Men Longboards with Landen Smales (Noosa Heads) catching multiple spectacular waves in his heats.
On the final wave of his semi final Smales went straight to the nose of his board and planted his feet there for as long as he could. He then paired his nose ride with a searing drop knee carve and another nose ride. This wave stood out amongst the rest earning him the Surf Better Now ‘Wave of the Day’.
Going into the final Smales had to overcome the in-form surfer from day one, Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW) and his brother Kaiden Smales (Noosa Heads). Smales started off strong with a 7.83 point ride (out of a possible 10) and the early lead. Then, before his competitors had any time to take over first place, he took off on an enormous set wave and flowed his way through a variety of carves and nose rides to earn himself a 8.50 point ride. With this ride, Smales took the win with a 16.33 combined total (out of a possible 20). Coming in second was Kaiden Smales, with Rhys Collins (Red Hill, VIC) and Robbie Page placing in third and fourth.
“It felt amazing to surf a few waves at pumping Bells with a couple of boys out,” said Kaiden Smales.
“It’s so good to have such a big wall on the waves to cruise along,” he continued.
“It’s great to get everyone together for a comp and see everyone’s faces and have a good time.”
Not only did Smales take out the Open Men Longboards but then he went on to blow his competition out of the water in the Junior Boys final. With huge sets still rolling into Bells Beach/Djurrak Smales went for a strong carving approach. He did not hold back on any wave, scoring a 9.60 and the highest score of the day, a 9.87 point ride.
This gave him a combined heat total of 19.47 points placing his competitors in a combination situation for the win. Coming in second was Hunter Winkler (Coffs Harbour) with Kyroan ODonnell (Tewantin) and Tyler Duell (Phillip Island) placing third and fourth.
On the other side of the competition, Summer Simon (Rainbow Bay) put on a clinic in the Open Women final attacking the large waves head-on. She dropped into her first wave with confidence before lining up a huge manoeuver and then going into a giant forehand carve to score a 7.50 point ride.
Kauri Heuston-Connor (Reedy Creek) made a run for the title mid way through the heat with a 7.03 point ride however Simon was able to shut down the heat with her final ride, an 8.33 point ride. Placing in second was Kauri Heuston-Connor with Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head) and Leihani Zoric (Broken Head) coming in third and fourth.
“It felt so surreal, Bells is one of my favourite places to surf so to take out the Indigenous Title this year is really special to me,” exclaimed Summer Simon.
“I was super stoked to get Bells pumping and catch heaps of good waves,” she continued.
“We were cheering each other on out there and all the girls were shredding which makes it that bit harder to win.”
With even more pumping waves expected for the final day of the event, there will surely be plenty more action on the way.
The call for Sunday morning is a 7:30 check in for an 8.00 am start at Bells Beach with the Master’s semi final in the water first.
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.