Torquay Boardriders Club put on an impressive display of surfing on the way to victory at the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Regional Qualifier. Victorian Boardrider Clubs were spoiled at Woolamai Beach in Phillip Island with perfect 2-3 foot A-frame waves rolling through under bright blue skies and sunshine.
With such good waves on offer, the quality of surfing was lifted as all teams put on a great show for the crowd down at the beach and also for those watching the live-stream on mySURFtv’s YouTube channel and Kayo Sports.
In the first semifinal matchup, Torquay Boardriders Club put their foot on the pedal early with their junior surfer, Lucas Hickson, combining a range of strong manoeuvers to score an 8.73 ride (out of a possible 10 points). This excellent opening ride hyped the club up to continue on the momentum set by the junior.
Meanwhile, the second surfer for Jan Juc Boardriders Club put in a fast turn around by quickly catching a wave and scoring a 5.07 point ride before their female surfer, Carly Shanahan, put up two big forehand snaps to receive a 6.83 point ride and place her club in second mid-way through the heat.
Torquay Boardriders Club’s third surfer, Xavier Huxtable, found his way onto a perfect corner and put down a combination of two massive forehand carves before finishing off the wave with a clean snap. This earned the team a 9.40 point ride and a convincing lead. Sara Hickson then went out to back Huxtable up by scoring a 7.73 point ride.
Before long Huxtable was back in the water as the power surfer going straight into another excellent ride, again completing two huge hacks and then adding an air reverse to score 9.93. With this score, Torquay Boardriders Club set the record for the highest-scoring team heat total at a Victorian Australian Boardriders Battle, an amazing 46.55 combined points. Huxtable’s incredible performance earned him the Oakley Prism Performance Award.
“It was an awesome day at Woolamai with perfect tag team conditions and good weather. It was great to get the team together again and surf in a tag team. I was stoked that we were able to go on and perform so well as a team, as well as being able to personally take home the Prism award.” Huxtable commented.
South Coast Boardriders surfer Luke Skelton gave his team the best opportunity to fight for second after teeing off on a variety of forehand cracks to score 6.13 point ride. Going into the final two surfers South Coast were looking good to progress to the final. However, Jan Juc Boardriders power surfer, Tim Stevenson, got a set wave allowing for three giant hits to earn himself a 7.67 and Jan Juc Boardriders Club a spot in the final.
Although not making it through, South Coast’s Luke Skelton took out the Le Tan Le Breakthrough Award.
Moving into the final Torquay looked to be the one to beat, however it wasn’t going to come easy as they came up against last year’s champions Peninsula Surfriders, local club Phillip Island Boardriders and Jan Juc Boardriders club. Both Jan Juc and Torquay got out to a quick start, however they only got minor scores. Peninsula boardriders got the best of the first rotation of surfers with their first surfer Willem Watson throwing down a big layback to score a 5.93.
The midway point of the heat saw a flurry of high scores come through from multiple teams. Jan Juc’s Shanahan scored a 7 point ride, Phillip Island’s Sage Goldsbury secured a 7.37 point ride and Torquay’s Huxtable dropped the highest score of the final, a 7.40 point ride.
This carried on Torquay Boardriders Club’s momentum to the end where they took out the regional qualifier with a 32.27 combined heat total, with Peninsula placing second on a 30.14 combined heat total. Phillip Island placed third with 27.61 points and Jan Juc Boardriders came in fourth with 22.04 points. The top three teams qualify for the national final at Burleigh, Queensland, in March next year.
“We are a proud club today taking home the Victorian ABB Qualifier!” stated Torquay’s Cahill Bell-Warren.
“It was such an epic day at Woolies, our focus was to qualify for the Burleigh national final. Winning is just a step in the right direction. Today was a big team effort from an extended squad, everyone played their role and the outcome was a result of a community contribution.” he continued.
“The standard in Victoria is really strong and we are pumped to be able to stand beside Peninsula Surfriders and Phillip Island Boardriders at Burleigh at the National Final and take it to the country’s best!”
For live results and schedule head to www.surfingvic.com/live
2023/24 Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Series # 11:
EVENT 1 – TRIGG, WA – SEPT 10, 2023
EVENT 2 – PHILLIP ISLAND, VIC – SEPT 24, 2023
EVENT 3 – FLEURIEU PENINSULA, SA – OCT 1, 2023
EVENT 4 – NSW NTH – COFFS HARBOUR, NSW – OCT 15, 2023
EVENT 5 – CLIFTON BEACH, TAS – OCT 22, 2023
EVENT 6 – SUNSHINE COAST, QLD – OCT 29, 2023
EVENT 7 – NSW CENTRAL – NORTH NARRABEEN, NSW – NOV 11, 2023
EVENT 8 – NSW SOUTH – KIAMA, NSW – NOV 18, 2023
GRAND FINAL* – BURLEIGH HEADS, QLD – MAR 9-10, 2024
*entry by qualification
The 2023/24 series is proudly sponsored by Hyundai, Le Tan, ACCIONA, Jim Beam, BC™ Bars and Oakley.
The Australian Boardriders Battle is supported by Major Events Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.