It was a great day down at the 2023 Worksafe Challenge with the Victorian sun shining over the amazing URBNSURF lagoon. With constant waves filtering through the pool, the tradies made the most of the stellar day while putting on some strong performances for the crowd.
In between waves competitors and spectators enjoyed their free ear checks by Melbourne base earLAB and the Surfing Victoria Surfers Rescue 24/7 free Board Rescue and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course.
Ethan Huxtable (Jan Juc) took out the Open Mens Division in his first appearance at the Worksafe Tradies Challenge. Coming just off graduating and straight into a chippy apprenticeship Huxtable looked to be a stand-out throughout the whole day, scoring a 15.05 combined total in his semi-final heat. Isaac Markwell (Noosa Heads) made sure to challenge Huxtable from start to finish, scoring the highest score of the day in his semi-final, a 9.50 point ride.
Pedro Lani (Bittern) gave them both a run for the title by pulling off a technical air reverse on the end section to score the highest score of the final, an 8.27 point ride. Both Huxtable and Markwell stayed consistent to their form with Huxtable scoring an 8.17 and Markwell a 7.67.
Going into the final set of the final Markwell was in the lead with two solid rides and a 15.54 combined total. Lani and Huxtable went into their final waves needing a mid 7 point ride. Huxtable took off first belting four big hits with a powerful attack all the way through. On the wave behind him, Lani leant into a couple of really nice forehand entries and then blew the fins out the back on the third. With all the surfers on the shore, the scores rolled through with Huxtable locking in an 8.03 point ride and taking out the final.
“It was a super fun day surfing the pool with everyone,” said Huxtable.
“I’m happy to get the win and lucky enough to get a new Milwaukee radio as well,” he continued.
After a great performance in the final and throughout the day, Markwell was given the High Performer Award.
“It was a really fun day with heaps of good people and it felt really good to take out the High Performer Award,” said Markwell.
“It was really friendly out there and everyone was ripping,” he added.
In the continuation of the newly introduced bodyboard division the pool turned on the barrels and let the tradies loose. The final featured some of the earlier rounds’ favourites such as Jacques Le Roux (Gladstone Park) and Chris Watson (Rosebud). Le Roux came out of the gates firing with a barrel roll to deep tube scoring a 7.40 point ride and an early lead. Watson stayed close behind with a 7.17 point ride for a similar ridden ride.
The final was then shut down when Le Roux performed the cleanest barrel roll on the take-off while coming out with heaps of speed and then slowing down again to get even deeper in the tube before flying off the lip into a second barrel roll. This earned him an 8.50 point ride and the victory.
“It felt awesome to take it out, the format of it all is really great,” said Le Roux.
“Most of us surf together all the time but the nice thing here is that everyone is hooting each other on out in the water which is epic,” continued Le Roux.
“Everyone wants to win but everyone has that respect for each other and pushes each other!”
In the Master’s Division, Sean McDevitt (Rosebud) put on a backhand master class, attacking the lip over and over again on his very first wave. After showing his excitement to the judges with a claim he was rewarded with an 8.00 point ride.
Continuing on with his rhythm McDevitt continued on attacking the lip and sealing the deal, scoring a 7.37 on his final ride. With the two highest scores of the final and a combined heat total of 15.37, he took the victory.
Full results from the day can be found at www.surfingvic.com/live
1st – Ethan Huxtable (Jan Juc), 16.20
2nd – Pedro Lani (Bittern), 15.74
3rd – Isaac Markwell (Noosa Heads), 15.54
4th – Cole Fox (Jan Juc), 13.47
Masters (Over 35s):
1st – Sean McDevitt (Rosebud), 15.37
2nd – David Markwell (Noosa Heads), 12.76
3rd – Ross Dart (Torquay), 12.54
4th – Luke Beerling (Rye), 12.40
1st – Jacques Le Roux (Gladstone Park), 15.90
2nd – Chris Watson (Rosebud), 14.17
3rd – Mark Britten (Mornington Peninsula), 11.50
4th – Rui Mateus (Ivanhoe), 10.94
WorkSafe Tradies Challenge presented by URBNSURF
Sunday October 29th, 2022
The WorkSafe Tradies Challenge is presented by URBNSURF and supported by earLAB, Milwaukee Tools Australia, Heaps Normal, Rusty Australia and Surfing Victoria.