Surfers embracing hometown advantage

Harley Ingleby during yesterday's Open Longboard finals at the Australian Surf Festival off Arrawarra Headland.
Harley Ingleby during yesterday's Open Longboard finals at the Australian Surf Festival off Arrawarra Headland. Trevor Veale

HE IS a surfer with style for whom winning seems to come naturally.

Walking the board with finesse and balance, Harley Ingleby yesterday showed all the moves at the Australian Surf Festival that saw him claim him the ASP World Longboard Championship in 2009.

For surfers like Ingleby and fellow Coffs Coast local and national longboard champion Jared Neal, the opportunity to surf for a national crown on their home breaks has been an extraordinary opportunity.

"Competing on the Coffs Coast is definitely awesome and has given myself and Jared the local advantage really," Ingleby said.

Jared Neal in action yesterday in a quarter final of the Open Longboard at the Australia Surf 
Festival off Arrawarra Headland.
Jared Neal in action yesterday in a quarter final of the Open Longboard at the Australia Surf Festival off Arrawarra Headland. Trevor Veale

"In saying that the competition has been tough and, yeah, in surfing your fate in a heat rests with the swell."

"This is the first time I've been able to have a crack at an Aussie title on my home soil, so I'm stoked.

"I don't get a chance to surf Arrawarra that much, but growing up I surfed countless heats here with the Woolgoolga Longboard Club, so it feels great to come back here for the Aussie titles.

"The crew I shared the final with were all unreal guys and I actually think that it's the best thing about longboarding.

"Everyone seems to get along really well."

Fresh from claiming the open logger national title off Arrawarra Headland, Harley was just as impressive in the open longboard finals yesterday in two metre waves.

The talented natural footer entered the surf festival with international media raving about his latest surf video shot while surfing amazing barrels off Telo Island, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

"I got contacted by a British media company who showed a lot of interest in that video and I'm just stoked to have been able to share probably the best longboard session of my life," he said.

"I'm amazed at the reach the video has had.

"It sure was a special barrel ride. There was not one drop of water out of place. It was up there with all the highlights I've had in surfing."

Harley Ingleby.
Harley Ingleby. Trevor Veale

Topics:  australian surf festival coffs coast harley ingleby jared neal

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