Bellamy in Classic formfor Malibu
WOOLGOOLGA longboard champion Michael Bellamy surfed brilliantly to reach the final of the Classic Malibu Pro on the Sunshine Coast last weekend.
The field of world class surfers meant the surfing was of an elite level.
Once again, Maroochydore turned on great weather and fun beach breaks for competitors and the surfing was of a high standard in all divisions, the open men's up to world-lass standard.
From the opening wave of the 25-minute final it was a wave for wave battle between local hero Grant Thomas, and Currumbin surfer Jackson Close.
These two surfers were the form riders of the event and holding nothing back displaying all the classic and modern disciplines of long-boarding.
Thomas opened with a 7.5, and then scored a 9.0 ride for his second wave that he almost rode into the Maroochy River, including a hang ten and some searing manoeuvres to grab hold of the final.
But although starting slowly, Close scored an 8.25 for his second wave and then took control of the final with his third wave, which he also rode to the Maroochy River.
With searing fast nose-rides, huge carving roundhouse cutbacks and making long sections with foam climbing floaters Close projected his board right out of the wave to score a 9.15 from the judges.
This left Thomas requiring an 8.41 to win the Classic Malibu Pro and although scoring a 7.9 late in the final, he could not find the score he needed to claim the win.
Bellamy started well but could not find the waves the others did to claim third place.
Bart Wilson (Coolum) could not find the quality waves in the final and had to settle for fourth.
Close was stoked with the result.
"It was pretty fun out there, long walls and you could do a bit," he said.
Close has now taken the lead in the ALC with two final appearances in two events and will be keen to do well in the next event of the series.
Thomas and many others will be out to chase him down for the ALC title at the next men's event, the Noosa Festival of Surfing from March 6-7.