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Longboarder on world stage

Longboard surfer Harley Ingelby had a rare chance to relax at Emerald Beach after a hectic schedule which saw him finish fifth
Longboard surfer Harley Ingelby had a rare chance to relax at Emerald Beach after a hectic schedule which saw him finish fifth

By JACQUI LUMB

CALIFORNIA, Oahu, Bali, West Java and Biarritz are just some of the exotic spots that Emerald Beach longboard surfer Harley Ingelby, 22, has displayed his skills.

In his latest journey to Huntington, California, Harley finished an impressive fifth in the US Open Longboarding titles held recently.

He missed out on the semi finals by .9, with last year's world champion Joel Tudor the eventual winner.

Harley has surfed in the US Open for the past three years and this was his best result.

A quarter final appearance in 2003 left him wanting more before achieving a ninth placing in 2004.

Harley was happy with his top five position this year, but was disappointed he didn't make the finals.

After his fantastic results in California, Harley made his way to Hawaii where he competed in North and South Oahu, Hawaii.

After a hectic schedule, he was looking forward to getting home and relaxing.

He had just left the plane and turned his mobile phone on when he was invited to do a photo shoot in Indonesia three days later.

After returning from a massive month of surfing it didn't stop him jumping straight back on his board in his favoured local area, even if the water is a bit colder.

Harley has lived in Emerald Beach his whole life and started surfing when he was five.

He has competed in short and longboard competitions and even though he has focused on longboard competitions recently, you can still catch him surfing on his shortboard.

When asked about his favourite surfing spot in the world his answer was straightforward.

"Here in the local area," he said.

He said Shelley's at Emerald is the biggest surf he's ever experienced and that includes Hawaii and Indonesia.

Harley recently turned professional, with some of his sponsors including Goldenbreed, Peak, Scheky, Billy Tolhurst and Coffs surf shop The Log Shack where Harley is employed during the rare times when he's back in his own country.

When he's not in the area, the young surfer is on another beach at locations all around the world.

Harley has competed in the World Contest twice including last year in Southern France, where he was knocked out in the fifth round.

He has won the NSW State titles on several occasions with an impressive year in 2003 when he went on to secure second place in the Aussie titles held in South Australia.

He unfortunately missed the Aussie titles last year in Victoria, as he was still in America, but he will be competing in this year's competition at the Sunshine Coast in two weeks.

Locals may have seen him earlier in the year win the Suzuki Pro in Coffs Harbour, or just relaxing in his free time, surfing.

Harley has a lot of people who inspire him in his surfing life,"A lot of my friends from around here and a lot of the guys I compete against. But I guess Bonga Perkins is the main one," he said.

Harley's an inspiration to a lot of young surfers in the area having always been involved in the sport with a background in soccer, basketball, touch football, golf and skateboarding.

Like most surfers, Harley aspires to become world champion one day, but with his recent achievments, that day doesn't seem that far away.