John Scholten from Emerald Beach was making the most of it last Friday morning. Photo: www.stimages.com.au
John Scholten from Emerald Beach was making the most of it last Friday morning. Photo: www.stimages.com.au

Smashing good time for surfers at longboards



WESTERN Australia is hosting the Australian Longboard Championships at Yallingup beach this week.

Coffs Coast surfers Jared Neal, Richard Smith, Mark Ingleby and Robbie West are currently representing NSW in the quest to become national champions.

After a slow start the swell has increased to 2.5 meters, making for some challenging conditions, especially for the grommets and the over-55 divisions.

Competitors have been sharing the line-up with pods of humpback and southern right whales, what other sport gives you these little added bonuses?

The wild conditions snapped six boards on the first day, 11 boards on the second and four were snapped on Wednesday.

$20,000 worth of surfboards have been washed to shore in pieces, and they are not even halfway through the contest.

It won't get any easier for the remaining rounds with conditions expected to go to four meters later in the week. Offshore winds have been predicted as well, so it looks like the national titles will again score some incredible waves.

EMERALD Beach longboarder Harley Ingleby is currently representing Australia at the ISA world surfing games in America. The divisions are divided into men's and women's open (short boarding), longboarding and bodyboarding ? it's like the Olympic games of the surf world.

The Australian team is going in with some real strength.

WCT surfers Tom Whittaker and Luke Stedman head the Open men's with strong back-up from junior champ Julian Wilson, while Jesse Mylie Dyer will be our best hope in the women's.

Harley qualified as first pick in the longboard division after finishing the number one ranked surfer in Australian last year.

KELLY Slater again re-wrote the history books last Friday when he claimed his eighth world title.

This is an outstanding result not only in surfing, but also in the whole world of sport.

Lance Armstrong went close and champion racing car driver Michael Schumacher is currently striving for his eighth, but Kelly has beat them all, and what's more he could keep winning them for years to come, such is his superiority.

He was crowned world champ at the Mundaka event in Spain.

Slater finished second behind Bobby Martinez and that gave him enough points to secure the title with two events still to be run.

SURF conditions have been a little frustrating over the past month.

The dreaded springtime winds haven't stopped for weeks. Strong northerlies have been stirring up the ocean and dropping water temps.

The back beaches have given some relief but it's been a while since we've seen a really good day of surf.

Forecast suggests we'll be waiting a little while longer yet, with the persistent strong winds being the dominating factor for the coming week.



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