Jayke Sharp surfing for Coffs Harbour Boardriders at Duranbah in the qualifying round of the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Championships. Photo: Bernadette McAlinden
Jayke Sharp surfing for Coffs Harbour Boardriders at Duranbah in the qualifying round of the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Championships. Photo: Bernadette McAlinden Bernadette McAlinden

Coffs Boardriders into national Surftag final

THE Coffs Harbour Boardriders team didn't just qualify for the national final of the the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Championships, it beat some of the Gold Coast's best boardriding clubs in their own backyard while doing it.

The Coffs Harbour team of Maddison Williams, Jayke Sharp, Shaun Cansdell, Billy Kean and team captain Lee Winkler defeated Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads and Duranbah to take out the third and final qualifying event of the Sailor Jerry Surftag in pumping conditions at Duranbah Beach.

Coffs Harbour posted 91.37 in the final that included a two-wave combination of 25.03 by Williams.

The fact the Coffs Harbour team competed at all was fortunate.

The trip north began as a real adventure for the team with roads closed either side of the Tweed River due to flooding from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Stranded in Casurina on Friday night and not sure if they would be able to make their opening heat on Saturday morning, Winkler considered driving 10 hours around the flooded region via the Gwydir Hwy.

With roads opened on Saturday morning and event organisers delaying the start of competition for Kingscliff, Cabarita and Coffs Harbour to arrive, the three teams from south of the Tweed were greeted with pumping 3-4 foot offshore waves.

"Such an epic event that was surfed in some classic D'Bah conditions," Winkler said.

"Super stoked to win the Gold Coast leg of the Sailor Jerry Surftag over a bunch of Australia's best clubs.

"After being stuck in Northern NSW and being redirected all over the place it was an amazing weekend that unfolded for our club and we will celebrate with members on our return home.

"Pumped for the National Final at North Narrabeen in May."

With the top 8 Men's teams qualifying to , Coffs Harbour, Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads and D'Bah will be joined by Noosa, Kingscliff, North End and D'Bah Dregs on Sydney's Northern Beaches in May.

In the Women's Division D'Bah Boardriders continued their dominance with a massive win over North End Boardriders 78.01 to 13.74. It was the first time North End and third place Alley Boardriders had competed in the Women's Division of the Sailor Jerry Surftag with all three teams qualifying to the Australian Championships. D'Bah's team of Tahlija Redgard, Freya Prumm, Grace Styman-Lane, Brodie and Amiya Doyle will go to Sydney looking for their third straight Australian Title.

Freya Prumm was the standout for D'Bah scoring 21.17 in the final that included a perfect ten-point ride on her Powerwave. "It was epic to score my first ten in my career at this event, especially in pumping waves," Prumm said. "The wave itself was so rippable, I am fairly sure most of the chicks would have got the same score, it's something I'll never forget. Teams events are so fun but you definitely feel some weight because you don't want to let anyone else down. Sharing the win with friends in great conditions, then being offered free pizza is about as good as it gets for me. Cheers to Sailor Jerry and all involved in putting on such an epic weekend. Yeahh D'Bah."

Snapper Rocks young gun Mitch Parkinson won the Sailor Jerry Powerwave Award for a 9.77 in Round 1.



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