Coffs taking on best in Boardriders Battle national final
THIS weekend, members of the Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club are preparing to take on some of the best surfers in the country in the battle for a national title.
The final of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle at Newcastle will see the Coffs Harbour team of Shaun Cansdell, Billy Kean, Carly Shanahan, Jayke Sharpe, Taj Watson, Maddison Williams and Lee Winkler go head to head-to-head with the strongest clubs from around the country, some featuring current WSL competitors.
Winkler said Coffs Harbour isn't intimidated by the big names, pointing to the result a couple of years ago when the team finished second overall in the national final, including a win in the teams final.
"I'd like to think that pound for pound we're one of the strongest clubs going around," Winkler said.
"In surfing anything can happen no matter who you're surfing against. You only need to get two good scoring waves in 20 minutes and you can beat anybody."
Not that Winkler thinks the Coffs Harbour team needs a fairytale to succeed.
With a team that features accomplished surfers like Shaun Cansdell (pictured on the back page), Jayke Sharpe and the talented young Carly Shanahan among others, the chances of a good result are high.
"We're not assured of doing well but I don't think we're assured of doing bad either," he said.
"We just go out there on the day and we just do our best but I'd like to think we're at least a top five or six team."
A veteran of WCT surfing himself, Winkler admits that being the team's elder statesman since returning to Coffs Harbour after retiring has proven a true highlight.
"I enjoy surfing for my club probably more than I did as an individual because so many people are involved in it," he said.
Coffs Harbour team: