Coffs Coast surfers good as gold!
AUSTRALIA has won a third consecutive ISA World Surfing Games teams championship title with two local surfers pulling off medal results.
Competing on the Costa de Caparica in Portugal, the Aussies streaked away by more than 3000 points to win gold ahead of the USA, Brazil and France with Heath Joske (Valla Beach) winning a silver medal and Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach) claiming silver on the longboard.
Surfing Australia's CEO, Mark Lane, explained why the nation has such a great record at these Games.
“I think the secret is our team goal is to have fun while we're here, to be laughing all the time” he said.
“It's also in the Australian culture that we never give up, we're always encouraging people to always surf well.
“It's really a hard week to watch and go through every heat, you've got to deal with disappointments but when you come out and win, it feels great.”
Ingleby pushed gold-medallist Matthew Moir so hard the South African title-holder had to post near perfect rides of 9.22 and 8.90 to snare victory.
Next stop is the second round of the World Longboard Titles in California on November 4-9 with his whole family flying Stateside to support him.
For Joske, it's a quantum leap for the youngster who just a few weeks ago competed locally and took out the Rip Curl Pro Junior at Bells Beach at the beginning of the month.
His main opponent was 2001 ASP World Tour World Champion, CJ Hobgood, and after posting a solid 8.40 ride in the final, he took the lead for the first 10 minutes.
Hobgood held his nerve and regained the lead by scoring 8.60, then added a 7.20 ride not long after.
With time running out, Joske needed 7.41 for victory and with three minutes remaining, the American began using tactics which kept his Australian rival from catching a wave.
“I had to compete against an Aussie I have great respect for,” Hobgood said after the hooter.
“It was a really good final with Heath and me going back and forth and coming towards the end, I didn't know if I should sit on him or not. But I knew if he caught a wave and got the score, an opportunity I might not have again would have been lost.”