Local claims Australian longboard title at Surf Festival
EMERALD Beach surfer Paul Scholten had the hometown support when he tackled the all NSW Open Men Longboard final and it made a difference.
The powerful natural-footer took no bcu Australian Surf Festival prisoners in the blue-ribbon division, charging hard out of the gate and posting an impressive eight-point ride (out of a possible ten points) and then backing it up with an 8.5 at Arrawarra Headland.
Fellow finalists Ruben Roxburgh (Evans Head), Jack Entwistle (Manly) and Dane Pioli (Tweed Heads) all stayed within striking distance of the win, but were unable to muster up the required score to take first place.
When the final hooter sounded, there was a mere one point separating first and fourth.
Scholten - who was awarded a local wildcard into this event - never locked in a heat score less than 14.00 over the entirety of his Australian Longboard Title campaign.
"To come in with all the other fellow finalists and hear that you've won is an unreal feeling," said Scholten.
"To be honest I didn't know I could get into this event, so to take it out in front of the local community feels like I'm giving something back.
"There were so many good surfers in this event, so to get the title over them feels amazing."
Emma Webb (Jan Juc, Vic) claimed her second Australian Open Womens Longboard Title in as many years, taking the title with a 14.75 heat total (out of a possible 20 points).
The Victorian goofy-footer unleashed a barrage of giant turns to snatch the title from Lara Murphy (Woonoona, NSW), Kathryn Hughes (Currimundi, Qld) and Lily Ellis (Yamba) who finished in second, third and fourth respectively.
"This one is more of a relief than last year," said Webb.
"Last year, I had zero expectations, but this year I felt like I wanted it a lot more. I actually thought I'd come fourth as I couldn't hear where I was sitting.
"Victoria has a very tight longboard community and without them, it would be really tough for me to come back year after year, so a big thanks has to go out to them."