OPEN Longboarders got their opportunity to shine today as the bcu Australian Surf Festival recommenced at Emerald Beach.
Surfing on his home break, Paul Scholten went toe-to-toe in his opening heat with reigning Australian Longboard champion Clinton Guest.
Both Scholten and the Kawana surfer posted a handful of impressive scores in excess of 8.00 points (out of a possible ten points).
However it was Scholten who was able to take out the hotly contest heat by a one-point margin, thanks to an impeccably surfed righthand set wave.
As a result of the wave, Scholten was awarded the bcu money turn, which will see him awarded with a $100 bank account courtesy of bcu.
Other Open Mens round one standouts included Jack Entwistle (Manly), Jack Medland (Marmion, WA), Dane Pioli (Tweed Heads), Issac Fields (Evans Head) and Nick Farago (Corrimal).
All surfers booked themselves a spot in the second round.
Last year's Australian Open womens champion Emma Webb (Jan Juc, Vic) and reigning Queensland Longboard champion Kathryn Hughes traded off a handful of impressive waves in their opening Open Womens exchange.
Both Hughes and Webb, posted scores in the excellent range, which enabled them to keep their NSW rivals, Claire Bunting (Clovelly) and Tully White (Allambie Heights) at arms length and force them into the requalification rounds.
Other Open Womens round one winners included Kirra Perry (Scotts Head) and Kirra Perry (Scotts Head) who both managed to avoid the requalification rounds - alongside the respective runner-ups - and solidify their round two spots.
The bcu Australian Surf Festival will resume tomorrow with the Australian Longboard Titles.