Schmidenberg a NSW Surfmasters champion with over-45s victory
AFTER two finals appearances in the 2014 HIF NSW Surfmasters titles, Emerald Beach surfer John Schmidenberg managed to go a few extra steps this year and claim the over-45 men's championship.
After a relatively slow start to the final, Schmidenberg clawed into the top spot thanks to some mammoth backhand turns which earned him a 13.23 heat total.
Runner-up Mark Cameron of Woolgoolga remained within striking distance over the course of the heat but was unable to find the required 5.74 wave score that would have propelled him into the lead.
Sawtell's Gary Phillips went close to ringing up a double for the Coffs Coast but Ged Cook of Warners Bay clutched victory in the dying minutes of the over-50 men's final.
Phillips was the stand-out of the division and had the championship all but sewn up but the Lake Macquarie natural-footer dashed his hopes by posting an impressive 6.1 wave score to sneak past by a slim 0.27 margin and take the top position on the dais.
Competitors surfed the finals in near perfect three-to-four foot waves at South Boomerang Beach as they chased entry to the Australia Surf Festival to be held in Coffs Harbour from Friday, July 31.
ASF qualifying events continue with the four day NSW Longboard titles beginning today in Yamba.
More than 120 competitors will be in the water including 2014 World Champion Harley Ingleby of Emerald Beach.