The day was utterly brilliant and Bondi was in full bloom with the car park near capacity by 7.30am.
With some skillfull bin placements we soon had all the choice car parking spots reserved as we carefully erected the judging tents and staked our claim on this precious piece of paradise.
Huey appeared a little lazy this morning but we forgave him as we looked forward to simply dipping our toes in the tropical 24 degree water. Wetties were a distant memory and the vivid colour of boardies that were on show proved that old guys still have a little fashion sense (and I mean little)
With our beloved chef AWOL it would be a ravenous pack that contested todays comp. With heats drawn and rashies distributed we soon got underway with 5 closely contested heats.
I stress the word close as 2 score sheets come to mind. Glenn Gilligan was at his unbiased best, scoring 6 different waves for 3 competitors at 3.0 meaning all 3 came first on 6 points. The count-backs were also scored at 3.0 meaning that………..well I guess you know where I’m going with this.
This seemed quite flukey till Tim Kirby had all his 4 finalists score 4.0 and 4.5, meaning all 4 came first with 8.5points. Hmmmmm…….who the hell wants to be a judge with such close surfing?
Heat 1 saw the return to our shores of Claire Norman who managed to finish third in last years Australasian female longboard qualifying school. On ya Claire and hopefully the No1 spot awaits you this year.
She managed to hold off a fast finishing Armo and Fluffy to secure a spot in the 1sts final.
Heat 2 saw John Dicks risking the shore dump for a few extra half points but it was the youngster Sam Tehan working the nose to get the nod ahead of Dicksy and Stephen Joy.
Heat 3 was a Fraserathon with both Dale and Dave donning rashies here. Wayne Dive split them but the younger Fraser (Dave) snuck home in the tame conditions.
Heat 4 saw Foghorn vow to take out The Prez’s new board whether in or out of the water. The only casualty was George H’s big toe as he couldn’t handle the dangerous conditions and gashed himself on the paddle out. The Prez had the last laugh as his new log sailed into the final and straight past Foghorns Munoz.
Last minute texts from Trista and the Lipping clan got them a start in Heat 5 with the colourful Darren Corner and softly spoken Frankie Lewis making up the numbers. Mick got the nod over his Mrs and that family feud just keeps on going.
With deteriorating conditions and a swell that seemed to go on vacation we raced to finish the finals in time for the afternoon southerly.
A few dropouts made the 5ths a lottery till Tim Pearson stamped his authority (and age) on the event and grabbed the trophy gleefully with both hands.
The 4ths was a colourful affair with Glenn and Loz flashing off some kaleidoscopic boardies. Glenn won that contest and also the 4ths trophy.
The 3rds saw a lot of sand finishes with every half point vital, but in the end George was the hungriest and snatched another trophy for his brag room.
The disappointment of not making the 1sts final soon disappeared as the 2nds fought out a close contest with vital end of year points dangling temptingly above their heads. With Greg, Armo and Dicksy all in the same age group, Wayne D (at 49) felt like a spring chicken. In the end the chicken was plucked and Greg dragged his 11foot board across the finish line.
Finally the 1sts. Dave Fraser decide to give us all a twelve minute head start by paddling in halfway through the heat whilst Mick Lipping thought 20 minutes would be a little fairer and failed to trouble the judges.
In the end Claire, Sam and the Prez fought out a meagre and waveless final to eventually see the Prez sneak over the line by a simple 0.2 margin.
And so, another longboard comp wraps up. Thanks to all who find it important enough to come early and stay late to make sure the event is a success each and very month. Thank you to Steph McCarthy who saved my life with a coffee at 9am. Thank you to Dave Fraser for saving my life again at 10 am with a salad roll. And thanks to judge No 4 who finally helped me get a victory over Slippery Sam Tehan. Oh, and thanks especially to John at Dripping Wet who sold me my new board last week and sent it straight to the victory dais.
Aloha and see you all in March
Branson, The Prez, Henry Brycki….whoever you want me to be……..
Full results to follow
5.Mick Lipping [DNS]
5.Trista Vallentine [DNS]
5.Dale Fraser [DNS]
4.Chris Quirk [DNS]
4.Bec Salsbury [DNS]
4.Bill Norman [DNS]