Rees Duncan Australian Open winner
Comp Report by Brett Titterton
The Australian Open 2017
The Australian Open pre comp meeting was at the lovely Yamba Bowling Club, everyone was keen for the comp to start and after registering and getting their gift bags and T-shirts an early night was on the cards.
Well well well… we woke up with pouring rain. The comp was put on hold for a couple of until 10am. When we returned there was an increase in the wave size with turners lefts going off! Even the sun had come out. Yooooo let’s get it on. Our paid judges were a welcome relief giving competitors prep time between heats. Increased size saw some great rides with the Qualifiers surfing out the first few rounds. Mick Jones scoring 8.5 from 3 judges with great surfing showing why he is in the lead of the Qualifiers points. Tragedy strikes with Brett Titterton, dislocating his shoulder on a left cracker still coming 2nd in his heat but out of the running for the championship…that’s how it rolls.
Smaller waves today and the wind increased as well, not so good for the bigger guys so from left to right should spread the field. The pocket rockets seemed to shine. Dinner and drinks were at sassafraz pizza and pasta.
Due to horrible conditions the call was made to start at 9:30 am. Small waves greeted us so we ran some more heats and finished off the Newcastle Women’s final. The girls made the best of what we had. Savannah Campbell was super focused and stayed away from the pack getting some top lefts all the way to the beach to take out first place. Karen Campbell showing us that her new ski is working well, making the most out of every ride and getting some good ones this saw Karen take out second spot ahead of Lisa who unfortunatly had a sore neck and could only manage third spot.
The AGM was held at the bowls club, it was the chicken parmi night which the guys loved. Graham Lancaster is the new President, Bill Campbell the VP, Savannah Campbell the Secretary, Brett Titterton is in charge of development, Jeff Butterworth with his amazing photography and internet skills takes over the marketing job from Tony Cherry. Russell Hudson will be the new Treasurer. A talented and enthusiastic team that will take our sport forward.
A special thanks to Tony Cherry and his lovely wife Brenda who have worked tirelessly for the past 4 years, setting our sport up and Rees Duncan for being on the committee for the past two years, including one year as President.
Day 4 and Day 5
Both days saw a decrease in the swell and choppy conditions, not to forget about the rain. We continued to plough through the heats on Thursday, but Friday was a lay day. Everyone hoped the surf would improve for the finals on Saturday.
Saturday – Finals Day
630 start with Brian Spicer having a brain storm and dragging the trailer down on the beach. We started with the Qualifiers. Larry Adams won the final, followed by Albert Golledge with Brian Spicer third and Dean Warner in fourth. There was much discussion and adding up on the beach to see if Brian Spicer was able to pass Mick Jones for the Championship. Brian actually needed to come first, maybe next year.
The Legends final was won by Garry Ross. If we could get him on a plane, his chances of winning the World Titles would be huge. Joe Whitely was second and Billy Dalton third. Both Joe and Billy have turned 70 this year and both have had considerable health issues. But you wouldn’t have known this watching them in the surf. All three guys are absolute gentlemen and the support they give each other in the surf is an example on how to be a fine human being.
The Vets final was won by Graham Roberts in the last couple of minutes with a hoot of a wave that scored 8.5 from the judges. Col Sugars was second, Jeff Gray third followed by Wayne Fernance and David Andrews (a local Yamba surfer).
The Grand Masters was won by David Howard, followed by Bill Campbell, Mark Spencer and Russell Hudson. Russell drew an interference call, but in the end the result remained the same. This was a close final with the boys fighting it out in weak and very small waves.
Sometimes in Australia it is hard to know whether you are watching the Open or the Masters final. As the same four guys usually compete in both. Rees took out the Masters section, followed closely by Tony Cherry, Dale Randahl and Graham Lancaster.
After a short break, these four guys went out again in the Open section
The Open 5th to 8th position final was hotly contested. Nigel Bryant from NZ took out 5th with a well deserved win over Mark Spencer, Bill Campbell and Cisco Nascimento came in 7th and 8th respectively. All these boys surfed like champions.
Going for every thing they could, Graham Lancaster, Dale Randhal were bumped into the surf off for 3rd and 4th. Tony Cherry was seen with a grin on his face as this meant that he would win the overall Australian Championship as Dale was the only person who could beat him and Dale had to finish one place ahead of Tony. Dale ended up coming in at third spot which pushed Graham into 4th place.
All the boys were getting their boards out of the water. And the surf was small and had no power. These conditions didn’t seem to worry our top four at all.
Rees Duncan and Tony Cherry showed us why they are the best of the best.
This was a great comp for Rees, taking out his two sections, the Open and Masters, after a difficult year. Tony Cherry who had also been ill leading up to the comp, came in second.
The presentation dinner was held at the Yamba Golf Club with the Mayor, Jeff Saunders, making an appearance. Jeff was very welcoming and we appreciate the council’s support. Everyone was in a good mood as the week in this beautiful little surfing town had been fabulous. The locals are incredibly relaxed and welcoming and many of the competitors said they would love to return to Yamba in 2018. It was a huge social week, with something planned for every night.
Congratulations to all the surfers who performed well in this comp, the final one for the year.
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