Tony Cherry Wins Queensland Open in epic conditions
Peregian Beach-Sunshine Coast
2017 Queensland Open
The Queensland Waveski Open was held on the Sunshine Coast, an hour north of Brisbane. A full field of competitors met at Peregian Beach at the northern end of the coast. With only a small swell at the beginning of the day and predicated moderate winds it was a case of the contest director choosing to put up with some cross shore winds for the sake of better swell and banks. However as the day passed the winds became much stronger and forced a shift of the contest to an alternate venue, North Shore, which had more protection from the wind but a little less size.
The event started out with the qualifiers rounds with some great surfing displayed from the non-seeded competitors. Standouts included Dean Warner, Eric Masey, Mick Jones, Mel Farthing and Brian Spicer all progressing into the open rounds. Round four saw the quality of the A riders shine through with only Eric Massey of the qualifiers able to manage a top two finish. The day ended as the low tide caused the conditions to deteriorate even more.
Day two was planned to be run at Kawana with light winds and only a slight jump in swell size predicted. However yet again the forecast proved wrong and we were greeted by a big jump in swell size with heavy rain clouds. With Kawana being very difficult to paddle out in, a check of breaks found Anne St break to much more user friendly with a little less size, a much easier paddle out and more shelter from the wind. The quarter finals were the first heats in the water with nearly every heat having riders split between surfing the beach break and the reef break. As the heats proceeded the wind dropped and the skies cleared producing some excellent waves for the competitors. The quarter finals were hard fought affairs with probably the biggest upset being Graham Roberts edging Dale Randahl into second spot in the first heat. The spectators and judges were treated to some truly spectacular surfing with some amazing moves in the heavy waves. Due to so much time being lost due to a delayed start the decision was made to finish the open and master divisions, all other sections are being held over to be finished at the Aussie titles at Yamba.
The Open and Master finals featured the same four riders, Rees Duncan the current Australian open and Master champion, Tony Cherry the number two rider from last year’s circuit , Dale Randahl the number three rider in Australia and ranked fourth in the world and regular finalist Graham Lancaster who finished fifth in last year’s world titles. The four riders elected to complete the two finals back to back displaying faith in their fitness. We were treated to an epic battle with the four greatest surfers in Australia trading wave for wave. The results are listed below but really the winner was waveskiing as there could be no losers after such an incredible display of skill.
1st Tony Cherry
2nd Rees Duncan
3rd Dale Randahl
4th Graham Lancaster
1st Tony Cherry
2nd Dale Randahl
3rd Graham Lancaster
4th Rees Duncan
Queensland Open – Part 2
Sunday 8th October at Turners breakwall Yamba
Due to large surf conditions the rest of the Queensland Open was delayed until the Sunday before the Aussie Open. So the Grand Masters, Vets, Legends, Women and Qualifiers all turned up to fight it out. Already the locals seem hospitable in the water but do they know we are here all week? Just joking, weather a nice 26 degrees with slight winds at 10 knots and waves 2 to 3 ft on the sets. It’s on and some great stand outs including Savannah Campbell who was fully focused in her heat doing well on the set waves. Sav seems to relish in the bigger waves, I’ve seen her take apart 10 foot bombs at Maura River mouth. She won the womens section.
Dean Warner showed he will be a force to watch in not only this final but the Aussie qualifiers with Dean taking this one out. The battle for 2nd and 3rd was fought out by Eric Massey and Brian Spicer. Both these guys seem to go up another level when you mention the word final, with brian 2nd, closely followed by Eric in 3rd. Mick Jones and Brett Titterton came in the next two positions. Phone calculators were out in force with the boys working out their position on the Championship point score and it was looking like a close battle.
Bill Campbell won the Grand Masters event, putting him into the lead for the overall Championship in this age group. Graham Roberts cemented his hold on the Vet’s trophy and the invincible Garry Ross took out the legends.
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