After winning a wild card into The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle, Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club took out the prestigious teams event. The 2015 National Boardriders event was held in Cronulla – 30 minutes south of Sydney CBD. It contained boardridering clubs from all over Australia and competition was fierce with many current and former Australian surf professionals present.
Many of the top surfers included:
- Joel Parkinson – 2013 World Champion
- Tyler Wright – World Number 2
- Bede Durbridge – World Number 16
- Adrian Bucken – World Number 15
- Adam Melling – World Number 25
Despite Coffs lacking a current world tour professional, they more than made up for it with passion and pride. Jayke Sharp help lead the team with outstanding surfing over the weekend dropping 8’s in the finals again Joel Parkinson. His performance was rewarded with the Wayne Bartholomew medal for the best performing male surfer.
The Coffs team consisted of Lee Winkler,Jayke Sharp, Maddison Williams, Samahra Bye, Angela Keighran, Shaun Cansdell, Brayden Templeton and Billy Kean. Unlike other surfing competitions, each team must have a female and/or a junior surfer. This then results in junior and female surfers getting scored on the same level as the men or in some cases the professionals. After winning the event, Samahra the female representative from the Coffs team said:
“It’s means so much to me and I’m so proud of our team, it was one of my best moments of my life!”
“We were all so emotional and happy we won the teams and over all 2nd best club in Australia!”
“I don’t think it will change to much for the boardriders, but it has defiantly made us believe that we have a chance in these big comps.”
Although Coffs Harbour won the teams event, the were also second overall to the powerhouse of Snapper Rocks Boadriders, QLD. Lead by Joel Parkinson, Snapper is traditionally one of the strongest surfing clubs in Australia with 1,000’s of members. The Boardriders Battle is Australia’s biggest grassroots event series with $120,000 in prize money. Getting to the national event takes qualifying with eight State qualifying rounds starting October 2014.
Accepting the award on the podium Lee Winkler, Coffs Harbour Boardriders president and senior member of the team said that many of the young groms can’t wait to start competing and representing Coffs Harbour Boardriders. Winkler urged all young surfer groms to join their local boardriders clubs.
SmoothStar teamrider and Coffs Harbour Boardrider member Carly Shanahan was cheering on her club back in her small hometown town of Wooli, NSW. Carly proudly wears her teamriders shirt and would love to one day represent her club. SmoothStar had another teamrider Benny Buckpitt compete at the National finals. At only 14 years of age he was one of the youngest competitors, at one point he matched up against Joel Parkinson in one of the earlier rounds.
Australian Boardrider clubs is the foundation of Australian surfing success and one of the reasons why Australia has bread so many World Champions.
Well done to Snapper Rocks Boardriders for the overall win – they have enormous depth. A big congratulations and hats off to Coffs Harbour Boardriders for a first in the teams event and then second overall… such an amazing spirit and team effort guys… well done from the SmoothStar crew – yew!