POINT Lookout, the best performing board riders club in Australia, will this week send a team to the Nudie Australian Boardriders Battle in Newcastle, NSW.
The competition on from February 17 to 19 features the best surfers from around Australia and is the country's biggest boardriders’ event series with $160,000 in cash and prizes.
It will have more than 100 of Australia's best surfers in eight state qualifying rounds which will end in a two-day, national event for 24 clubs.
Point Lookout Boardriders spokesman Dale McDonald said the club was one of the nation’s highest best performing.
It had become the only club in the world to have two of its members on the world tour at the same time – Bede Durbidge and Ethan Ewing.
Ewing won the junior world championship at Kiama, NSW, last month and Durbidge, grandson of prominent Straddie resident, the late Ellie Durbidge, is returning to competitive surfing from injury.
Durbidge smashed a hip at Pipeline, Hawaii, and has had an 8cm steel pin removed.
McDonald said the Newcastle competition on February 18 and 19 was Australia’s biggest board riders event.
“It involves more than 100 of Australia’s best board rider clubs in eight state qualifying rounds and culminates in the two-day national final for 24 clubs,’’ he said.
“The series is officially sanctioned by the World Surf League which allows Australian WSL World Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective state qualifying events and the national final.’’
Mr McDonald said the Queensland leg of the qualifying heats was held on the Gold Coast in November and Point Lookout finished second to Burleigh Heads Boardriders, gaining automatic selection into the national final with Snapper Rocks Surfriders and D’Bah Boardriders.
“In January 2016 the PLB team finished second to North Narrabeen in series three of the annual event at Cronulla, Sydney, and, in fact, we’re the national champions in the tag team section of the event.
“That great form carried throughout last year with the PLB team also winning the inaugural tag team competition at the Straddie Assault last October.’’
Mr McDonald said each club squad would have one junior (male or female), four opens (three males and one female) and one over 35, male or female.
The Point Lookout team will be Bede Durbidge, Ethan Ewing, Chris Semple, Tim Macdonald, Stacey Holt, Pieter Pyke and Zane Jenner.
“The Straddie community is excited by the return of world tour legend Bede Durbidge to competition and … to see Ethan Ewing continue his sensational form after qualifying for the 2017 world tour and winning Rookie of the Event at the Vans Triple Crown in Hawaii last December and then winning the World Junior Championships held at Kiama NSW in January this year,’’ Mr McDonald said.
“Chris Semple, Stacey Holt, Tim Macdonald and Ethan Ewing were part of the winning team at Cronulla last year, and Zane Jenner and Pieter Pyke have both been part of winning Straddie Assault teams so experience and talent abound for the NSI crew.
“With such a strong team a sizeable contingent of Straddie locals are heading down to support the team and we wish them the best of luck.’’