DAY 3: AUSTRALIAN SURF FESTIVAL 2012 Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Riding on the back of the dominant south swell, competitors welcomed the 7 foot sets that wrapped their way around Shelly Point, Port Macquarie. Day three of the Australian Surf Festival, supported by Essential Energy saw solid waves come through as the open mens division got underway.
Finding himself in the requals after a shaky start was local surfer Ian Bell (North Haven, NSW). Taken out by current Australian Mens champion Jackson Close (Coolangatta, QLD), who dominated the early heat win, Bell was keen to get back out amongst the big waves.
“There’s some really nice solid waves out there for the opens. It's a nice long wave here at Shelly, plenty of room to do some long nose riding, cut backs and a few floaters”.
“There is a little bit of a side wash, when your coming off your bottom turns there’s a bit of a bounce and that mid section fills up, but if you can make it to the inside section it starts to line up and come through,” said Bell who nailed some of the longer rides and faced the long paddle back out.
Bell Reclaimed his spot in round two after winning both of his requals in a tough couple of heats. Tom Bowen (Seaford, SA) moved through with Bell and finds himself in round two against young gun Hamish Renwick (Clifton, TAS), Ben Jones (Moana, SA) and Mitchell Baillie (Geraldton, WA).
Lucky enough to get the gaps in the sets and paddle back out was current NSW Open mens champion Darren O’Rafferty (Bonny Hills, NSW). Opting for the long rides on the bigger waves paid off with the events highest combined heat total so far, 16.00 (out of a possible 20).
Team Victoria sent the Laylor family (Apollo Bay, VIC), both Luke and Oscar made it to round two after a tough day of surfing and find themselves in the same heat. The Laylor’s will surf against O’Rafferty and Queensland Longboarder Clinton Guest (Burleigh Waters, QLD) in round two of the open mens.
Over 35 mens semis have been decided at the end of day three, Brett Merifield (Yallingup, WA) surfed a tough couple of heats but is through with Sean Dry (Dee Why, NSW). Just missing out was Greg Brookes (Forster, NSW) and Yestin Griffiths (Drysdale, VIC) who put in solid performances in both the requals.
The Australian Surf Festival event website is now LIVE at www.australiansurffestival.com and during the event will feature live scores, heat by heat results, photo gallery and event news.
The Australian Surf Festival is proudly supported by Essential Energy, NSW Government, Destination NSW, Port Macquarie Tourism, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Harley-Davidson Australia, Town Green Inn, Nikon, Suncorp, VB, Australian Sports Commission, Coastalwatch, NBN, Port Macquarie News, 2MC, Star FM, Surfing World Magazine, Pacific Longboarder Magazine.