Young WA all-board gun Anthony Spencer, old-school drop-knee in the semis. Pic: Andrew Carruthers

Sunday, 9 July 2017

In stark contrast to the opening wet and windy conditions, Cottesloe laid on perfect surf under sunny skies, and competitors made the most of it, putting on a longboarding clinic in the 1-2 feet waves along Perth’s metropolitan coastline.

Day two of the 20th annual Whalebone Longboard Classic saw surfers enjoy idyllic conditions at Isolators Reef, with the World Surf League (WSL) LQS 1000 finalists decided for both men’s and women’s in groomed winter waves.
Milking every inch of their nine-foot plus boards, the final two males and final two female surfers were decided at Western Australia’s most iconic longboarding event.
Dean Bevan (Kingscliff, NSW) booked his spot into the men’s final with a powerful performance in the clean conditions. Surfing on rail and with great speed through every turn, Bevan defeated WA rising star Jack Medland (Marmion) in a tight opening semi final.
Bevan scored an impressive 8.4 and backed it up with a 6.5 to finish on a combined two-wave total of 14.90 (from a possible 20), leaving Medland chasing a 7.16 (from a possible 10) to snatch victory.
“We’ve been gifted with this clean little groundswell today and all the boys have been really enjoying it,” said an elated Bevan. “It’s really contestable despite the size and it’s been a great trip to Western Australia thus far for me and making the final keeps the dream alive for me.”
In semi final two, Jack Entwistle (Manly, NSW) secured his place in the LQS final with his smooth and graceful technique rewarded highly by the judges and delighting the strong weekend crowd who piled in to watch today’s action.
Entwistle scored two eight point plus rides, finishing with a two-wave combined total of 16.9 (from a possible 20). Using his long legs and quick footwork, Entwistle was too good for another WA star on the rise Anthony Spencer (Trigg), who was left chasing a near perfect 9.11 (from a possible 10) when the siren sounded.
“This will be my first WSL final and I’m really stoked to have made it,” said Entwistle. “The surf was really fun and consistent during our semi perfect for nose riding and longboarding in general. I’m really looking forward to taking on Dean Bevan, I’ve surfed against him a bunch of times and can’t wait until tomorrow.”
While in the women’s division, Japan’s Natsumi Taoka will take on Queensland’s Kathryn Hughes in tomorrow final after the pair were both successful in their semi-finals.
Taoka proved why she placed 9th at the World Longboard Championships early this year, with an exquisite display in the clean conditions taking down Tully White (Manly, NSW) scoring 14.85 (from a possible 20).
“I enjoy nose riding and the waves were perfect and so clean today,” said Taoka. “I meet Kathryn two years ago when we were in Taiwan and I’m excited to surf against her in the final tomorrow.
After finishing second in last years Whalebone Classic Kathryn Hughes is definitely keen to go one better, defeating Lucy Small (Denmark, WA) in semi final two.
Hughes stroked into the best two waves of the heat, scoring 13.75 (from a possible 20), leaving Small chasing an 8.35 (from a possible 10).
“This is my third time to WA and I’m going to go straight out and say that I really want to win tomorrow,” said Hughes. “Natsumi is a lovely person but were both super competitive so tomorrow should be really exciting.”
Weekend crowds flocked in to soak up the festival style atmosphere on offer, with classic winter conditions providing light winds and sunshine long into the afternoon.
Punters enjoyed a live ukulele band along with the food and quality products of other local vendors set up in the beachside marquee.
The final day of the Whalebone Longboard Classic runs today, Sunday.

Japan’s Natsumi Taoka and Manly’s Tully White, happy-as after their semi in the Open Women’s. Pic: WSL/SurfingWA/Majeks
Natsumi Taoka off to the final. Natsumi finished ninth in the first round of WSL Women’s World Titles in Tupira PNG earlier this year. Pic: WSL/SurfingWA/Majeks
Jack Entwistle with a little rebound on the inside – off to the Men’s Final with Dean Bevan. Pic: WSL/SurfingWA/Majeks
Noosa’s Kathryn Hughes, last year’s Whalebone runner-up, off to the final again. Pic: Andrew Carruthers


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