KINGSCLIFF/NSW (Thursday 22nd March, 2012): Current Australian longboard champion Jackson Close has made up for a slow start at the Australian Longboard Surfing Open presented by Surftech with a dominant display in the opening heats of the SUP division.
The prestigious event at Kingscliff in northern NSW features both men’s and women’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) divisions with $20,000 total prize money plus several other divisions including a pro SUP event.
Close was a surprise elimination on Day 1 in the longboard division, but quickly made up for any disappointments on Day 2 in clean 2-3ft (one metre) swell in a high quality SUP heat against Geoff Breen (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and Candice Appleby (USA).
As in his longboard heat the previous day, Close made a slow start and was trailing Breen (14.36) and Appleby (9.07) before locking in two late scores of 7.93 and 9.37 for a heat total of 17.30.
Close found a rare barrel during his late surge.
“That was just classic Kingscliff,” Close said. “It’s one of the hardest waves to read and it was a bit like Day 1 when I didn’t have much of a score early on.
“It was a great heat in the end and the when a barrel like that comes up you’ve got to have a go and I made it through.
“I was a bit surprised when I saw only 12 riders had nominated, but any of those heats you didn’t really want to be part of with some of the quality surfers out there so I was happy to get through.”
In an entertaining morning for the opening SUP heats, current Australian champion Justin Holland (Kingscliff, NSW) was impressive along with other heat winners Beau Nixon (Tweed Heads, NSW) and Noel Graham (Lennox Head, NSW).
Competition also started in the SUP Amateur, Mohawk Noserider, Essential Energy Old Mal and Retro divisions.
Former longboard World Champion Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach, NSW) continued his impressive form from Day 1 to put on a master class during his Mohawk Noserider heat. Ingleby spent the heat camped on the nose to secure two scores of 9.33 and 9.50 to beat Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour, NSW) 18.83 to 11.76.
Appleby was the day’s tireless performer taking on the men in not only SUP, but also the noserider, old mal and retro divisions. She won her retro heat.
Competition resumes tomorrow in the men’s and women’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) divisions. The first quarter-final of the Green Aussie Cleaner Pro Men hits the water at 8am (AEDT), with the first quarter-final of Cancer Institute NSW Pro Women in the water at 9.20 am (AEDT).
About The Australian Longboard Surfing Open:
About Australian Longboard Surfing Open: The Australian Longboard Surfing Open the 2012 event will be staged from 21st - 25th March at Kingscliff NSW Australia. It is set to take Australian Longboard Surfing to a new level of fun and entertainment with ASP LQS Men's & Women's divisions, a noserider event, SUP Surfing & Racing and amateur surfing divisions. On the land there will be a music festival, lifestyle market stalls, art, cooking demonstration by Eoin Shoemark, head chef from the award winning Fins Restaurant at Salt, and movies.
The 2012 Australian Longboard Surfing Open presented by Surftech is proudly supported by Tweed Shire Council, Destination NSW, Green Aussie Cleaner, Cancer Institute NSW, Australian Longboarding Magazine, Pacific Longboarder, ASP Australasia and Mohawk Wax.
The 2012 Australian Longboard Surfing Open caters for surfers of all ages and abilities. The surfing divisions for the event are:
· Association of Surfing Professionals Longboard Qualifying Series for Men & Women
· Amateur Men & Women
· 8ft Boards
· Under 18
· Over 40's
· Over 50's
· Retro Boards
· Old Mals
· SUP Surfing Men & Women
· The auxiliary activities for the event area
· SUP Races
· High Performance Surf Coaching
· Entry Level Surf & SUP Clinics
· Surf Vehicle Display
· Lifestyle Markets
· Surf Music
· Surf Movies
· Bikini Parade
· Surf Art Display
· Seafood Cooking Demonstration
About Cancer Institute NSW: The Cancer Institute NSW is Australia's first State-wide Government supported cancer control agency. The Cancer Institute NSW is responsible for reducing cancer incidence, increasing cancer survival, improving quality of life for cancer patients and their carers and providing expert advice on cancer. For more information visit www.cancerinstitute.org.au