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Byron Bay Knocks Out Le-Ba Stars

THE Lennox-Ballina Boardriders Club, featuring several world-ranked surfers, has made a shock exit from the 2011 Jim Beam Surftag event.

The team was boosted by the late inclusion of boom WCT rookie Owen Wright, but failed to live up to expectations. Global Surftag Australia managing director of Steve Harrison was stunned by Le-Ba’s exit from the event at Duranbah Beach, Tweed Heads, at the weekend.

“They had the best team on paper and I really thought they would cruise in to the national final,” he said. “It’s a shock a loss, but that’s the way it goes in surfing sometimes.”

Lennox Head lads Adam Melling, Stuart Kennedy, James Wood, Marcus Aboody and Wright lost their heat to underdogs Byron Bay. Due to rough conditions each surfer was limited to two waves instead of the scheduled three, with double points coming from the second wave – the power wave. Le-Ba and ASP ranked surfer Stuart Kennedy said not capitalising on power waves had cost them. “We really fell off in the power waves,” Kennedy said. “We all rode solid 7- and 8-pointers on our first waves, but struggled on our second. “Owen (Wright) tried a backhand floater on his second wave; he didn’t land it and ended up snapping his board in half. Had he landed it we probably would have won the heat.” Byron Bay has qualified for the national final after finishing third overall with a combined score of 72.60.

The team comprised Garret Parkes, Ben Simpson, Luke Stickley, Tom Donohoe and Bryce Cameron. Two-time world champion Mick Fanning led Kirra to their third straight victory in Queensland qualifying with a score of 88.07. Snapper Rocks came second on 78.54. They too will progress to the national final on Sydney’s Northern Beaches from February 3 to 5, the same venue as the Surftag final. There is one more Surftag qualifying round, at Cronulla on January 29.

CONGRATULATIONS to our team on this result a massive effort put in by all!!

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