The National Final of the Jim Beam Surf Tag was held over the weekend with the top qualifying clubs from around Australia fighting it out for the title and $15,000 prize money.
The structure of this team event is an hour long heat with 5 surfers representing each club. Each surfer must catch 3 waves with the second wave known as the power wave and scoring double points. The surfer must return to the beach to tag the next surfer. Our team consisted of Danny Wills, Beau Walker, Luke Stickley, Jarrad Sullivan, Tom Donohoe, Ben Simpson and Lee Miller with each of the playing big parts in the team’s success.
Making it through their first two heats and entering the Semi Finals with a strong heat, it was going to be a big ask to qualify for the final. Strong performances from Danny Wills and Beau Walker put the team in a great position but it was Luke Stickley’s 10 point ride that had everyone talking. Two clean turns and an innovative shove-it aerial not only scored a perfect 10 but won Luke a brand new water proof video camera for the highest scoring wave of the weekend. In the final the team had a terrible start not capitilising on two of their power waves, after two surfers they were sitting well behind in fourth position.
Danny wills was next in the water and once again his experience and knowledge proved vital with some stylish and critical surfing, lifting the team and putting them back into contention.
Beau Walker then pottered his way to his own little right hander away from other competitors. With just 20 minutes remaining and two surfers still to catch all their waves the mission was looking impossible. Beau then stroked into a small right with two speed pumps the big guy took flight landing a huge air reverse and scoring an outstanding 7 point ride. Beau then scored strongly on his power wave and his last wave to return to the beach with just 10 minutes remaining.
Jarrad Sullivan then took to the water with the huge task of chasing down North Narrabeen. His first wave scored well with a number of clean turns on his back hand, scoring a 5.5. Unfortunately the waves offered to Jarrad in his race against the clock weren’t enough to snatch the title but this was an exceptional effort by the Byron Bay Team 2nd place and $5000.
Well done to all surfers and a huge thank you to Lee Miller and Danny Wills for their efforts over the weekend.