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33rd Sunshine Surfmasters

2009 Sunshine Surfmasters

The Geraldton Board Riders capped off its 2009 surfing season in grand style on the weekend with the successful running of the 33rd Annual Corner Surf Shop Sunshine Surf Masters at Flat Rocks. This year’s event was again televised live to thousands of online viewers  thanks to WA Country Builders.

The decision to hold the event back a week proved to be a master stroke with great surfing conditions all weekend. Flat Rocks turned it on with solid overhead set waves and light winds providing the perfect setting for shot surfing action. High scoring rides were posted in many heats and the standard of surfing was exceptional. Contestants pushed themselves and their fellow competitors in every division providing great viewing whether down at Flat Rocks or watching the live telecast on the web. A field of 80 entrants, both locals and visitors from as far away as Margaret River , competed in the event.

Luke Campbell from Perth showed his class in the blue ribbon Corner Surf Shop Geraldton Beach Hotel Open Mens Division, blasting his way to one of the highest scoring waves of the event in the final. Campbell is currently ranked in the top 100 on the World Qualifying Series Tour and showed why he is regarding as a rising talent in world surfing. Locals Jesse Molloy (defending his 2008 title), Shawn Howe and Cayden Catto pushed Campbell to pull out all stops in the final and the crowd was treated to spectacular power surfing from all of the finalists.

The final of the Hot Buttered Boyd Purdy Surf Designs Junior Division was equally exciting with these junior surfers pushing their surfing to the extreme. There were regular hoots and gasps from the crowd as the juniors executed radical moves over the shallow reef bottom on the draining tide.  High scoring waves were the order of the final as it went down to the line. Jake Kearney left it until the dying minutes to catch the wave of the heat with a succession of committed beyond vertical turns sometimes defying gravity securing him the title over brilliant performances from James Fleming and Max Marsden.

In the Geraldton Beach Hotel Senior Mens Division, Luke Hayter from Perth was on fire in the final, posting good high scores early in the event. Hayter was assisted though by an interference call on 2007 winner Ben McGay, who posted the highest scoring wave of the heat. Jai MacRides and Ross Fleming surfed  a great final well in the final but they were unable to match the scores Hayter was locking in.

In the Latitude Pearls Womens final Felicity Palmateer from Margaret River showed why she is one of WA’s top female surfers with an excellent display of power and speed surfing. On one special wave in the final Palmateer dropped into an overhead outside bomb late perfectly executing three massive turns before ling up the best and deepest tube of the contest  finishing off with one more critical turn on the almost dry inside reef picking up the only 10 point perfect score of the event. The ride also earned her both the PW Drafting Services highest scoring wave of the day and tube of the event prize. Jaimee Wheatley was her closest challenger and other local girls Jazmine Fawcett, Lorenna Perrin and Dimitra Carter also surfed well.

Ross Fleming continued his good form this year by taking out the Bank of Queensland Masters Division. Fleming displayed powerful turns choosing to take some rare right handers in the predominately left hand break, holding out former Australian title holder Steve Williams and locals Brett Schofield and Kim Burton.

The final of the Apprentice and Traineeship Company Cadet Division was another cracker this year. All boys surfed really well in the final but in the end it was some radical cutting edge surfing from Jesse Carter that saw him prevail over Max Marsden and the Fleming brothers, Damien and James.

This year there were more competitors in the Bhagwan Marine Non-Competitors division than in any other division. While this division is only open to surfers who haven’t competed in a surfing competition this year, the standard of surfing was as high as in any other division. In the final, Jack McDonald’s combination of poise and radical surfing gave him victory over Des Wakeham, Jye Pratt, Danny Dawson and Thomas Speck.

The WA country Builders Grand Masters division was again taken out by former Australian Champion Ian Darby from local surfing champion Leon Norris. Darby came out of the blocks early racking up a 7.33 ride on his first wave and backing up with another high score during the final to ensure a good win from Norris, Ian Salmond and 2008 Australian Champion Brent Moss.

Ben Callaghan took out the ‘Dunny Bowl’ division, comprising all surfers who were unsuccessful in their nominated division, and backed up that win with the most radical aerial maneuver in the Geraldton Beach Hotel Expression Session.

Geraldton Board Riders extends its thanks to all sponsors including the City of Geraldton-Greenough, competitors and spectators for making this year’s Sunshine Surf Masters such a successful event. Plans for the 2010 event are already underway.

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