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36th Sunshine Surfmasters

36-ssm2012 Sunshine Surfmasters Geraldton

The 36th Annual Sunshine Surfmasters was held at Flat Rocks over the weekend and both the surf and weather turned it on. A strong field of competitors including surfers from Margaret River, Perth , Kalbarri and Carnarvon joined the local contingent to fill the 8 divisions on offer. The event was webcast live thanks to WA Country builders and received over 20,000 hits.

Surfers arrived Saturday morning and were greeted with ideal offshore conditions and a perfectly lined up 3-4ft swell. The tide was super low and the inside reef was barely covered. One of the contest favourites, Jesse Molloy was an early victim of the reef when attempting to land a 360 aerial Jesse landed with his hip on the reef and was helped form the surf. Scans revealed severe bruising and luckily nothing was broken.

Ben McDonald was another victim of the reef when he came down on his hand suffering cuts that put him out of the event. Thankfully no other surfers injured themselves although Kim Burton managed to rip out a fin on the inside reef.

2012-SponsorsSaturday’s surf continued to get better and better and the afternoon sessions were ideal with the lightest of offshore winds and pumping sets. Contest Director Leon Norris decided to run past the scheduled 3pm finish time to take advantage of the surf with smaller swell forecast for Sunday and the first day concluded at 5.pm.

3 finals were contested at the end of day one with the first to hit the water being the Grand Masters (50s) division. With great waves on offer there were lots of big moves executed and the winner with an impressive display of power surfer was Leon Norris from Brett Schofield, Kim Burton and Last years winner and former Australian Champion Ian Darby.

The next final was the non-competitors division (for surfers who have not competed in 2012). Last years winner Brenton Burton again dominated with tube rides and razor sharp wave destroying turns scoring a total of 16.00 (from a possible 20), to win from Justin Hagan, Alex Knowles and Kayshun Rodd.

The last event of the day was the Masters (40s) and the waves were inconsistent. Former pro surfer, State Champion and renowned big wave surfer Paul ‘Antman’ Paterson picked off every good wave in the final with a flawless display of precision surfing. Second place went to Ian Darby with Leon Norris third and Kim Burton in fourth.

Day two was always going to be doubtful with the forecast of a small swell, but officials arrived at Flat Rocks to the welcome sight of 2-3 feet sets pouring through. Competitors were given extra time in each of the finals as the forecast was that the swell would continue to drop. Flat Rocks did the right thing and continued to produce great waves for the finals with the Womens up first.

Jaimee Wheatley had a welcome return to contest surfing and left the others in her wake laying down big turns and using her local knowledge to pick off the best waves from last years winner Alexandra Durant, Imogen Caldwell and Dimitra Massaros, who finished, second, third and fourth respectively.

The Expression Session of boost for cash as it’s known had one major highlight and the was a huge aerial reverse perfectly executed by Brady Marsden to take the prize.

The U17 Cadet final was an all local affair with James Fleming catching 10 waves and finding the best ones with another win to his 2012 collection. Second place was Joel Cross followed by Marcus Longhurst and Matt Ottersen.

Plenty of action followed in the Senior Mens (30s) final with Ben Mcgay slipping into a perfect overhead left right at the start. McGay absolutely shredded and the judges rewarded him with a near perfect 9 point ride. Luke Hayter soon answered back with a brilliant 8.5 ride while Brett hardy (last years Open Men’s winner) couldn’t find the high scorers he needed.

Justin Hagan waited patiently for a bomb and finally picked up a 7.83 with eight minutes remaining. McGay couldn’t pick up a good back up wave but Luke Hayter did taking the final from Ben McGay in second, Brett hardy in third and Justin Hagan, with just the one wave took fourth place.

The Juniors blazed away in great conditions catching plenty of waves and the finish was very tight between Max and Brady Marsden with Max the eventual winner, ahead of younger brother Bardy. Damien Fleming finished third, with Carnarvon’s Lockie Caldwell in fourth.

The Open Final oozed talent with James Fleming, Max Marsden, Lockie Caldwell and Danny Williams all in exceptional form and all keen to take this coverted years title. James Fleming and Lockie Caldwell caught a total of 20 waves between them, but Max Marsden had his contest head firmly focussed and waited only for the best waves.

Marsden surfed superbly with brilliant radical turns and a flowing repertoire of manoeuvres to win the Open final from Danny Williams, Lockie Caldwell and James Fleming. The siren sounded and the set of the day came through with the wave of the weekend picked up by Carnravon’s Lockie Caldwell. The judges watch Lockie totally annihilate this amazing wave and all agreed they would have awarded a perfect 10 – more than enough for Lockie to have won the final… Just a few seconds too late.

The novelty Dunny Bowl Round final this year went to Luke Hayter from Paul Paterson.

Geraldton Board Riders would like to sincerely thank all of the wonderful sponsors that have supported this years event

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