Winner of the ocean race, Beau O'Brien
The racing went ahead as planned, and in spectaular fashion. But unfortunately for both the spectators and some riders, the surfing was cancelled due to the 6-8 foot conditions.
It all came down to a safety first call by Surfing Australia, which was fair enough considering the forecast for increasing wave heights all day. The conditions were so severe they even made the news! Despite the conditions, Paul Jackson and John Christensen braved the short paddle out the back, being rewarded by the scoring the break to themselves for half an hour. Later they reported 12 others on SUP's joined them, as well as the usual crowd of short boarders to round out the then crowded lineup.
Earlier on the weekend, the racing was held in great conditions. Winner of the mens long distance racing division was Beau O'Brien with a time of 1:42. Only four minutes behind was Jake Jenson, followed by Lincoln Dews, Kelly Margetts and Paul Jackson to round a near unbeatable top 5 for the Aussie team.
There was a little controversy when Paul Jackson (who is an internationally sponsored team rider, and shop owner) chose to paddle a 12'6" board in the under 14' category. He still qualified for the Aussie team, and came in 5th overall, but was it a case of over confidence? Or lack of boards? He put all the claims to rest with a very noble comment on the Seabreeze.com.au forums:
"You are right I did not have a 14ft board and the one I did get on the day I gave to Angie (Jackson) as this event was more about getting to the Aussies, so I wanted to help as many people as I could make the team!! I also gave my ocean 14 to Molly so she had a better chance as she did not have a 14 either, and if I had had another one I would have given it to Sue Dorries! I rode a 12'6 and felt I could make the team on it as the 12'6 rocks!!!
I think what some people forget is winning these comps is great but there is a bigger picture and that is making a team for Australia and part of being a good team is sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get the strongest team and if there is one thing I learnt from going to the ISA games and hanging out with the Aussie is that the team comes before anything else!!!"
The new date for the surfing comp will be the 7th of July. So check back then for the low down on what happened at the QLD SUP Surfing titles!