Australian Longboard Surfing Open
Kingscliff, NSW, Australia
15 - 19 March, 2017
Harley Ingleby delivers master class at Kingscliff
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 March, 2017 - Harley Ingleby, the two-time world champion, came from behind to record rides of 9.17 and eight to win the hotly contested final in small waves at Dreamtime Beach, Kingscliff.
French man Antoine Delpero had started strongly with early rides of 6.83, seven and 7.4 to look to have the event sewn up. But with five minutes to go Ingleby came back with a long hang five to impress the judges, a rare clean tube top turn just minutes later saw him clinch victory with first semi-final winner Antoine Delpero relegated to second and his brother Edouard Delpero, who took the second semi, finishing third with Australian Nic Jones in fourth.
Current world champion, Brazilian Phil Rajzman was knocked out in the first semi final after looking dangerous earlier with best local hope, Kingscliff’s Dean Bevan just missing a finals birth, finishing third in the second semi final.
It was Ingelby’s second win in the Kingscliff-based Long board event and sets him in good stead for the opening round of the World Surf League competition in Papua New Guinea from 18—25 March.
“It’s always a tough line up in Kingscliff but there is really good waves out there but I didn’t really manage to find any excellent scores until those last two of the day,” Ingleby admitted.
“Definitely glad to have got waves at the end and secure my second win in this event – my last win was a while ago now and I won the Malfunction a couple of times.”
Ingleby said he knew he was in for a tough competition when both the Delpero brothers won through to the final.
“They are world class and world title contenders I knew it was going to all or nothing out there,” he said.
“But it was the perfect warm-up contest for PNG and fly out tomorrow morning.
“I’m really looking forward to PNG, it’s somewhere new hopefully there will be good waves, I’m just stoked we have a multi-event world tour this year.”
Meanwhile. Japanese surfers have continued to dominate women's Longboard surfing in Australia this year with Natsumi Taoka winning the Cancer Institute of NSW Women’s LQS title at Kingscliff.
The win comes hot on the heels of her countrywoman Hiroka Yoshikawa's victory at Noosa at the weekend.
Ironically Natsumi put Hiroka out of the Australian Longboard titles in the semi-final. Taoka came out firing in the final putting a 7.83 on the board on her first wave forcing the rest of the field to play catch up. Southern Californian Lindsay Steinriede held on to second for much of the event opening her account with a 5.83.
However current world champion Tory Gilkerson came home strongly in the final five minutes with a good ride on the nose, hanging five to score a 6.67 to give her second and put her in striking distance of the lead but it wasn't to be and she finished second with Steinreide in third and Rachael Tilly in fourth.
“Before the heat, I was very nervous but I got good waves early and I could relax,” Natsumi Taoka said.
“I tried a hang ten and I made it so I’m very happy.
“It is the first competition of the year for me and last year I was ninth in the world -it was my first time.
“This is the second time I’ve competed in Kingscliff and I lost in the semi-final last year.”
Australian Longboard Open organiser Sean McKeown was pleased with the field of professional surfers taking part in day one of the four-day event.
He said the event had attracted some of the best surfers in the world.
“It was fantastic to see the high calibre of surfers here at Kingscliff – we had the best longboarders making it all look so easy,” he said.
The Australian Longboard Surfing Open is the only World Surf League sanctioned longboard event on Australia's east coast featuring some of the world’s best longboard surfers. It honours the history of longboard surfing together with amateur divisions and specialty surfing, lives music, surf vehicle display, surf movies and more. He said while today’s activities are all about the best in the world, the Longboard Surfing Open has something for everyone.
The event will have a lay-day on Thursday before firing up a three-day program for surfers of all ages and abilities.
“There are a number of activities in and out of the water suitable for the entire family,” Sean said.
“There are registrations at the beach on Friday with the surfing program opening with Fluro Friday.
“Everyone can dress in fluro and come down and surf/swim/ride inflatable swans/do yoga.
“This event is aimed at raising awareness for Headspace and mental health issues.
“There will be amateur surfing, free surf movies for the family in the Lions Park, bring a chair or a blanket and refreshments will be available as well. “
On Saturday the event will feature a traditional paddle out to remember those no longer with us as well as amateur surfing.
“We have wacky wave fancy dress, sponsors exhibitions, old boards on display, buskers, live music in the park,” he said.
“While Sunday is finals day but there will be plenty of other things to see and do as well with a surf vehicle show and shine and beach activities for the kids all culminating in the finals presentation at the Kingscliff Hotel.”