Biggest comp upon us
THE biggest boardriding club competition in the world, with as many as 40 clubs doing battle in the 22nd annual Rip Curl Kirra Surfriders Teams Challenge, kicks off today at either Kirra Point or D-Bah.
The three-day club event is hosted by the Kirra Surfriders and is worth $17,000 in prizemoney.
Last year's champions, the Snapper Surfriders, are fresh from a win in the regional Jim Beam challenge at D-bah last Sunday, making up for an early round loss in the first club event of the year, the GCCC Cleanwater Challenge in January.
The Kirra Teams is the second club event on the new Surfing Queensland club circuit, with 320 competitors representing their clubs in eightman teams contesting 80 fourman heats from Friday to Sunday. Points are allocated for heat places, with four points for a win down to one point for fourth.
"That keeps everyone glued to the beach as we won't know the final result until the last few heats on Sunday," said Kirra Surfrider spokesman John Robin.
All the clubs met last night at the Kirra Beach Hotel to submit their teams and the presentation will be held on Sunday night from 5.30pm at the Kirra Sports Club.
The 40 clubs are from Noosa to Sydney, South Australia and Margaret River in WA, plus the New Plymouth boardriders from the South Island, New Zealand.
One of Australia's longestrunning clubs, Newcastle's Merewether has entered and will be bringing out its top guns, with former ASPWCT pros like Luke Egan, Simon Law and the irrepressible Matt Hoy.
The Alley Boardriders will recruit WQS pros Luke Munro and Samba Mann and their latest deadly weapon, Brendan Leckie.
"The club comps represent the grass roots of surfing with a lot of voluntary work from their members to ensure that their teams are armed to the teeth with the best pro juniors, WQS pros and seasoned club veterans," said Robin.
THE Quiksilver Trials next week shape up as one of the toughest to date, with only the winner qualifying for the main event, the Quiksilver WCT Pro (March 1-12) at Snapper Rocks.
The 16-man field includes 10 Australians and six internationals. The local surfers are Shaun Gossman, Damon Harvey, Ryan Hipwood, Corey Ziems and Josh Fuller.
Burleigh's Jay Thompson, rated 31st on the WQS, has been rewarded with a trials wildcard for his end-of-year WQS efforts in Hawaii, where he was the highest-scoring competitor of the pre-trials.