No swells, so Bells moves to Woolamai
THERE was no Easter swell for Bells! For the first time in the Rip Curl Pro's 36th history, the second ASPWCT event of the year crossed the south-east coast of Vic- toria to the ever consistent beachbeaks of Woolamai, Phillip Island to salvage the mens event. But local events like the 30th Annual Ocean and Earth Byron Easter Classic, the Second Annual Oh Yeah Invitational Circuit (Dbah) and the Billabong Girls WQS/QSS (Maroochydore) weren't totally skunked by the Easter Bunny. Well done to Serena "Saucy" Brooke scor- ing a super impressive second to world women's champ Sophia Mulanovich in the SPC women's final at Bells before the swell went flat. The former Caloundra, now Cool- angatta-based comeback girl, came up against her old Snapper foe and friend, Tru- dy Todd, in the quarterfinals. The live internet commentary had to be some of the worse yet. During the women's first WCT at Bells in over two years with Trudy Todd being re- ferred to in unglamorous terms that might have been amusing to some during her ear- ly rounds and then when Trudy made the quaterfinal's, the press release quoted one of the commentators as saying, "She's (Trudy) one of the most underrated girls on tour!" Good comeback line to save face.
SNAPPER supremo Shaun Gossman put aside the dismal first round elimination at the six-Star WQS Margaret River to take out the Annual Byron Open Mens derby from a super talented field of WQS and pro junior competitors. In a similar final flourish that won Gozzy the Quiksilver trials, the former South Afri- can powerhouse took a winning wave in the dying minutes to deny local Byron hottie Jarrad Sullivan (second), while Yamba's top rating pro junior, Laurie Towner, placed third, and another Snapper WQS performer Damon Harvey settled for fourth. The non-rated pro-am event that kicked off in 1976 by local surfer Michael "Cosmic" Birch, who surfed in the over-50's with "Morning of the Earth" 1970s movie stars Chris Brock and David "Baddy" Trelor, was held again on the Broken Head beachbreak once known as "Derek's", just a stone's throw down the road from the annual Blues and Roots Festival.
THE second annual Oh Yeah Invitational Short Circuit kicked off on Saturday at Dur- anbah for a one-day event of numerous age divisions and the first of a six-part series. Organiser of the one day events, Snapper identity Chris "Swag" Gudenswager is using the series to bring together some of the old surfing stars of the Goldie and the new kids on the block to create well being and cama- raderie in the local line-up. The dates of the future events are as following; April 23, May 28, June 18, July 16 and August 20.
IT was only two weeks ago I posed the question should Occy retire and in that time it seems that the Ockster might be in two minds. "I'd feel better if I won at Bells and go out on a winning note," he replied to a question on the retirement subject at the Rip Curl Pro press launch and even the President of ASP International Rabbit Bar- tholomew in his ASP webpage column men- tioned Occy's retirement as "probable". Let's see what the world's greatest come- back surfer says after Bell's opps I meant Woolami, famous for it left and right banks not unsimilar to the Wanda beachbreaks that Occy grew up on. o?WINNERS of the two Rip Curl Packs - Greg Walker, of Tweed Heads, and Kate Grant, also of Tweed Heads. The prizes can be collected from the Daily News office at 13-17 Rivendell Estate, Tweed Heads South. o?Andy Mac can be caught on NBN TV, surf report times 6.55pm (Monday - Friday).