Hedge starts with a title
SURFING: Nathan Hedge's comeback has started in strong fashion, with the ex-ASP World Tour surfer claiming top spot on the Queensland Championship Circuit.
The Sunshine Coast 32-year-old, who is returning to competition after a two-year absence, was eliminated in the quarter finals of the series-ending event at Duranbah Beach but it was enough for him to secure the title.
He accumulated 2590 points during the four-round circuit, edging North Stradbroke's Lincoln Taylor by 90 points to earn a wildcard invitation to the Quiksilver Pro Trials next year.
"It would have been good to have another win but the goal was to get the wildcard for the trials," Hedge said before reflecting on his first month back in competition.
"I came back with a fresh outlook. I came back to enjoy being back in the water and I didn't really have any expectations about how I would go," he said.
And the former world number seven suggested he could improve by about 30 percent.
"I'm feeling amazing on my board and fitness wise...but I haven't worked on my equipment for two years," he said.
"I've just picked up boards with dust on them."
"I haven't worked with a shaper. I used to work with them down to the finer details so I haven't had that relationship for a while."
But he does boast six years experience on the world tour.
"You're not going to take experience away from me and I'm a naturally talented surfer so that's always there. I've still got to fine-tune my boards and I'm just getting back into my heats so I think there's lot more in the tank."
Burleigh Heads surfer Noah Lane won the weekend's event.