JAMES Watson from Burleigh Heads claims second in the Ultimate Stand-Up Paddleboard Challenge at Southport Spit.
JAMES Watson from Burleigh Heads claims second in the Ultimate Stand-Up Paddleboard Challenge at Southport Spit. Surfing Queensland

Shakira flies girls flag

KIERAN Taylor toppled a star-studded local field to win the Ultimate Stand-Up Paddleboard Challenge at Southport Spit on Sunday.

With some of Australia’s finest exponents of the specialty SUP sport converging on the contestable 0.5m waves, an action-packed day of surfing and racing unfolded.

Open to men and women, the multi-disciplinary event began with an SUP surfing competition. Taylor (Angourie, NSW) was a clear stand-out, ahead of James Watson (Burleigh Heads), Jamie Willems (Moffat Beach, Qld) and Paul Jackson (Palm Beach).

Taylor then reinforced his place after a convincing ninth in the gruelling paddle course through the Gold Coast Broadwater.

With Burleigh’s Troy Pease coming out on top of a full field, and Taylor’s fellow surfing finalists way back in the pecking order, squeezing inside the top 10 was all that was required of Taylor, who took out the event on 2425 points.

Watson (2330), Willems (1935) and Pease (1900) rounded out the top four.

Despite men dominating throughout most of the day, Shakira Westdrop (Palm Beach) flew the flag high for the girls.

The gutsy competitor took it to her male counterparts by reaching the semi-finals in the surfing competition and disposing of several big-name blokes along the way.




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