Triple crown secured at surf competition
CENTRAL Coast surfer Russ Moloney has secured an indigenous surfing triple crown after taking out the Juraki Surf Invitational at Fingal at the weekend.
The Juraki Invitational ran over three days and featured a traditional welcome to country and Mixing of the Water ceremony.
Moloney, who took out the nation's other two dedicated indigenous surfing competitions at Bells Beach and Newcastle, secured the triple with expert surfing in Sunday's final.
In other events, Fingal's Josh Slabb took out the masters' title, Cabarita's Locus Proudfoot won the longboard title, and Wollongong brother and sister Summer and Taj Simon took out the open women's and junior boys divisions respectively.
Summer, 15, and Taj, 12, surfed beyond their years and organiser Mary Slabb said it was great to see young, Indigenous surfers emerging, to fill a generational gap.
She said surfing was a strong part of Indigenous coastal culture and the competition focussed on bridging the gap in ages between competitors and engaging the community.
"Our aim is to work together with other community members and organisations to build that community relationship,” Slabb said.
"We had about 28 local sponsors and Kingscliff's Into Surf school at Kingscliff did over 200 surf lessons for free.”
Slabb said up and coming indigenous surfers could thrive in mainstream competition, with plenty of talent developing, including competitor Otis Carey from the Central Coast, who's just signed a three-year contract with Billabong.
"You can see the talent coming through,” she said.
A highlight from the Invitational was a teams event featuring 50 indigenous surfers competing in a Pacific teams challenge.
Australia took the title from New Zealand and Vanuatu, with Samoa rounding out the top four.