All levels of SUP surfers turn up for the monthly Sydney Paddle Surf Club’s SUP Surf competitions. They are a fun, community event kicking off at 0730 at Palm Beach. Unfortunately this past Sunday I had an alarm malfunction.
This meant I didn’t wake up until 8am, my heat was already in the water. I quickly got up, loaded the car and drove down to Palm Beach in time to judge the final two round one heats of the morning, where a peace offering from one of the competitors was made in the form of a Soulara Chia Pudding, Tahini Bliss Balls and Kombucha. After accepting my bribe I got ready for my repechage heat where only one person was to advance.
Using my brand new 7’4 Flash | Grovel Edition by Sunova Surfboards I managed to surf my way through the repechage and to my maiden SPSC victory in quite a while. The real story of the day was the great show the womens, juniors and other open men put on, plus the ribbing I got for missing my first heat.
While it’s common knowledge amongst the SPSC crew that I’m not an early riser, I don’t normally miss the start time by over an hour and a half. It’s usually just a process of waking up while in the heat or warm up of training sessions. The Friday night prior I had been out to see Ocean Alley and Tash Sultana concert at Hordern Pavilion, this probably played a part to my extra sleepiness, but at the end of the day I just forgot to click set on the alarm. A couple “Good Afternoon, Jimmy”s and “Nice of you to make it down” were exchanged before it was forgotten and all attention went to my shiny new red Casey. board from Sunova Surfboards.
Moving on from my tardiness, we had stand out performances occurring from Brissa Malaga in the Womens and Indy Rose in the Juniors as well as Long SUP rippers Paul Quirk and Steve Piper. To be honest all the Juniors were ripping with Fletcher Hole and the Montgomery girls putting on an epic show for everyone else to watch. Watch for this contingent of young watermen and waterwomen to progress through the ranks in the coming years.
While in the Opens, the ever reliable pair of Marty Cole and Andrew Cassidy, and heart and sole of the SUP surf competition, rounded out the podium to make it an all Sunova affair at the top.
There also needs to be a shout out to a bunch of first or second timers feeling out the Surf Comp format. Raj Sarin and Adam Bridgewater have been great additions to the Sunday contests both competing in their second ever surf events after a bit of encouragement and tutelage from yours truly. I’m looking forward to seeing them at the next event and tracking their improvements.
For me the biggest story of the day was the battle between Grant Hardiman and Matty Burgess. This rivalry dates back at least 5 years with the ledger sitting fairly even. Matty has a bit more experience and is a more regular competitor but Grant has been training in recent months, coming back from a few 'best ever' sessions over in Bali out Kuta Reef. While Matty blamed conditions, a clean, user friendly, waist high swell, put quite simply Grant got more waves and managed to build a small house during their heat. Meanwhile, Matty only managed three waves and never really got going on the foundation as the high tide took away any decent opportunity for him. Keep an eye on this rivalry and I’ll have to contact Matty Burgess to see what scores we are up to in the rivalry so far.
The next SPSC SUP surf contest will be Sunday April 14 and it will be a 10ft Plus contest meaning its more of an entry level focus and longboard style judging criteria. Head to https://spsc.tidyhq.com/ for all details and I hope to see more new faces later in the year... that's if I don't sleep through my alarm again.