North Narrabeen, NSW –- In front of a big, boisterous crowd on Australia Day, Bronte Boardriders were anointed the best club in the state, taking home the NSW Jim Beam Surftag.
With up to 40 teams jam packed with professional surfing stars, from all corners of the state, converging upon North Narrabeen over two days, only four clubs were left standing in the final.
However, after a stellar weekend of electric surfing and team comradery it was Bronte who were crowned champion – defeating Werri Beach, North Narrabeen and Ulladulla, who finished second, third and fourth respectively, in a tightly contested final.
With current world number 17, Tom Whittaker, Aaron Graham, Luke Hitchings, Ryan Clarke and Caleb Reid leading the charge, Bronte racked up an impressive total of 80.1 (out of a possible 204) in the final.
Overcome by the situation, Whittaker was lost for words as the strong Bronte crowd went into raptures.
“How good is this?” Whittaker remarked with a massive smile.
“This is so good – Bronte is back!”
Having been a late entry into the trials, Bronte fought their way throughout two gruelling days of competition to be crowned state champions.
“We just wanted to make the National Final,” Whittaker added.
“To be standing here with the trophy is amazing.”
Joining the four finalist’s in the National Final, to be held on 13 – 14 March 2009 at North Narrabeen, was Curl Curl, Cronulla, Queenscliff and Dee Why – who qualified for their first National Final.
Unlike conventional surfing contests that play upon individual results, the Jim Beam Surftag National Series is a teams based concept drawing upon the performances of five surfers per team – as opposed to one.
“The team event is so good for our sport,” Whittaker continued.
“It’s such an awesome contest.”
Despite the team nature of the event, the best individual performance went to Nick Riley (Queenscliff); with a 9.20 (out of a possible 10).
The National Jim Beam Surftag heads to Western Australia next, with two teams looking for qualification into the National Final.
For more information be sure to log on to www.globalsurftag.com.