Newcastle, NSW/AUS (Saturday, February 17, 2018)  – The 2018 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle has kicked off today at Newcastle Main Beach. The 24 top Boardriders Clubs in Australia presented their top surfers for the Skins division with some of surfing’s biggest names pulling on the contest jersey in the name of hometown pride.

Current WSL Women’s Word Champion Tyler Wright was another competitor that did her club proud taking a Women’s division victory for her beloved Culburra Boardriders. In what was a slow heat for waves, Wright had to dig deep to ensure the win as they move into the team’s division where she’ll surf with younger brother Mikey.

“It’s such a great feeling representing not only your team but your hometown,” Wright said. “This is such a great event to compete at and holds so much atmosphere with everyone cheering on the beach. It’s a great way to ease back into competition for the 2018 season but there is still a significant amount of pressure to perform.”

Former World Junior Champion Ethan Ewing surfed his first heat for the year representing his hometown club Point Lookout. Ewing demonstrated why he spent 2017 on the elite Championship Tour with a powerful and calculated attack. Although there are no ratings points on offer, Ewing rated the pressure of representing his club to that of competing at the highest level.

“I take this contest as seriously as any other one, “Ewing said. “It’s nice to get back in the contest mode after a few months off, especially as I’m preparing for the Qualifying Series events that are approaching. It’s a similar pressure surfing at this event as you are up against CT guys but it is more stressful as you want to succeed for your club and everyone that is here cheering us on.  It’s great to surf against the Championship Tour guys but what I love is all of the underground guys that rip and you’ve never heard of, this event is great for that stuff.”

Local club Merewether Boardriders were the standout team during the skins with their hero Ryan Callinan dominating to win three heats in a row. The former CT competitor was on fire, posting some of the highest scores to rocket Merewether to the top of the table on Day 1.

“I’m really fired up for this year and kicking off the season with this event is perfect,” Callinan said. “There is so much pressure to perform for your club so it’s no different to a big heat on the QS or in a CT. Having everyone here on the beach cheering makes it such a great atmosphere and definitely lifts you to perform.”

Wildcard club North Shelly had an ace up their sleeve in Macy Callaghan who put some decent runs on the board in her Women’s Heat. The former World Junior Champion was stoked to be representing a club that was co-founded by her father.

“This is definitely one of my favourite events of the year,” Callaghan said “Representing your Boardriders club in front of these big crowds is really exciting. Seeing the talent from around Australia is crazy, there definitely isn’t an easy heat especially with some of the CT surfers.”

Other notable performances on Day 1 included CT surfers Adrian Buchan and Wade Carmichael for reigning champions Avoca Boardriders, Connor O’Leary for Elouera, Laura Enever for North Narrabeen and Nicholas Squires for Scarborough Boardriders Club. Event trials winner’s Frenchmans Boardriders club lost competitor James McMorland due to a serious shoulder dislocation he suffered on a brutal wipeout.

The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series Final will be live on Channel 9’s GO! channel on Sunday 18th February from 1 pm – 5.30pm in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and on a 1-hour delay for Perth 11:00 am- 3: 30 pm.

Fox Sports More (Channel 507) will broadcast the entire weekend live from 8 am – 6 pm daily.

If you miss the live broadcast, be sure to catch all the National Final highlights in a dedicated 30-minute TV show scheduled for April 1st at 1 pm on Channel 9 for Sydney/Brisbane and 1:30 pm for Melbourne/Adelaide and Perth viewers.

nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series V National Final Qualifiers:

BURLEIGH HEADS BOARDRIDERS CLUB (QLD)
SNAPPER ROCKS SURFRIDERS CLUB (QLD)
NORTH SHORE BOARDRIDERS CLUB (QLD)
POINT LOOKOUT BOARDRIDERS CLUB (QLD)
SCARBOROUGH BOARDRIDERS CLUB (NSW)
ULLADULLA BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
MAROUBRA UNITED BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
MEREWETHER SURFBOARD CLUB (NSW)
AVOCA BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
NORTH STEYNE BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
BYRON BAY BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
LE-BA BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
COFFS HARBOUR BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
MARGARET RIVER BOARDRIDERS CLUB (WA)
SOUTH COAST BOARDRIDERS (SA)
PHILLIP ISLAND BOARDRIDERS CLUB (VIC)
SOUTH ARM BOARDRIDERS (TAS)
CULBURRA BEACH BOARDRIDERS CLUB (NSW)
ELOUERA BOARDRIDERS CLUB (NSW)
NORTH NARRABEEN BOARDRIDERS CLUB (NSW)
BONDI BOARDRIDERS (NSW)
NORTH SHELLY BOARDRIDERS CLUB (NSW)
TORQUAY BOARDRIDERS CLUB (VIC)
FRENCHMANS BOARDRIDERS CLUB (NSW)

The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle is officially sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL), which allows Australian WSL Championship Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective state qualifying events as well as the national final.

The purpose of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle program is to build the profile and capacity of community boardriders clubs Australia-wide.  In the past four years, Surfing Australia has invested over $600,000 into Surfing Australia affiliated boardriders clubs as part of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle series.

Major sponsors of the 2017/18 series include the naming rights partner nudie and supporting sponsors Oakley, Nikon, Woolworths, Milwaukee, Destination NSW, Newcastle City Council, World Surfaris, World Surf League, mySURF.tv, XXXX Summer Bright Larger, Fox Sports, Channel 9, 2XP and Surfing Australia.

To find out more information, please visit www.australianboardridersbattle.comwww.worldsurfleague.com or on the Free WSL App.

nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series 2017/18
EVENT 1 – Gold Coast, QLD – August 26, 2017
EVENT 2 – NSW South – Kiama, NSW –  Sept 2, 2017
EVENT 3 – NSW Central – North Narrabeen, NSW – Sept 23, 2017
EVENT 4 – NSW Nth – Coffs Harbour, NSW – Oct 7, 2017
EVENT 5 – Trigg, WA – Oct 21, 2017
EVENT 6 – Fleurieu Peninsula, SA –  Nov 11, 2017
EVENT 7 – Phillip Island, VIC –  Dec 9, 2017
EVENT 8 – Clifton Beach, TAS – Dec 16, 2017
NATIONAL FINAL – Newcastle Beach, NSW – Feb 17-18, 2018