Avoca Boardriders are the new nudie Australian Boardriders Battle National Final champions after taking down a star-studded lineup of the best boardriders clubs from all around Australia.
In a Grand Final matchup that pitched the Central Coast club – anchored by World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) surfers Matt Wilkinson and Adrian “Ace” Buchan – against reigning champions North Narrabeen as well as Snapper Rocks and Bondi, Avoca reigned supreme notching up a giant 35.40 heat total.
Despite the fact Avoca suffered a five-point deduction due to Wilkinson catching more than the allocated wave limit, the club dominated the hour-long affair with all surfers posting an array of impressive scores.
“That was so much fun and has made for such a sick weekend,” said Wilkinson. “There’s been so many good surfers in this club for so long and if it wasn’t so hard to get us all together we could maybe win more of these events, but once we all come together I think it really displays how much depth we have in the club.”
Fellow Avoca surfer and CT surfer Adrian Buchan relished the chance to give back to the club that has supported him for several decades.
“For me personally it feels amazing to give back to the club that supported me since I was a grommet,” said Buchan. “This club provided for me financially when I went to National and World Titles in my early days and have always had my back and they continue to when they get up in the middle of the night to watch our heats online when we’re away competing. To be fair, I think the Central Coast rivalry we have with the North Shelly guys has really inspired the entire club and pushed us to expand the depth of our own club and given us a spark to win. To also surf with people like Sam Chell, who I’ve looked up to for a long time and maybe inspire the younger members is an incredible feeling.”
Representing the runner-up club Snapper Rocks, six times World Champion Stephanie Gilmore said the camaraderie in the club really helped drive them into the runner-up position.
“This is a great event for team culture and helps grow the camaraderie between all the members,” said Gilmore. “It was certainly nerve-racking to be put under that pressure to perform but it’s also the perfect practice for a World Tour event.”
2012 World Champion and Snapper Rocks surfer Joel Parkinson echoed similar sentiments.
“We’re all passionate about this club and our local beach, which is something every surfer in this event shares,” said Parkinson. “The waves we got here and the venue truly provided the perfect amphitheater for all the clubs. I already can’t wait for next year.”
Before the Teams Final, the Adaptive Surfers of Australia (ASA) conducted a free surf session, with the likes of Barney Miller, Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart, Matt Formston and Jade ‘Red’ Wheatley putting on a show for the crowd on the beach.
The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series involves more than 60 of Australia’s best boardriders clubs in eight state qualifying rounds and culminate in a National Final in Newcastle in February for a bolstered 24 clubs.
The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle has official sanctioning 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 and the National Final.
The prestigious National Final event includes the nudie trials on Friday 17th February 2017, which will be the final qualifying opportunity for clubs in the Newcastle region for a Wildcard position for the National Final.
There’s $160,000 cash and prizes up for grabs for clubs across the National Series including $24,000 prize money split between eight State events and $85,500 prize money across the Newcastle National Final with the winning boardriders taking home a huge $20,000 and an overseas trip for 6 surfers from the winning club thanks to World Surfaris valued at $30,000. To top things off, there’s an additional $20,000 in prizes across the series.
The purpose of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle program is to build the profile and capacity of community boardriders clubs Australia-wide. Over the next three years, more than $450,000 will be invested into grassroots clubs through the partnership.
Major sponsors of the 2016/17 series include the naming rights partner nudie and supporting sponsors Toyota, Oakley, Nikon, Milwaukee, Destination NSW, The City of Newcastle, DrinkWise, World Surfaris, Fox Sports, World Surf League, mySURF.tv, XXXX Summer Bright Lager and Surfing Australia.
1 – Avoca Boardriders – Winner $20,000
2 – Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club – Runer-Up $8000
3 – Bondi Boardriders – 3rd Place $6000
4 – North Narrabeen Boardriders Club
5 – Merewether Surfboard Club
6 – Point Lookout Boardriders Club
7 – Le-Ba Boardriders
8 – Seaford Boardriders
9 – Queenscliff Boardriders Club
10 – Elouera Boardriders Club
11 – Burleigh Heads Boardriders
12 – Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club
13 – Scarborough Boardriders Club
14 – North Avalon Surfriders Association
15 – Culburra Beach Boardriders Club
16 – Byron Bay Boardriders Club
17 – Torquay Boardriders Club
18 – Margaret River Boardriders Club
19 – Frenchmans Boardriders Club
20 – D’Bah Boardriders
21 – Cabarita Boardriders
22 – Peninsula Surfriders Club
23 – Geraldton Boardriders Club
24 – North West Boardriders Club
Layne Beachley Medal – Stephanie Gilmore (Snapper Rocks)
Rabbit Bartholomew Medal – Perth Standlick (Bondi)
Milwaukee Heavy Duty Hack Award – Ryan Callinan (Merewether)
nudie Junior Spirit Award – Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca)
Fox Sports Patriot Club Award – Merewether Surfboard Club
nudie Australian Boardriders Battle 2017 calendar:
EVENT 1 – NSW Central – North Narrabeen, NSW – Sept 3, 2016
EVENT 2 – Fleurieu Peninsula, SA – Sept 17, 2016
EVENT 3 – Scamander, TAS – Oct 8, 2016
EVENT 4 – NSW Nth – Yamba, NSW – Oct 29, 2016
EVENT 5 – Gold Coast, QLD – Nov 5, 2016
EVENT 6 – Trigg, WA – Nov 19, 2016
EVENT 7 – Kiama, NSW – Dec 10, 2016
EVENT 8 – Phillip Island, VIC – Jan 7, 2017
National Final –Newcastle, NSW – Feb 17 – 19, 2017