Joe Clarke

Day one of the 28th annual RAW National Bodyboarding Titles commenced today at Duranbah Beach on the beautiful Gold Coast.

It was 1996 when the last bodyboarding national titles was held at the world famous beach break, and today the best bodyboarders in Australia were not left disappointed. Despite the tricky onshore conditions D-Bah served up some funky left and right hand wedges in the 1.0 to 1.5 metre range.

The blue ribbon division, the open men's was first in the water today, with the everyone throwing all on the line for national glory.

Central NSW Coaster Shaun Peterson set the pace early busting a massive Air Roll Spin combination and bagged a near perfect 9.73 wave average from the judges.

IBA International Head Judge Maurice Wakeling described Petersons surfing as the bench mark for competitive bodyboarding.

"He had one solid close-out roll, followed by a clean ARS on an outside wave, it is this kind of surfing that wins heats and titles". said Maurice.

Shaun has always been an under-rated talent and the humble father had this to say about conditions.

" Yeh my first heat went OK".

Local rider Joe Clarke, was one of the most outstanding surfers and used local knowledge to find the right wedges at the right time.

Clarke landed a huge spin to invert combination that netted a 8.5 from the judging panel.

"Today the waves are just popping up at the last second and there are rips everywhere which is making it hard to judge where to sit", said Clarke

Clarke is happy to have the National Titles on home soil after a 16 year absence from Duranbah.

"It's is great that the event is here this year and it is going to be held in better waves, this means that the best surfers win"

The event will conclude with the final leg of the 2009 Rebel Sport Pro Tour, the Rebel Sport Pro, a 4 Star event featuring the likes of Mitch Rawlins (Qld) Michael Novy (Qld), Chad Jackson (WA), Brad Hughes (WA,) and Jones Russell (NSW).

RAW NATIONAL TITLES BACKGROUND: After four years of successful National Titles events in Port Macquarie, The International Bodyboarding Association Australia decided to take the national Titles back on the road. This six day surf epic is the pinnacle of achievement for every aspiring bodyboarder, with around 200 selected to compete for their respective state from around Australia.~


SOURCE: IBA Australasia