Andrew Lester: don't turn your back to the wave, dude

Today, after a near three year hiatus, International Bodyboarding has returned to Australian soil for the Soldiers Beach Pro Presented by Beachin-Surf.

With punchy waves in the 3 to 4 feet range (1.0 metre), it was the perfect return of competitive bodyboarding to Australia.

Amongst the many known bodyboarders in the competition, Cronulla's legendary Andrew Lester has made an impromptu return to the competitive scene.

Andrew took a two year break from bodyboarding, however recently signed a new contract with Turbo bodyboards and is now back in the water.

Lester is a seasoned competitor with many accolades to his name, today he showed that he is still comfortable in a rash vest putting on a radical display of new age bodyboarding.

It took Lester only three waves to take his heat, putting together a combined wave total of 13.87, which rivals Eric Medcalf, Trent Cowan and Glen Sullivan could not match.

"I had a chat to my new employee Greg from Turbo bodyboards and he said that it would be good for me to do a few competitions, so it's not really a comeback.... unless I do well!" said Andrew jokingly.

"It's weird I haven't really been bodyboarding much over the past few years and as soon as I threw the rashie on it felt like I hadn't left.

"As I have been away from the scene for a little while, I am looking forward to seeing the young Aussie's surfing in this comp" Said Andrew.

One of the great battles of the day was in heat six between central coaster Mark Parsons and Newcastles John Cruikshanks.

Cruikshank led the heat for twenty minutes, before Parsons exploded with a 8.53 for a massive ARS, shortly backing in up moments later with a 6.93 moving from forth to first place, in a few minutes.

"I struggled a bit at the start of that heat, then I got the eight which I was happy with and it got me too second, then I got another solid one and I was in the lead" said Mark

Mark has come off a recent semi final result at the QAB Pro on the Gold Coast, the opening round of the Australasian Rebel Sport Pro Tour and now looks sure to ruffle some feathers in this event.

In total one hundred of the worlds best bodyboarders are taking to the water over the next four days.

Tomorrow sees the worlds top 16 riders hitting the water and includes the likes of world champions Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii), Mike Stewart (Hawaii), Ben Player (Australia), Damian King (Australia) and 2010 Pipeline champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Islands).


SOURCE: IBA Australasia