Dave Winchester: victory of his life

Dave Winchester has stormed the 2011 Shark Island Challenge in near perfect powerful two-metre waves, at the notorious Shark Island reef, off the point of Cronulla. The special event sanctioned by the International Bodyboard Association (IBA) saw the world's best riders surfing outstanding waves of this shallow outer reef.

The Australian started the final slowly and was virtually scoreless in the initial ten minutes allowing local Cronulla rider Andrew Lester to build up a solid lead. His patience paid off when he found the biggest and best wave of the final, negotiated a long barrelling section by foamballing his way through the tube scoring a strong 7.8. Watch the video highlights, here.

Shortly after Winchester found another excellent barrel ride and opened up a huge lead when he scored an excellent 8.03 and his fellow competitors were unable challenge him with Winchester winning the final on a scoreline across his top two rides of 15.83 to Lester on 13.5 with Hawaii’s Mike Stewart in 3rd place and Nth Sydney rider Ben Player in 4th.

"It’s the biggest win of my career for sure", said an elated Winchester after the final. "This event has a lot of history and to be added to the winners list is special. The waves were exceptional, perfect barrels and the final had a lot to do with picking off the best waves and scoring the deepest barrel rides. I waited for those waves and it was a winning strategy for sure".

For popular local rider Andrew Lester it was his second 2nd placed finish in this event as a win continues to elude him. Hawaiian Mike Stewart never found the right waves in the final, but the nine time bodyboard world champion enjoyed his day none-the-less.

"It’s a great Bodyboard wave out here – seriously intense and ideal for the best riders to compete in", said Stewart. "I didn’t have a great final but I scored plenty of great waves through the quarters and semi’s and it’s been a really good day."

Stewart was awarded the best barrel ride of the day for a 9 point ride he scored on his final ride in the semi finals which saw him jump from 4th place to 2nd and got him into the final. Ben Player also had a disappointing final placing 4th after dominating his quarter and semi finals and was awarded the best aerial move of the event which he pulled in his semi final win.

Final Results of the Placings 2011 Shark Island Challenge:

1st Dave Winchester (AUS/Mullumbimby)
2nd Andrew Lester (AUS/Cronulla)
3rd Mike Stewart (Hawaii)
4th Ben Player (AUS/Avalon)