Joe Clarke: well done, lad

Western Australia’s most prestigious and longest running professional bodyboarding event, the EBB Pro was completed over the weekend with some of the countries best bodyboarding talent converging on the Yallingup in the South-West corner of WA for three days of pumping surf.

The strong 32 man field had been whittled down to the best four competitors as the semi finals took to the water early Sunday morning. Semi final one saw local hero Brad Hughes (WA) take on Joe Clarke (QLD). Immediately it was clear that mediocre waves were not going to be enough for any rider to progress in the pumping wave conditions. Both riders exchanged deep barrel rides with large back flips and inverts over the end section pushing scores into high 8.00 point plus range.

However, the last 5 minutes of the heat saw the Queenslander Clarke wow the crowd with an super deep barrel ride that even had some spectators turning away believing he had not made the wave. Clarke emerged from the tube with a spectacular air rollo sealing the heat in his favor and bringing huge cheers from the crowd as well as fellow competitors on the beach.

Semi final 2 saw Dave Winchester (NSW) take on Perth bodyboarder Chad Jackson (WA). Winchester lead the heat from start to finish with a full display of every move in his impressive repertoire including huge backflips, lofty inverts as well as full rotation air reverses. Jackson’s consistent and stylish riding was not enough to halt the rampaging and seemingly unstoppableWinchester, who was a clear favourite heading into the final.

With the swell peaking and conditions near perfect Clarke and Winchester took to the water for a 30 minute final to decide who would be crowned the EBB 2010 Champion. Clarke clocked up some very good early scores sneaking inside under Winchester's priority to ride really clean barrels boosting large inverts from the end section slowly making Winchesters situation harder and harder to reply.

With 10 minutes in the heat remaining and Winchester needing a 9.50 ride to overtake the excellent scores Clarke already had on the board, the man from NSW decided to embark on a bizarre and risky tactic he had used to pass through earlier heats.

Just north of the main contest bank was a small patch reef which very rarely produced a huge wedge pushing into a massive air bowl. Earlier in the competition Winchester had paddled down to this reef, now affectionately known as “Winchester's Bubble” because of Dave being the first to ride it, to score an amazing 10 point ride to knock Corey McLean (QLD) from the competition.

With 3 minutes remaining a massive set reared up right on “Winchester's Bubble” and spectators hearts were in their mouths as it looked that history may repeat itself. However Winchester did not quite have time to drive off the bottom and properly hit the lip of the huge set wave and only managed a score of 7.5 handing the final and the 2010 title to Joe Clarke.

It was an amazing display of determination, amazing talent and explosive bodyboarding by the Queenslander and both competitors and judges alike agreed that he was a deserving winner of the event.

The ‘4 star’ rated event which offered a total prize pool of $5,000 cash culminated with Clarke taking out his first ever Australian Tour win and the biggest win of his career.

“Im so stoked at the moment, it’s been a pretty slow year for me, so to have finally won an event makes the trip West all that much sweeter”, said Clarke.

Surfing Western Australia Events Manager Justin Majeks commented that the new IBA Australasia man on man format was a huge factor in producing the amazing competitive standard and explosive action seen at the event.

“People have to remember that Joe Clarke actually came in 3rd place in his first heat. In normal competition format this would have meant he was knocked out of the event. However with this new format Joe was given the opportunity to surf through 6 tough man on man heats and become the eventual winner” Said Justin.

“The standard of surfing at this Rebel Sport Australian Pro Bodyboarding Tour event was the best I have ever seen. This is a true testament to the strength of bodyboarding all around Australia and I think the sport is in an amazing place for an exciting future for the remainder of 2010 and beyond.” Said Justin.

FINAL RESULTS:

Pro Men
1st – Joe Clarke (QLD) – 17.50 pts
2nd – Dave Winchester (NSW) – 16.33 pts
Equal 3rd – Brad Hughes (WA) and Chad Jackson (WA)

Joe Clarke: bodyboarding in

The surf god’s smiled on Australia’s best bodyboarders today as the swell increased overnight and rewarded competitors with great waves in the 4-6 feet range. Day two of the EBB Pro resumed in Yallingup in South West WA, and despite the conditions changing dramatically from day one the state’s biggest professional bodyboarding event was again blessed great competition waves.

A hollow and running right hander hosted some of the country’s best riders, all vying for the chance to claim the 2010 EBB Pro Title.

“The guys really lifted for the occasion, with some insane tubes and massive boosts.” Commented event head judge Danny Bycroft who had the hard task of determining the overall winners.

“All the guys were surfing so well that any of them could have won their heats. The standard of competition was so high because of the guys pushing each other to go deeper or bigger.” He commented.

The conditions made catching the good waves hard, with dumping sets and a lot of water moving around. But the best performers on day two were Dave Winchester (NSW), Chad Jackson (WA), Joe Clarke (QLD) and Brad Hughes (WA) who all progressed into Sunday’s semi finals with the best displays in round four and the quarter finals.

With a new experimental heat draw being trialed, competitors had the advantage of man on man heats. With a priority system in use the result was for some simply amazing heats with some of Australia’s best putting on a display for the strong crowds on the beach.

The new format also meant that some quality competitors were being eliminated. Big names such as Jake Stone (WA) Jones Russell (NSW), Michael Novy (QLD) and 2009 EBB Pro winner Corey McLean (QLD) also bowing out from the event.

Dave Winchester (NSW) was the pace setter on day two, continually posting the biggest scores and busting the biggest manoeuvres. Winchester posted a combined total of 19.06pts from a possible 20. Winchester also received a perfect 10 on his way to tomorrow’s semi finals.

WA pair and big wave tow partners Brad Hughes and Chad Jackson both impressed and kept WA chances alive with some solid scores on home soil. The pair have a chance of meeting in the final which would be a fairytale end to a great WA event.

Queenslander Joe Clarke will also feature in tomorrow’s semi finals after landing the day’s biggest ARS. His smooth and explosive style stood out and was a treat for the eye.

With four of Australia’s best body boarding talent still in contention for the 2010 EBB Pro Title, the final day is to reward only the best. With Heats kicking off at 7.40am tomorrow morning the EBB Pro again bless competitors with conditions looking great again for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s action will also include the final EBB State Series event, with WA’s best looking to secure place to the IBA Australasian National Titles in November.

Source: EBB

Chad Jackson: backflip for perfect 10

Day one of competition was completed at an idyllic but isolated wave to the north of Yallingup, which severed up some fun and highly contestable left and right hand peaks. The small wave location lived up to its reputation and allowed for a highly enjoyable day of bodyboarding. The South West suffered through a rare day with lack of swell, as the swell charts managed to push to just one metre.

With a new experimental heat draw being trialed, competitors went into their first heat all guns blazing in an attempt to win first place and a walk through to round 4 of the competition.

Despite the long and tiresome trek into the spot, everyone on the beach was blown away by some simply amazing performances including that of in form tour event winner Dave Winchester (NSW), Chad Jackson (WA), Jake Stone (WA), Michael Novy (QLD), and Tom Rigby (QLD) who all dominated their first round heats. It seemed deep long barrels and backflips out of the end bowl would be the order of the day.

Perth's own Chad Jackson sent a shot over fellow competitor’s bows in heat number 5 with a combined heat score of 18.55 including bringing the crowd to their feet with a full rotation looping backflip over a very shallow end section.

His efforts out shadowed that of his big wave tow partner Brad Hughes who placed second behind Jackson, and sent Hughes to a round 3 meeting with WA up and comer Lewy Finnegan. In a David and Goliath battle young Finnegan toiled gallantly with a smooth display of deep barrels, classy rail to rail spins and big Air Roll Spins.

However the old head Hughes proved nothing beats experience showing the youngster the colour of his slick on a number of occasions with an aerial display which impressed everyone on the beach especially the judges.

The heat of the day came later in the afternoon when east coast young guns Joe Clarke (QLD) and Chase O'Leary (NSW) collided in a round 3 grudge match. The many spectators and young fans on the beach were not disappointed.

The pair went wave for wave each time pushing each other with longer and deeper barrel rides as well as lofty air rolls and perfectly executed backflips. Despite a very impressive perfect 10 point ride right on the buzzer when the dust settled Queenslander Clarke prevailed by a slender 0.26 points.

There is little doubt the talented Port MacQuarie youngster and this years Turbo Port Mac Pro winner Chase O'Leary will be a force to be reckoned with in coming years however his run in the 2010 EBB has come to an end.

Day one saw three rounds of the event completed with all day offshores allowing great performances right through into the afternoon. Round 4 is shaping up to be full of exciting clashes as in form competitors who have worked their way through early heats meet with the winners of round one. All eyes will be on the water at Windmills Beach South West WA first thing Saturday morning as day 2 action explodes to life.

With so many in form bodyboarders competing, the race for the 2010 EBB Pro title should be an interesting one.

The EBB Pro will look to bless competitors with the best conditions possible and with great conditions set to continue in South-West coast in the coming days

Tomorrow’s action will also include the final EBB State Series event, with WA’s best looking to secure place to the IBA Australasian National Titles in November.