Ewan Donnachie conquers the 2009 Shark Island Challenge

Ewan Donnachie from Sydney’s Northern Beaches has won the 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge in clean 1 – 1.5m  conditions to claim first prize of $10,000 over an accumulated two round points system.

Since the completion of Round 1 back on the 12th of July, riders and officials have been on stand-by waiting in anticipation for the second round to commence. The weeks that followed saw small to flat condition as Sydney basked in a stable weather pattern.

Towards the end of the 21 day waiting period riders voted unanimously to extend the period to accommodate a strong fetch of ground swell that was predicted to reel up the N.S.W coastal – and it’s paid off.

Riders were greeted to a freshly groomed Southerly ground swell, a direct result of a powerful lower pressure system situated in the Tasman Sea. As dawn broke, long clean lines peeled around the infamous reef giving everyone an early viewing on what laid ahead. 

Due to the southerly direction Contest Director Mark Fordham wasted no time on calling the event ‘ON’, taking full advantage of the perfect low to mid tide conditions.

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2009 Auto-Sleepers British Bodyboard Championships will be held at Porthtowan

Following fast on the heels of the Wedge Air Jam, the 2009 Auto-Sleepers British Bodyboard championships at Porthtowan is rapidly approaching.

With a bumper prize purse again of £3,000 thanks to Auto-Sleepers and the other generous divisional sponsors, the British bodyboard Nationals are amongst the most hotly contested national championships in Europe; and the only ones to offer cash prizes across all eight divisions – from Youth through to Masters.

After some classic warm weather swells in 2009, hopes are high that the late summer date of 5-6 September will again produce the goods and deliver a competition to remember.

Rich Hall, of organisers the British Bodyboard Club said: “Last year’s Nationals were a great event. It has become a real focal point of the UK bodyboarding calendar and has drawn in all the top competitors”.

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Wedge Air Jam 2009 | Photo: Matt Hawken

Tolcarne beach, Cornwall, lived up to its reputation as one of the UK’s premier bodyboarding venues on Sunday, with 20 of the best UK-based bodyboarders busting out big aerial moves in pumping five-foot conditions.

The Wedge Air Jam competition (co-sponsored by Corona, The Kahuna restaurant and Overhead Surf); and the English Surfing Federation Tag Team Championships (sponsored by Rob Barber’s Bodyboarding School and ThreeSixty Magazine) served up a feast of bodyboarding excellence.

The competitions ran back-to-back to exploit the best conditions, and more than 125 spectators braved the incessant summer rain to watch the spectacle unfold.
The Tag Team event is held each year to raise funds for the English team, who will be competing in the European Surfing Championships in Jersey in September. Five teams battled it out, with reigning champions Rob Barber’s Bodyboarding School (Aidan Salmon, Bjorn Storey, Joe Franklin and Rob Barber) taking the title again.

Joe Franklin scored the highest single wave score after an excellent combination of spins and an aerial roll. Team Plymouth placed second and Discipul third.

The surf picked up with the incoming tide and by the start of the Wedge Air Jam the sets were touching six feet. Flowing power moves abounded in the early rounds, and as the tide drew in the competitors were whittled down to the last six for a hectic 30-minute final just as the Wedge started to fire.

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