After 10 months of competition through Qld, NSW, Vic, SA and WA the Men’s title race is coming down to five distinct contenders.
Dave Winchester is the current ratings leader after placing highly in the last two events on the Rebel Sport Pro Tour, including a win in the Heatworks Pro in SA and a second in WA. “It would be cool to win it again”, said Winny. “I like D’bah and there should be a good roll up for the event”.
Joe Clarke is in second position going into the last event and has the best chance to snatch the title from Winchester. “I am keen to win the Rebel Sport Pro Tour”, said Joe. “I have followed it for a few years and I hope that this year I can finish strong!”
The third contender in the mix is Central Coast rider Michael Novy. The mantle of Aussie Pro Tour champion has always eluded him and despite being one of the most consistent competitors on tour Novy has never held the trophy in his stellar career as a competitor.
Number four on the list belongs to WA rider Chad Jackson. Chad had his maiden win on the Rebel Sport Pro Tour this time last year when he took downall in his path to win the event. “It’s been a tricky year for me”, said Jackson.“I feel like my surfing is as good as ever and it would be awesome to finish on top considering the talent at the top of the ratings”.
The final contender in this hunt for the title is Jones Russell.“Jonesy” as he is known is stepping out of the shadow of his mentor Damian King and developing a reputation as a serious challenger in any event he enters.
Russell has always been a great competitor and has won several Pro events and National titles in his competitive career and winning the Pro Tour would cap it off nicely. “The other guys would have to have a shocker and I would have to go pretty good. I guess there is no pressure on me so I am pumped to get up there”.
The Top 10 riders off the Rebel Sport Pro Tour will get automatic seeding at the first Grand Slam series (GSS) event of 2011 at Pipeline. There are several riders in this Top 10 who will use their IBA World Tour seeding so the fringe dwellers like Mitch Rawlins, Tom Rigby, Nic Rubesaame, Mitch Woodland and Chase O’Leary will be looking for a good result.
The race for the DK Title will be between Gal Larar (Israel) and Glen Sullivan (NSW) whilst the Women’s race is being lead by Tasmania’s Nicole Fleming with Lauren Fletcher and Lilly Pollard in close proximity to take a win.
Both Nicole and Lilly have been recent Pro Tour champions but Lauren Fletcher has made an amazing comeback to competition after being crowned Aussie champ over a decade ago.
The weeklong event will kick off with the RAW National titles with 180 of Australia’s best amateurs all vying for the prestigious Australian Title.
Ten (10) divisions will be contested across the 6-day window culminating with the Rebel Sport Pro, a 4 Star event featuring the likes of Ryan Hardy (WA), Mitch Rawlins (Qld), Michael Novy (Qld), Chad Jackson (WA), BradHughes (WA), Dave Winchester and Jones Russell (NSW).
General Manager of IBA Australasia Terry McKenna is ecstatic with how this year’s tour has played out. “We have had good waves at every event, the best riders in Australia have supported the tour and we have once again proved that the Australian domestic circuit is the best in the world”, said Mckenna.
Source: IBA Australasia