Leigh Sedley 

The Arrive alive Central Coast Pro saw the crowning of a new champion, as Leigh Sedley (Sunshine Coast, QLD) defeated Shaun Gossmann (Gold Coast, QLD) in the hotly contested Men’s Final. Sedley defeated Gossmann 13.34 to 12.77 to claim his maiden World Qualifying Series (WQS) win of his career – one which was made even sweeter with the US$10,000 prize purse.

Sedley, who had been one of the most consistent surfers throughout the event, used superior wave selection, patience and a blistering backhand arsenal to eventually outpoint Gossmann. “I’m so stoked with the result, it’s a perfect start to the year for me,” he said. “I had to wait 22 minutes for a decent scoring wave, but I knew that when it came I could get the scores I needed.”

Seemingly at the cross roads of his young career, Sedley was determined to do well this year – starting with the Arrive alive Central Coast Pro. “I had a pretty ordinary year last year, but managed to salvage it towards the end with some good results,” Sedley said.

“This result is such a confidence boost for me. Hopefully it will be the perfect start to a good 2008. I was on the verge of loosing focus coming into this year; I said to all my family and friends it was now or never, but I trained really hard in the off-season. I just tried to work really hard on my surfing,” he said.

Shaun Gossmann, who had steadily gained momentum after defeating the number one seed and current World Championship Tour (WCT) surfer Mick Campbell in the quarter finals, was happy with his opening result of the year. “Coming into the event I wanted to make the final. So I am really happy to have reached my goal,” he said.

“I really want to qualify for the WCT next year. I’ve been training really hard and working on my mental and physical fitness. This is a really good start to the year for me.” Needing a 6.18 in the last ten seconds to overtake Sedley and take the title, Gossmann received a 5.6 and his fate was sealed.

The Women’s side of competition is heating with the semi finals and final set to get underway at approximately 1pm. Semi final number one will see the best heat of the event with Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa) taking on local surfer and top seed Amee Donahoe (McMasters Beach). Both surfers have been in scintillating form and are doing battle for a sought after finals birth.

The Arrive alive Central Coast Pro sees 144 male and 64 female surfers compete for total divisional prize money purses of US$80,000 and US$25,000 respectively, plus valuable early season WQS ratings points.

Source: Arrive Alive