- 23 March 2009 | Surfing
Merewether local Phillippa Anderson has become the first ever local surfer to win a final at Newcastle’s 24th annual Surfest competition.
The 17-year-old smashed a 23-year hoodoo that has never seen a local surfer win a main event at Newcastle when she edged out Sunshine Coast surfer Dimity Stoyle (Maroochydore) by less than one-and-a-half points.
In clean, one-metre waves at Merewether beach, the St Phillips Waratah High School student racked up a heat score of 15.10 to Stoyle’s 13.85 to have her name etched on the Maitland Toyota Open trophy.
Anderson, who came through the junior ranks of the Hunter Water Stars of the Future program at the Newcastle contest, will soon use her $US2500 prize money to buy a car.
And while she is yet to earn her P plates that will allow her to drive unaccompanied, she proved to the massive crowd of more than 5000 that she is no learner in the water.
The former Port Elizabeth, South African resident moved to Newcastle five years ago and has been a regular in the Merewether line-up ever since her arrival.
Today her knowledge of the Merewether break gave her confidence and assured her win.
“I was just sitting out the back going ‘please God don’t let her get a wave’ and she got one,” said Anderson.
“I saw her first big turn and I was like ‘no!’ but she didn’t get the score and I was just so stoked.”
“This is the biggest win for me ever and to top it off here at Merewether in front of my family is just so good.
“It’s such a great honour to have my name on the winner’s board - it’s just so good,” said Anderson.
And in the tightest men’s final at Newcastle for many years, former ASP Dream Tour surfer Travis Logie (17.50) defeated current ASP Dream Tour surfer Drew Courtney (16.45) from Umina on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Thirty-year-old Logie, who was a world amateur champion at 23, edged out Courtney in the Mark Richards Pro.
Courtney, currently ranked 17th in the world, lost a fin from a favourite board with 12 minutes remaining on the clock.
Although he secured another surfboard, Courtney was never able to secure the 9.25 score required to regain the lead in the wave tussle.
Logie’s two top waves from the tightly contested battle were each worth 8.75, while Courtney’s top wave score was an 8.25.
Hailing from Durban in South Africa, Logie first turned heads when he demolished Kelly Slater in the Nova Schin festival in Brazil in 2005.
While a WQS win remains elusive for Courtney, Logie claimed today’s victory ranks alongside his win at a six-star event in Hossegor, France in 2004.
“This is huge confidence boost. I’ve been training so hard so it’s good to see it pay off,” said Logie.
And pay off it did, with the natural-footer ready to go to the next leg on the Australian professional surfing tour in Tasmania $US5000 richer.
Logie, who is considered by his peers to be one of the very best small wave surfers on the planet, is recovering from a serious knee injury.
But he believes his knee is now 100 per cent and today’s win is the massive confidence boost he needs as he does his best to get back on the elite ASP Dream Tour.
Logie is no stranger to Newcastle.
“This is very prestigious event and I always come here. I am stoked to win at Newcastle,” said Logie.
“Mark Richards is a true icon of the sport of surfing and to win a trophy named in his honour is unbelievable,” he said.
Logie had another tight win in the semi-final, after coming up against local school student Sam Lendrum from Catherine Hill Bay.
Lendrum, (13.50) the last local hope in the Mark Richards Pro, lost to Logie (13.45) by the narrowest margin (0.05-points) in the entire competition.
The unlucky 18-year-old, who had earlier led the victory charge of the Catherine Hill Bay boardriders in the Coca-Cola teams challenge, was pipped in the last minutes of the heat by the South African.
While its back to school for Lendrum, other surfers will move to Tasmania to contest the O’Neill Cold Water Classic.
SOURCE: Surfing NSW