Nine newly crowned state champions etched their names in surfing folklore today at Bonny Hills in testing 1.5m conditions. With state championships on the line it was all or nothing for competitors on finals day of the NSW Surfmasters – and they didn’t disappoint.

In the blue ribbon division, the Over 28 year’s Men, it was current Australian champion Wayne Hudson (Mid North Coast) who realised his dream of becoming a dual state champion.

“I’m so stoked,” Hudson said after adding another state title to his well-adorned trophy cabinet. “It was my goal before the event to win the title, now I have a Over 28’s title to go with my Open’s trophy,” he said.

Pitted against Joel Gribble (Central Coast), Jeremy Cohen (Central Coast) and Dan Frodsham (Newcastle), who finished second, third and fourth respectively, Hudson used a well-polished backhand arsenal to defeat the opposition.

“I was unsure I was going to get the result right until the end,” Hudson admitted. “All the guys surfed so well, not just in the final but throughout the entire event, so to win is awesome.” “This year has definitely marked a rise in talent throughout the entire event; it’s the hardest state title’s I’ve competed in,” he added.

In the Over 35 years division it was fellow Port Macquarie local Wayne Morrison (Mid North Coast) who took the crown, upstaging Brett Bannister (Northern Beaches), Jay Sharp (Central Coast) and Scott Myers (Newcastle) who finished second, third and fourth respectively.

“I’m so stoked to win,” Morrison said. “It’s always a really hard competition to win because of the quality of the guys competing,” he added. Using local knowledge, Morrison managed to stay clear of his fellow competitors for the entire event, culminating in a state title - his first after a number of attempts.

“I’ve been competing in the state titles for around 10 years so to finally win one is unreal, especially being at home,” the Port Macquarie native admitted. “I’m really looking forward to the Australian titles now,” Morrison said. “With a good preparation hopefully I can do well.”

In other divisions it was David Sparenberg (Far North Coast) who was crowned the Over 40’s champion ahead of current Australian champion Rod Baldwin (Central Coast), Mark Cameron (North Coast) and Matt Hucker (Central Coast).

Max Perrot (Far North Coast) dominated the Over 45 year’s division, taking home the title, while it was Matt Phelan (Central Coast) who used dynamic and innovative surfing to outpoint his rivals in the Over 50’s.

As the best 120 age surfers in NSW battled it out in testing conditions; the action was scintillating as competitors sought births’ in the prestigious Australian Surf Festival in August.

None more impressive was Open Women’s champion Melissa Sherringham (Central Coast), who was a standout throughout the entire event. In tricky conditions, Sherringham defeated Lara Reading (Mid North Coast), Yvonne Byron (Illawarra) and newly crowned Over 28’s Women’s champion, Jenny Boggis (Far North Coast).

“The conditions were tough out there today,” Sheringham said. “I managed to get the best waves, but it could’ve gone either way.” After finishing third in last year’s event, Sherringham was pleased to take the crown in style.

Accruing an impressive 15.30 (out of a possible 20), which included an eight-point ride, Sherringham was dominant in the final. “I finished third last year, so to take the title from all these awesome girls is amazing.”

In the Over 35 years Women Sandra English (Central Coast) claimed victory, while in the Open Knee Board division it was Glen Bitton (Far North Coast) who outshone the competition to both take home state title’s.

Source: Surfing NSW