Blake Ainsworth 

An amazing day of big wave surfing at the inaugural Fantastic Noodles Intense Wave Challenge 09 held in perfect surf up around the serious 15 feet range (4m plus!) in South Australia.

What a day for Gold Coast surfer Blake Ainsworth who won his biggest ever event and pocketed $11 000 for the win, tube riding his way to a well deserved win over local South Australian charger Josiah Schmucker.

“The best day of my surfing career by far” commented an exhausted and elated Ainsworth after his final.

“The waves were incredibly big at times but also perfect and barrelling and to win today means a lot to me, especially with everyone charging so hard and scoring big through just about every heat – it’s been awesome.”

There were numerous stand-out performances throughout the day which was designed to expose the next breed of Australian’s heading for the world tour to the serious side of facing your fears and charging really serious waves – and there’s no doubt today’s experience went a long way to hardening these young chargers.

Josiah Schmucker, the local kid, just 17 years of age and virtually unknown in Australian surfing circles prior to today was a revelation.
 
This youngster ripped into every wave out there with a fearlessness built around surfing the place with his dad for the past three years.

As much as Josiah was fearless, he was also polished, fading and timing tube rides impeccably and had the event been judged on an overall days performance, he may well have won.

“I love tow surfing big waves and it’s my aim to take on big waves all over the world – I want to tow Shipstern’s, Teahupoo, Jaws... the lot – I’m totally into surfing really big waves and I’ve been privileged to learn to surf big in these types of waves.”

Josiah’s dad and tow partner Jeff played a big part in the success of today’s event and he’s undoubtedly played a big part in nurturing his boy to develop his skills – Born and bred in this outback region, Jeff was a long term shark fisherman in the area and for 20 years has been surfing this way out to sea reef, apparently often anchoring off the reef when returning from shark fishing!

The father and son pair are a hard core story in Australian surfing and Josiah’s performance today peaked in his very close high scoring semi-final win over an equally impressive Courtney Brown (Western Australia) who enhanced his already impressive big wave reputation.

New Zealand 17 year old Sam Hawke (Christchurch) opened the day with the first perfect 10 point ride pulling into a super long big barrel which was similarly matched by Courtney Brown’s tube ride 10 later in the day.

The youngest competitor Jordi Watson (Sth Coast NSW), just 17 years of age and called into the event at late notice as first reserve, towed for the first time today and managed to score a 9.67 on one ride, rode possibly the biggest wave of the day on another and also probably laid claim to the wipe out of the day on another!

The wave was unique, beginning with a major peak which required the surfer negotiate their position, often testing their nerves to fade their opening turns with the wave then bowling into an excellent tube on the inside section – It was a big wave tube riding event and Ainsworth’s wave  selection and perfect positioning for barrels proved the difference in the final.

“I just took out a loan for $14 000 for a car and felt terrible getting such a big loan – I’ll knock it down quickly after today!”

Surfing South Australia’s Steve Reddy and Tim Doman came up with the concept for this event, which many thought unachievable given the remote and extreme location in South Australia’s beautiful outer regions, but they have succeeded in pulling off an epic event.

Final Results

1st Blake Ainsworth (Qld)
2nd Josiah Schmucker (SA)
3rd Equal – Courtney Brown (WA) and Sam Hawke (NZ)
5th Equal – Teale Vanner (SA), Dean Bowen (NSW), Cahill Bell-Warren (Vic) and Jordi Watson (NSW).

A brand new TV Series “Next Wave” fuelled by Fantastic Noodles goes to air in August 2009 on Channel Ten unearthing the essence of grassroots surfing in Australia and introducing our next generation of surfing idols. The Fantastic Noodles Intense Wave Invitational will be the ninth and final episode aired on Sunday 11 October at 1pm.

Earlier this year Fantastic Noodles signed a sponsorship deal with Surfing Australia to sponsor the junior state title events in VIC, WA, TAS and SA and the NSW Regional Junior Titles and for the second year running they are the major sponsor of the South Australian, ASP Pro Junior. The Fantastic Noodles Intense Wave Invitational is yet another huge commitment from Fantastic Noodles to Surfing in Australia.
 

SOURCE: Surfing Australia