Old School Surfing: old, but always new

The sight at First Point Noosa this morning could have been a scene from a 1960’s surf movie as competitors in the Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing dusted off their Old Mals to compete in the Surfing World Old Mal division.

As First Point continued to produce excellent conditions on the third straight day of competition, surfers performed classic old school maneuvers in the appropriate smooth style, on boards over 9-foot in length and over 30 years in age.

2008 Old Mal winner Isaac Fields (Evans Head, NSW) put on a show in the opening heat, his critical noseriding high in the pocket earning him a 7.00 and a 7.75 (out of ten).

Fields defeated powerful Coolum Surfer Thomas Bexton who, despite posting the highest wave of the heat an 8.75, could not find a high enough back up scoring ride.

Bryon surfer Isabelle Braly was a great addition to this division, the only female competitor sporting classic 60’s swimmers, proved both graceful and gutsy bursting out of a classic First Point barrel at the end of the heat.

Jye Byrnes (Newcastle) caused no surprises with his first place finish, the surfboard shaper showing off his tip-time skills posting a 7.50 and 7.35 combination to advance ahead of Open Mens defending Champion Justin Healy (Sunshine Coast) and Nathan MacKenzie (QLD).

Exquisite longboarder and Alaias rider Harrison Roach (Sunshine Coast) added his name to the leader board as did Luke Potter (QLD), the pair cleaning up their respective heats with Roach advancing ahead of Jordie Brown (VIC) and Jesse Hinkle (USA), while Potter ousted Beau Nixon (NSW), and Dane Wilson (QLD).

Round 2 of the Classic Malibu Mens Open saw further fierce competition as the men battled for their places in the quarterfinals.

Defending champion Justin Healey bounced back from his round 1 defeated yesterday, posting the round’s top performance on an Old Mal.

With high tide conditions proving tricky, Healey’s board choice as well as wave selection proved critical to his success, riding only three waves to post a 7.00 and a 7.50 defeating top seed Jordie Brown (Vic) and Lee Cooper (QLD), all three surfers advancing into the quarterfinals.

Victoria’s Michael Pinney captured a last minute victory off a superb set wave, hanging five toes for a good portion of his ride to post an 8.50 and snatch the heat win off fellow Victorian Oscar Lalor.

Stylish Californian surfer Josh Gandulla was another surfer to get his own back after being defeated by local surfer Malakai Mitchell yesterday. Gandulla proved unstoppable in today’s heat to advance in first place ahead of round 1 standout Clinton Guest (QLD) as well as second seed Ed Cunningham (QLD).

George Cunningham made sure his family took home at least one victory earning first place over Adam Barley (SA) and Malakai Mitchell (Noosa).

The day’s action continued into the afternoon with three heats of round 2 of the Old Guys Rule Over 60’s, the Quarterfinals of the Smyth Over 55’s, three heats of Round 2 of the Madill Motor Group Over 50s and finished off with Round 1 of the Coastal Watch Over 40s.

Tomorrow sees an excellent day of surfing ahead with the first rounds of the Pro divisions, the Golden Breed Mens LQS and Back Beach Women’s LWQS underway from 8H20.

The Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing, presented by Golden Breed, boasts the most diverse program of surf competitions under the one banner anywhere in the world. From Pro’s to paddlers to grandpas and groms the event draws the best longboarders and watermen in the world.


SOURCE: Surfing Australia