Keahi de Aboitiz: SUPer surfer

It was the ‘old boys’ turn at the Hyundai Malfunction Surf Festival today, with the Dukes Longboards over 50’s and the Robert August over 60’s competitors ripping it up at Kingscliff.

In 3-4ft conditions, the baby boomers of the Australian longboard scene promoted aloha spirit in the water, shredding the clean waves on offer with a mix of old-school tradition and new-age moves.

None better was the “King of Kingscliff” Ray Gleave, who blended some stylish nose-riding with a flurry of drop knee cutbacks to breeze through to the semi-finals of the over 50’s divisions.

The stylish natural foot was in great touch from the opening siren, netting a 7.00 and 6.50 to finish with a combined two-wave total of 13.50 to beat Andrew Cottle (Maudsland), Garry Stuart (Tewantin), Mark Molloy (Banora Point) and Peter Bobbermien (NSW).

Joining Gleave as Round 1 winners included Sput Keevers (Byron Bay), Mike Pimm (Casuarina) and CJ Newling (North Tumbulgum), who will face-off in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

Neville Smith (Brisbane) continued the charge of the “Old Boys” in Round 1 of the over 60’s division, showing plenty of flair to beat Bob McNeil (Palm Beach), Terry Taylor (Rochedale) and Malcom Brough (NSW) with a pair of 6’s (6.0 and 6.5).

Other over 60 winners included Danny Bond (Blue Bay) and Ronnie Silcock (Bilinga).

Event Organiser Sean McKeown commented that the sport’s elder statesmen illustrated true Aloha spirit on day three of competition.

“There was a friendly, but competitive spirit amongst the elder surfers,” said McKeown.

“They’re all having a good time, but they all still want to win. Hopefully this will continue across the weekend.”

The quarterfinals of the Greenline Stand Up Paddle Surfing and the Shawline Plumbing Retro, plus the opening rounds of the Scales Seafoods 9ft Amateur and the Amateur division were also completed.

The SUP’s were again impressive with Burleigh Head’s ace James “Billy” Watson and Sunshine Coast star Keahi De Aboitiz (Noosa) stealing the show in their respective quarters.

The Lennox Head duo Andy Davies and Noel Graham also scored comfortable quarter-final wins and will join Watson and De Aboitiz in the semi-finals.

In the retros, defending champion Harley Ingleby(Emerald Beach, NSW) is on track for back-to-back wins, storming past Ben Johnson (NSW), Dane Pioli (Rainbow Beach) and Andrew Granthem (NSW) with a two-wave combined total of 14.00, which included a 6.5 and a 7.5, in their quarter-final showdown.

Joining Ingelby in the semis were Issac Field (Evans Head), Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour) and Brett Caller (Byron Bay), who all enjoyed wins this afternoon.

Competition will continue tomorrow at Kingscliff with semi-finals of all divisions scheduled to be completed.

The ‘Malfunction’ started off in 1984 as an excuse to get together with like minded surfers. After 27 consecutive years the Malfunction can truly lay claim to being one of the world’s truly iconic surfing events.

But it’s not all about the surfing. The prestigious, 5-day long surfing festival encompasses a range of lifestyle activities including the Kingscliff Surf Film Festival as well as surf music, fashion pageants, surf vehicle displays, book signings, surf lessons and more.

In all, 16 divisions have been included in this year’s festival, which features competition suitable for a range of abilities from family to elite level. These include:

ASP LQS Men
ASP LQS Women
Scales Seafood's 9ft Amateurs
Lets Live Women Amateurs
Aboods Crane Trucks U18's
PCYC Tweed Heads U18 Girls
Twin Towns Panel Repairs Over 40's
Dukes Longboards Over 50's
Robert August Surfboards Over 60's
Pacific Concrete Pumping Over 65's
Shawline Retro
Old Mal
Over 10'6
Greenline SUP Surfing
Rip Curl Expression Session
Greenline SUP Racing


SOURCE: Surfing Australia