Alaia surfers: old school magicians

Australian surfing history was created in Port Macqaurie today, at the Australian Surf Festival, with the first ever Alaia champion crowned. Town Beach provided the ideal arena for the maiden final, pumping out some great conditions for the traditional Hawaiian surfboards fit for a king.

In clean 3ft (1-metre) waves, Barney Quinlan etched his name in the record books, netting a 10.25 two-wave combined total on the finless wooden boards to beat Ian Bell, Matt Cook, and Jarrad Davies.

Barney Quinlan who competed in the final on a beautifully carved wooden Alaia, looked in sync with the traditional ancient art of surfing, which is finding it’s roots in the Australian Surfing scene.

“It feels extra special knowing I am the first person to win the Australian Title in the Alaia, I’ve been lucky enough to ride one for a couple of years after a friend of mine helped me shape it”.

“I like to think of it as a combination of Longboard, Body surfing and body boarding, being a surfer that’s surfed a lot of different waves for a few years on the Alaia, it’s great to see the Australian Surf festival open the division and continue to down the track”, said Quinlan.

Alaia surfing continues to grow in Australia and the addition to the 2011 Australian Surf Festival, sparked interest amongst spectators and competitors who whitnessed the historical moment in Australian Surfing history.

The second crowning of the day went to Brittani Nichol edging out Newcastle’s Philippa Anderson, Lake Height’s Sky Burgess and Currumbin’s Eden Putland, in a high scoring final for the open women’s.

With highly contestable conditions on offer, mixing some powerful backhand moves with a smooth flow to take the crown, Brittani Nicholl got busy from the opening siren. Nailing a 7.5 on her first ride, to secure her lead and take the win in pristine conditions on Town Beach.

“I can't believe I won, it was great to get in the final and then to win is even better, I’ve been in this event two years before this and today is the first time I’ve been in the final”.

Brittani’s win did not come easily with Anderson and Burgess hot on her tail throughout the final. “It’s a great feeling when you win the event knowing the other girls where on fire also, it gives me a bit more confidence and it feels great”, said a super excited Nicholl.