Mick Fanning

Former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Tweed Heads) drove the Kirra Surf Club to victory by posting the top scoring ride during the Final of the Jim Beam Surftag Series, where the club defeated archrivals Snapper Rocks at Duranbah Beach today.

Fanning's world renowned lightening fast forehand snaps earned an incredible 9.9 (out of ten) score for a 25.1 total score which saw Kirra rise to victory with  90.1 ahead of Snapper Rocks B who placed second with 88.0, LeBa (Lennox Head / Ballina) third with 69.2 and Snapper Rocks A fourth with 40.7.

It was an emphatic victory for Kirra who held on until the dying minutes and lying just 0.9 points behind the heat leaders Snapper Rocks B, sealing their victory on the final wave of the heat to win the series and go into the National Finals in Sydney as the Queensland Champions.

"We're ecstatic with our win here today," said Clancy Dawson, Kirra's second highest scorer behind Fanning. "Snapper has so many good surfers and to beat them with two of their teams in the Final is just huge for us."

The Jim Beam Surftag saw 14 clubs compete at Duranbah with a total of three ASP World Tour competitors including Fanning for Kirra and Joel Parkinson and 2009 ASP World Tour qualifier Josh Kerr for Snapper Rocks B.

Despite two elite ASP Men's World Tour competitors in the Snapper team, the 2002 and 2006 Surftag Champions could not hold off the charge from Kirra but will nonetheless advance into the National Final with two strong teams.

"Our objective today was to make the final," said top Snapper Rocks B scorer Shaun Gossman who posted a 22.1 heat total in the Final.

 "Of course we were hoping for a win with two teams in the Final but it was a great Final with excellent surfing and we'll be looking to capitalise on the depth of talent within our teams at the Nationals in March."

The LeBa team put on an impressive overall performance with Adam Melling posting the highest total score of the final a 25.6 that aided the team in taking home their third place finish overall.

The Jim Beam Surftag Series included the FCS Manufacturers Cup featuring the best surfboard shapers competing under the same format. JS Surfboards captured the overall victory with Joel Parkinson top scoring for the team with his 23.7 overall score.

Finishing in second place were the Venom team followed by Skins Stuart in third and Trevor Cleavel in third.

The Jim Beam Surftag Series at Duranbah was the first of the 2009 National Series that will see qualifying events take place in NSW, WA and Victoria with the top 16 clubs contesting the National Final in Sydney in March.


SOURCE: ASP Australasia