Philippa Anderson 

Merewether local Phillippa Anderson has become the first ever local surfer to win a final at Newcastle’s 24th annual Surfest competition.
The 17-year-old smashed a 23-year hoodoo that has never seen a local surfer win a main event at Newcastle when she edged out Sunshine Coast surfer Dimity Stoyle (Maroochydore) by less than one-and-a-half points.
In clean, one-metre waves at Merewether beach, the St Phillips Waratah High School student racked up a heat score of 15.10 to Stoyle’s 13.85 to have her name etched on the Maitland Toyota Open trophy.
Anderson, who came through the junior ranks of the Hunter Water Stars of the Future program at the Newcastle contest, will soon use her $US2500 prize money to buy a car.
And while she is yet to earn her P plates that will allow her to drive unaccompanied, she proved to the massive crowd of more than 5000 that she is no learner in the water.
The former Port Elizabeth, South African resident moved to Newcastle five years ago and has been a regular in the Merewether line-up ever since her arrival.
Today her knowledge of the Merewether break gave her confidence and assured her win.
“I was just sitting out the back going ‘please God don’t let her get a wave’ and she got one,” said Anderson.
“I saw her first big turn and I was like ‘no!’ but she didn’t get the score and I was just so stoked.”
“This is the biggest win for me ever and to top it off here at Merewether in front of my family is just so good.
“It’s such a great honour to have my name on the winner’s board - it’s just so good,” said Anderson.
And in the tightest men’s final at Newcastle for many years, former ASP Dream Tour surfer Travis Logie (17.50) defeated current ASP Dream Tour surfer Drew Courtney (16.45) from Umina on the New South Wales Central Coast.


Chelsea Williams 

With perfect 1.25m surf pouring through the idyllic point breaks at Noosa Heads today,  USA surfer Taylor Jensen (San Diego) and Australia’s Chelsea Williams (Tweed Heads/NSW) have won high scoring finals of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events, the Golden Breed Pro and Banana Boat Women’s Pro.

It was Taylor Jensen’s first final at Noosa despite travelling to this event for the past five years and the former three time USA Longboard Champion won the final in convincing fashion posting three outstanding 9 point plus rides , finishing on a final score tally on his top two rides of 18.70  to Australia’s Josh Constable on 17.15 (out of a possible 20).

“ The waves out there today were unbelievable, just about as good as it possibly gets for surfing longboards and I pretty much knew before the final started that the winner would need to score a pair of 9 point plus rides – With waves like these that peel so perfect the scope to score big is just endless and it worked out perfectly for me today” said Jensen after his 30 minute final.

“I’ve had plenty of great battles with Constable over the years  and he beat me in the semi finals of the 2006 ASP World Titles which he went on and won so I feel I have just got one back on him today.”

Constable did all he could to chase down Jensen’s lead in the final and at the half way stage was in contention when he scored an excellent 8.5 ride but shortly after Jensen delivered a 9.6 ride and the chase was as good as over with all three opponents chasing a combination of two scoring rides to catch Jensen’s 18.70 tally.

“ Taylor has been the form surfer all week and he deserved today’s win” said Constable.

“I’m stoked to have made the final and placed second – The last six weeks I’ve spent recovering from pneumonia so I am pleased with my result, it’s early in the year and getting a good result here sets me up for a good year ahead.”

Today’s Banana Boat final was just as exciting with Chelsea Williams displaying enormous competitive spirit requiring a 9.3 ride late in the final and posting a 9.5 ride to take the lead with five minutes remaining.


Bombora: The Story of Australian Surfing 

A definitive history of surfing in Australia, Bombora tells the story of Australian beach culture through our surfing champions, writers, pioneers, entrepreneurs, mavericks, legends, drop-outs and drop-ins.

The two-part series follows the rise of surfing and its culture in Australia, using archival footage and classic Australian music to illustrate its growing importance in Australian society in the 20th century and beyond.

From the time we learnt to bodysurf, to our first attempts on boards, to Duke Kahanamoku’s 1914 visit which kicked off surfing’s roll to popularity, Australians have taken the surf and made it our own, spawning international legends such as Midget Farrelly, Nat Young and seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, along with global surfwear brands.

Set against a changing world, Bombora follows the history of surfing from its maverick early days, through three significant wars and a depression, the development of surf clubs and the ensuing battles between lifesavers and surfers, the sea-change seeking drug culture of the 1970s and its shift to a cleaner, more professional sport in the late 1980s.

Bombora interviews a rich seam of Australian characters, including our first surf champion Isabel Letham, author and surfer Tim Winton, legendary surfboard shaper Bob McTavish, accidental entrepreneur and Rip Curl founder Doug Warbrick and former world champion surfers Barton Lynch and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew.

It looks at the rise of women surfers and the explosion of Australian labels including Billabong, Rip Curl and Quiksilver, which helped to cement Australia’s position as a global force in international surfing.

A Screen Australia/Bombora Film and Music production. Developed and produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A National Interest Program.

Episode 1, Thursday 26 March, 8:30pm on ABC1

Global surfing culture is a mix of wildness, grace and cool that is utterly Australian, but how did a nation of people, who mostly couldn't swim, turn a Polynesian pastime into a national obsession and international cultural force? Episode one looks at the early years of Australian surf history from 1830 to 1964.

Episode 2, Thursday 2 April, 8:30pm on ABC1

In the early days of Australia's surf history, young people found a place to live out their dreams of innocence and freedom in the surf, but it wasn't to last. Episode two looks at the later years of Australian surf history from 1967 to the present.