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.


Dylan Barnfield 

19-year-old Ohope surfer Dylan Barnfield secured his maiden victory in the Open Men’s Division of the 2009 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour today.  The first event of the tour was held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui and Barnfield proved to be unstoppable in the final.  In the Open Women’s Division Daisy Thomas (Chch) defended the title she secured in 2008 and got her year off to another flying start.

The surf on the final day remained small and only just contestable.  An early meeting with all remaining surfers quickly confirmed their desire to see the event through to completion.

Barnfield posted 14.6 points out of a possible 20 in the final.  A 7.50 point ride followed by a 7.10 late in the heat was enough to secure his first victory “This is my first win since moving up from the junior division, it is such a good feeling to win again” reflected an ecstatic Barnfield.

The small conditions obviously played into Barnfield’s hands.  Coming from Ohope he is used to surfing whatever surf comes his way and today his small wave experience proved very valuable “Yeah it was small and tough – you really had to hope for a wave and then when the waves came your way you had to try and do something decent on them to score good points.  It was just contestable but I guess and everyone is in the same boat” Barnfield added in regard to the conditions he experienced today.

In the final with Barnfield was first time finalist Owen Barnes – the only local surfer in the Open Men’s final.  Barnes posted 13.60 points in the final using his aggressive style of surfing to score big.  A standout on day one, Barnes continued his run of form to upset several of the more favoured surfers that ride longboards on a permanent basis.

Slipping back to third late in the final was Australia’s Trent Dickey.  Dickey who returns to New Zealand each summer to contest the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour events showed some true international class to reach the final and give the Kiwi’s an early run for their money in the final.  He posted 13.50 in the final, 0.10 behind Barnes.  Placing fourth was Auckland’s Thomas Kibblewhite with a score of 11.9.


NSSA 2009 

The NSSA is excited to announce its 2009 Championship Series Schedule.  A series of nine championship events are slated to run from March to October including the prestigious NSSA National Championships, the highest profile youth surfing event in America.

The 2009 NSSA National Championships is confirmed to run June 17-27 at Salt Creek and Lower Trestles.  The first leg of the National Championships will run June 17-20 at Salt Creek and will feature the National Interscholastic Team competition with the top Colleges, High Schools and Middle Schools competing for coveted National titles. 

The competition at Salt Creek will also include the National Explorer Championships preliminary rounds and finals of all the non-scholastic categories, plus the National Airshow Championships.  The second leg of the National Championships will move to pristine Lower Trestles and run from June 23-27.  This segment of the championships, the premier National Open Championships, will showcase the top amateurs in the country. 

The ninth annual Governor’s Cup is scheduled to run in conjunction with the National Open Men’s and Open Women’s divisions.  The National Championships marks the culmination of the 2008-09 NSSA competition season where competitors from each of the eight NSSA regional conferences compete in their regular seasons for a chance at qualifying for the Nationals.

The NSSA National Championships lays claim to an impressive history of past champions including many current ASP World Tour surfers such as Kelly Slater, Bobby Martinez, Andy and Bruce Irons, CJ and Damien Hobgood, Fred Patacchia, Chris Ward, Taylor Knox, Melanie Bartels, Megan Abubo and most recently Nathaniel Curran and Kekoa Bacalso who will join the elite World Tour in 2009. 

As tradition has it, the 2009 NSSA Championship Series will open up on the West Coast with the Interscholastic State Championships March 6-8 at the Church surf break in the San Onofre State Park.  College, High School and Middle School teams throughout the state of California will have the opportunity to compete for State Championship titles and qualify for the 2009 National Interscholastic Championships.  In addition, Fox College Sports will provide nationwide coverage of the 2009 NSSA National Collegiate Championships.