Ewan Donnachie conquers the 2009 Shark Island Challenge

August 2, 2009 | Bodyboarding
Ewan Donnachie conquers the 2009 Shark Island Challenge

Ewan Donnachie from Sydney’s Northern Beaches has won the 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge in clean 1 – 1.5m  conditions to claim the first prize of $10,000 over an accumulated two-round points system.

Since the completion of Round 1 back on the 12th of July, riders and officials have been on standby waiting in anticipation for the second round to commence. The weeks that followed saw small to flat conditions as Sydney basked in a stable weather pattern.

Towards the end of the 21 day waiting period riders voted unanimously to extend the period to accommodate a strong fetch of groundswell that was predicted to reel up the N.S.W coastal – and it’s paid off.

Riders were greeted to a freshly groomed Southerly groundswell, a direct result of a powerful lower pressure system situated in the Tasman Sea. As dawn broke, long clean lines peeled around the infamous reef giving everyone an early viewing on what lay ahead. 

Due to the southerly direction Contest Director Mark Fordham wasted no time on calling the event ‘ON’, taking full advantage of the perfect low to mid tide conditions.

The heats were reversed (4, 3, 2, and 1) to ensure that all riders had their fair share of tidal conditions. Riders had 45 minutes to top up their round 1 scores.

Overall each heat had its fair share of waves. Competitors basically lined up to enjoy the fun barrelling conditions. Standouts from Round 2 were Alex Leon, Ben Sawyer, Dave Ballard, Chris James, Nick Omerod, Ewan Donnachie, Christian Riguccini, and Shaun Peterson.

Upon the completion, all headed down to Bar 2230 for the presentation. The “Best Off” awards were presented and then the top eight place getters were called up for the final countdown. Riguccini and Donnachie were the last two standing.

Both had shown great tube riding skills and wave knowledge throughout the event. In the end, Riguccini, the 1999 SIC Champion was pipped by a mere 5.3 point leaving Donnachie to take to SIC 2009 title.


First Prize - Ewan Donnachie

Best Barrel - Dave Ballard

Best Move - Shaun Peterson

Best Wipe Out - Glen Thurston

Longest tube time - Dave Ballard

“In the end, it came down to the most consistent rider and that rider was Ewan”, explained Contest Director Mark Fordham.

“Even though he didn’t win a Round he managed to secure two solid scoring waves from both days. For example, Dougy Showell was leading after the Round 1 and couldn’t find his rhythm in Round 2. Dave Ballard only scored 1 solid wave in Round 1, but managed to find his rhythm, especially in the barrel, and took out Round 2 – it was a tight event – the luck could have swung in anyone’s favor, that’s competition...

I guess Round 2 was a savor for many. The waves were great for all heats so I guess everyone is happy. It would have been great if it was a little bigger though as the old saying goes ‘you take what you’ve been given. After analyzing the swell yesterday I thought that it was going to pump as the tide got higher, instead it just hovered at the 3-4ft range. Regardless, everyone on board is stoked, there was plenty of tubes and plenty of ramps to hit so all in all everyone had an equal chance to improve on their first-round scores.”

After the winner’s speech, Donnachie was quick to comment on the importance of the event, “Overall it’s been a ‘Challenge’ for everyone, physically and mentally, unlike any event in the world... I am stoked that everyone saw the bigger picture and decided to extend the waiting period. Having that flexibility is essential – that’s the beauty of the SIC- it gives us the chance to express our sport in the best possible way...”

On a final note I would like to thank all the Sponsors of this year’s event for their continuous support especially in this economic climate, the riders for the total commitment and positive frame of mind and attitude during the entire competition period and, of course the officials and crew for their utmost professionalism. See you in 2010.