Shaun Petersen won the 2009 Brett Young Memorial Trials at Cronulla Point | Photo: Riptide Magazine

An awesome winter’s day greeted competitors on Sunday, July 5, for this year’s Emerald Surf City Brett Young Memorial Trials. The event started off in classic winter fashion with offshore winds, crisp sunny conditions, and a clean 4-5ft south swell.

The first round saw some impressive heats as Cronulla Point dished out clean corduroy lines; with the sets holding up close to Second Reef the early contestants definitely took full advantage of the ideal boogie conditions.

Early standouts were local Brendan Ryan, Chris Ward, Corey Daglish, Charles Holt, Guy Williment, Daniel Hills, Luke O’Connor, Mile Muecke, Simon Cowan, Shaun Peterson, Tristan Hogan, and Simon Heale.

Two repechage heats followed after the first round with James Kates, Chase O’Leary, Sam Strachan, and Jarret Johnson all advancing to Round Two.

The waves were still pumping as Round Two commenced, with the groundswell kicking in. The wind swung more SW, creating a slight ripple on Second Reef, so as the wave wrapped down the Point clean faces forced most competitors to either bust or roll out of the First Reef section, or backdoor clean, open pits if they were lucky.

As the riders ended their waves and commenced the long paddle back out, a seal popped up unannounced and decided to harass and play a game of hide ‘n’ seek with competitors in the water. The crowd was amazed; the riders were more stoked that such a wild animal could be so audacious.

Standouts for Round Two included Brendan Ryan, Charles Holt, Corey Daglish, Johnny Showell, Josh Pollard, Guy Williment, Luke O’Connor, Matt Young, Simon Cowen, Michael Chapple, Shaun Peterson, Shaun Pyne, Thomas Robinson, James Kates, Sam Strachan, and Doug Showell.

As the morning progressed, word had got ’round that during a pre-surf session out at Shark Island the seal had been frolicking around and freaking out the locals. Local Dave Ballard was stumped for words as the friendly mammal surfaced about a meter in front of him, giving him the eyes as he paddled out for his next barrel. It seemed the seal wanted to be part of the action....

Quarterfinals time saw the field tighten up; the swell had slowed a bit due to the midday low tide, so wave selection became the key to progressing. Local knowledge saw Brendan Ryan move through to the semi-finals along with Josh Pollard, Corey Daglish, Luke O’Connor, Thomas Robinson, Doug Showell, Shaun Peterson, and Sam Strachan.

Semi-finals saw a small pulse in size and the business end of the contest was all go. All the remaining competitors knew it was make or break as only first and second place progressed, guaranteeing them a position in the main event of The 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge.

Semi-final one saw local Brendan Ryan’s wave selection outdo everyone, as he advanced to win this critical heat. Lennox Head’s Josh Pollard came in second locking in his spot for a finals birth and a spot into the main event.

Semi-final two saw another local Doug Showell weave his magic, as he picked the First Reef bowls that were holding up in the tricky conditions. Showell’s fluid surfing helped him take out the heat with Shaun Peterson coming in a close second.

As the final started, the solid crowd that lined Cronulla Point seemed to sense a local victory. The four finalists had been decided and all had earned their place in the main event, but a champion was needed to conclude the day.

Brett Young’s mum was on hand, as was the seal as the crowd barracked for locals Showell and Ryan.

Doug initially looked to have it in the bag with a solid combo including a tight reverse that oozed style and power, but it was the Central Coast’s Shaun Peterson who came out on top in the end.

Peterson surfed well all the way from Round One, his surfing being the most fluid and precise.

As the crowd cheered for the winner on the podium, Brett’s mum congratulated Peterson on his performance. The seal hung around until dusk fell, ensuring that someone was on hand to see out a hugely successful day of competition and one that was enjoyed by all involved.

1. Shaun Peterson  (Central Coast)
2. Doug Showell (Cronulla)
3. Brendan Ryan (Cronulla)
4. Josh Pollard (Lennox Head)

Final riders list for this year’s 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge are as follows

Dave Ballard
Christian Riguccini
Ben Sawyer
Alex Leon

Jason Finlay
Chris James
Jose Marquina
Kira Llewellyn 
Ewan Donnachie
Alex Bunting
Adam Luehman
Nick Ormerod

Mike Murphy  
Jared Houston

Sponsor wildcards
Glen Sullivan
Glen Thurston 
17. Shaun Peterson
18. Doug Showell
19. Brendan Ryan
20. Josh Pollard

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