Gavin Coleman is the new World Kneeboard Champion

Australian surfer Gavin Coleman today (Friday 17th April) defended his World Kneeboard Champion beating three fellow Australians in the Open Men’s Final of the 2009 ISA World Kneeboard Surfing Titles.

Coleman led the Australians to seven of the eleven titles over the six day event. Taranaki surfer Hamish Christophers took a crowd pleasing victory in the Pro Junior Division with a barnstorming display of surfing to notch up New Zealand’s third title.

The 2009 ISA World Kneeboard Surfing Titles have been taking place at Opunake since the 11th April and today’s action took place at Arawhata Road for the sixth day in a row.  Today the conditions were once again excellent with a new 1.5m swell hitting the Taranaki coastline with offshore winds prevailing all day.

Coleman, a standout through the event finished in style scoring 15.07 out of a possible 20 points to win the final.

“I got one early and got a good smaller wave after that” commented a quietly spoken Coleman.  “I felt both waves were good scorers so I knew I could wait for a big one at the end of the final if I needed to, in the end I didn’t even need to do that.”

Coleman got off to a great start in the final posting successive wave scores of 7.50 and 7.57 while the other three surfers only had one good scoring ride each.  The pressure told on the other surfers with two of them getting tangled up in an interference late in the heat.

“I was out the back when I got that last small one, I was last in the pecking order so went for the small one instead of waiting for a bigger set wave and it paid off because that big set came through and broke out beyond the other surfers and then they started hassling and the interference got called.  I am stoked I wasn’t part of that”.

It is Coleman’s second title after winning his first at the 2007 World Titles held at Santa Cruz, California, USA.  “Rewarding, really rewarding to win it again” said a reflective Coleman.

However, despite the amazing win today, for Coleman a third title is too far in the distance to give too much thought.  “Gee, I wasn’t even going to go for number two.  I will see how it goes, I don’t even know what is happening in my life at the moment so we will see where I am at in 2011 in regard to going for a third straight title.

Placing second in the final was Simon Farrer (Aust) who scored the finals highest scoring ride – 8.17 out of a possible 10.  Farrer was one of the two surfers caught in the interference when he and Albert Munoz took the same wave.  Farrer was forced into going for the wave in the search for a good second score to catch Coleman.  The wave in question only led to a small score for Farrer leaving him in second place.

Finishing in third place today was Baden Smith (Aust) scoring 12.27 in the final.  Smith, a double finalist chose to ride the lefthanders for much of the heat but they ultimately did not offer up the scoring potential of the rights.

Placing fourth as a result of the interference was Albert Munoz who was in the hunt for the title up until the time he interfered with Farrer.

Local surfer Hamish Christophers took the title in the Pro Junior Division scoring 16.07 for his top two scoring rides.

The final was decided in the final seconds of the heat with the top three surfers all getting good scoring rides to finish.  Second placed surfer Cameron Stanley got the best of the exchange scoring 7.93 over Christophers 7.73 with third place getter Chayne Simpson posting a 6.93.  Christophers’ 7.73 point ride was enough to hold off good friend Stanley to take the win. Placing fourth in the final was Australia’s Matt Novakov.

Christophers has previously won the Under 16 and 18 Divisions (1999 and 2002).  He now adds the pro junior title to the list.

Albert Munoz got revenge in Senior Men’s Division taking out the title after coming up short in the Open Men’s Division.  It is Munoz first ever title at the ‘Worlds’ after numerous finals placings.  He scored 18.07 in the final which included a near perfect 9.57 point ride.  American surfer Barry Baker finished in second place with James Anderson (Aust) in third and British surfer Karl Ward in fourth place.

Like Munoz, Simon Farrer (Aust) also made up for his loss in the final of the Open Men’s Division by claiming victory in the Masters Division.  Farrer obliterated his opponents scoring a perfect ten point ride and an 8.90 for an 18.90 point heat total.  His three opponents were left requiring a combination of scores with Jamie McHugh (Aust) placing second, Robb Saffen (USA) in third and Phillip Arthur (Aust) in fourth.

The Grandmasters Division was won by double finalist Baden Smith (Aust) in a very high scoring heat.  Smith surfed several waves in the final with any combination of them good enough to win out over his opponents.  His 17.17 heat total bested David Parkes (Aust) in second, Michael Novakov (Aust) in third and Tom Backer (USA) in fourth.

John O’Neill (Aust) took yet another title for the Australian team when he convincingly won the Veterans Division.  O’Neill who almost missed the final due to illness played the patience game in the final.  Cautiously selecting his waves, O’Neill scored 17.13 in the final which featured two Australians and two Americans.  Scott Wessling (USA) placed second with fellow team member Tom Linn (USA) in third and Jim Brown (Aust) in fourth.

The Kahunas Division gave New Zealand its second title of the day with Craig McDonald (Auck, NZ) dominating the final.  McDonald scored 15.17 to win.  Australia’s Paul Harriott placed second with Murray Weir (Opunake, NZ) in third and Phillippe Kilma (Tahiti) in fourth.

Australia capped off the day by winning the tag team final in emphatic style scoring 74.50 through their star studded team to beat USA (50.20), New Zealand (43.40) and United Kingdom (40.57).

The 2009 ISA World Kneeboard Surfing Titles were held at Opunake from the 11th – 17th of April.  The biennial event was last held in New Zealand in 1999.  The most recent World Titles were held at Santa Cruz, California, USA.  Twelve countries are represented at this year’s event.

Please see below for results from the final day of the 2009 ISA World Kneeboard Surfing World Titles.

Open Men’s Division Finals
Gavin Colman (Aust), 1, Simon Farrer (Aust), 2, Baden Smith (Aust), 3, Albert Munoz (Aust), 4

Pro Junior Semifinals
Heat 1:   Matt Novakov (Aust), 1, Hamish Christophers (NZ), 2, Jos Hadfield (NZ), 3, E Parata (NZ), 4
Heat 2:  Chayne Simpson (Aust), 1, Cameron Stanley (NZ), 2, Kelvin Weir (NZ), 3, Josh Christophers (NZ), 4
Pro Junior Final
Hamish Christophers (NZ), 1, Cameron Stanley (NZ), 2, Chayne Simpson (Aust), 3, Matt Novakov (Aust), 4

Senior Men’s Final
Albert Munoz (Aust), 1, Barry Baker (USA), 2, James Anderson (Aust), 3, Karl Ward (Brit), 4

Masters Final
Simon Farrer (Aust), 1, Jamie McHugh (Aust), 2, Robb Salfen (USA), 3, Phillip Arthur (Aust), 4

Grandmasters Semifinals
Heat 1:  Michael Novakov (Aust), 1, Baden Smith (Aust), 2, Ed Dimick (USA), 3, Mike Anderson (NZ), 4
Heat 2 :  David Parkes (Aust), 1, Tom Backer (USA), 2, Tracey Skelton (NZ), 3, Mike Fernandez (USA), 4
Grandmasters Final
Baden Smith (Aust), 1, David Parkes (Aust), 2, Michael Novakov (Aust), 3, Tom Backer (USA), 4

Veterans Semifinals
Heat 1:  Jim Brown (Aust), 1, Tom Linn (USA), 2, Brad Colwell (USA), 3, James Gustard (Aust), 4
Heat 2:  John O'Neil (Aust), 1, Scott Wessling (Aust), 2, Wayne Kopit (USA), 3, Eimata Carroll (Tahiti), 4
Veterans Final
John O'Neil (Aust), 1, Scott Wessling (Aust), 2, Jim Brown (Aust), 4, Tom Linn (USA), 3

Kahunas Final
Craig McDonald (NZ), 1, Paul Herriott (Aust), 2, Murray Weir (NZ), 3, Philippe Klima (Tahiti), 4

Tag Team Final
Australia, 1, USA, 2, New Zealand, 3, United Kingdom, 4

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