Australia's Josh Constable has claimed the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour title at Sandy Bay, Whangarei, New Zealand today (Sunday 6th February) - the first event of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Australasia Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS).
Constable now leads the four event LQS and also jumps back into the lead on the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour in New Zealand after winning the two events he has contested to date.
The final day of the Sandy Bay event took place in clean 0.5m - 1.0m waves with light winds and crisp conditions. After the previous two days of competition, day three delivered the best waves of the event and the large crowd witnessed a true spectacle of quality surfing.
The Open Men's Final was run in the best waves of the entire event. Clean 1.0m waves broke on two clearly defined Sandy Bay peaks and the world class surfers thrived in the fun conditions. Harley Ingleby (AUS) opened up the final scoring a solid 9.0 ride (out of a possible 10) with a number of vertical back hand re-entries on a punchy left hander.
Josh Constable (Noosa) replied with some super stylish nose riding showing true class but young Mitch Surman (AUS) stole the lead at the half way point scoring a 9.5 on a long right hander, linking vertical re-entries with a nice long nose ride. Surman who is one of Australia's most promising up and coming surfers, has been one of the form surfers throughout the entire contest and displayed a full repertoire of traditional and progressive moves.
However it was Josh Constable (AUS) who scored a perfect 10.0 point ride with seven minutes to go and followed it up with an 8.6 point ride to take the lead with two minutes to go, a lead he never let go.
Constable, who was runner up at the 2010 event here at Sandy Bay, put on a repeat performance from earlier heats absolutely destroying two long right handers right to the beach. It was evident from his body language that he was pleased the waves came his way and he was able to take the lead.
The former world champion showed true competitive prowess and was untouchable in the final. "I thought Mitch had it in the bank, and even after my 10 I was still in second place" he said." I'm stoked on my win here, it's a great way to start the LQS year and I love coming back to Sandy Bay" he said. Constable, who was runner up in the 2010 event, will no doubt be a hot contender for the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Champion.
Earlier in the day, 2009 ASP World Champion Harley Ingleby (AUS) surfed an impressive semifinal heat showing true class and moving through to the final. The upset of the day was the semifinal elimination of Taylor Jensen (USA), opening the door for sole Kiwi campaigner Phil Morris (Orewa). Morris put on a crowd pleasing effort and young Queenslander Mitch Surman (AUS) wafted fins to secure his spot in the final alongside eventual champion Constable.
Early on in the Open Women's Division final, Nava Young (AUS) picked off the best waves of the heat. Young was one of the most consistent female surfers throughout the event and enjoyed the long left handers on offer. However it was Georgia Young (AUS) who stole the show picking off the heat winner in the dying seconds of the final.
Georgia Young (AUS) who had been in second place for the entire heat scored a long left hander and pulled a long hang 5 almost to the sand to win. "I had so much fun out there today, the waves were really clean and I was stoked on my last wave. I have been really impressed by the amount of female surfers entered in the Women's Division, and the level of surfing from the Kiwi girls is awesome" she said.
The Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) final took the water and were treated to a smorgasbord of fun waves with the low tide conditions really suiting the SUP surfers. Young Australian surfer Beau Nixon (AUS) smashed a long right hander to the beach, linking fast turns with hard cutbacks scoring a 9.0 and the eventual win. Current National Champion Daniel Kereopa (Raglan) showed why he continues to be one of the leading watermen in New Zealand. Kereopa, who is also a Hyundai Athlete Ambassador, picked off lefts and rights and displayed some amazing talent. Whangamata surfer Karlos Aarsen did a huge layback turn on his forehand, and infamous South Island big wave charger Shayne Baxter (CHCH) picked off some fantastic waves. The lead changed a number of times but it was Current Australian SUP surfer number two, Beau Nixon, who won the final.
Please see below for results from the finals of all divisions at the third event of the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour event completed at Sandy Bay, Whangarei, New Zealand today (Sunday 6th February).
ASP LQS Open Men's Division Final
1st Josh Constable (AUS), 2nd Mitch Surman (AUS), 3rd Harley Ingleby (AUS), 4th Phil Morris (NZL)
Open Women's Division Final
1st Georgia Young (AUS), 2nd Nava Young (AUS), 3rd Sam Suendermann (AUS), 4th Wini Paul (Sandy Bay)
Under 18 Boys Division Final
1st Luke O'Neill (Christchurch), 2nd Nic Jones (Australia), 3rd Hone Douglas (Whakatane), 4th Joseph Stewart (Whakatane)
Over 40 Men's Division Final
1st Brian Young (Orewa), 2nd Mike Thomson (Raglan), 3rd Steve Andrews (Sumner), 4th Steve Tyro (Raglan)
Over 50 Men's Division Final
1st Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach), 2nd John Ayton (Sandy Bay), 3rd Grant Cochrane (Christchurch), 4th Mike Thomson (Raglan)
Over 60 Men's Division Final
1st Paul Browne (Orewa), 2nd Laurie Landridge (Whangarei), 3rd Dave Gould (Sandy Bay), 4th Mike Jolly (Piha)
Stand Up Paddleboard Division Final
1st Beau Nixon (AUS), 2nd Daniel Kereopa (Raglan), 3rd Shayne Baxter (CHCH), 4th Karlos Aarsen (Whangamata)
The remaining events on the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour follow:
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 4, 19-20 February, Mount Maunganui (4-star)
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 5, 4-5 March, Port Waikato (6-star)