Kennedy takes out surfing win
THERE must be something other than salt in the sea-water at Lennox Head.
Something more than seaweed, sand and stingers.
Something to explain the recent spate of surfing success from the town which received another boost at the weekend when local boy Stuart Kennedy took out the WQS Cold Water Classic in Tasmania.
Kennedy left a field which included world No 2 Jordy Smith, world No 3 Bobby Martinez and 2000 world champion Sunny Garcia in his whitewash on the way to registering the biggest win of his fledgling career.
Kennedy picks up maximum ratings points on the World Qualifying Series, a wildcard entry into the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro which begins today, and a cool $20,000.
Not bad for a few days’ work.
The 20-year-old flew under the radar and into the final where he exploded with scores of 9.5 and 8.5 – the highest total of the whole event – to all but blow Brazilian opponent Wigolly Dantas out of the water.
“I guess I just got super confident towards the end,” Kennedy said.
“I was really nervous out there, but I was almost crying when I got that 9.5.”
The win, and particularly the fashion, announced Kennedy’s arrival on the world surfing scene and he now leads the way in the hunt for the $50,000 purse to the Cold Water Classic series winner.
“I am definitely going to Scotland for the next event in the series,” he said. “Then after that I will just have to see where I am at.”
At 20, Kennedy realises if he is going to make a career as a pro surfer, the time is now.
“I have been training really hard recently,” he said.
“I guess I thought it was time to grow up and start trying to win.”
Another Lennox lad, James Wood, won through to the round of 16 before being dismissed from the event, while brothers Anthony and Stephen Walsh, also of Lennox Head, progressed through three heats into the round of 96.
Kennedy, along with Owen Wright and Kieren Perrow, are set to surf their first heats in the Bells Beach Pro this morning.