Lennox family rides wind
By STEVE SPINKS firstname.lastname@example.org
AMID a flurry of colour, kites, wind and music, the Craike family of Lennox Head left their mark on the inaugural Lennox Point Hotel Kitesurfing Classic at Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head, at the weekend. The inaugural Classic, which doubled as the NSW Titles, drew competitors from Queensland and NSW but it was the Craike family who finished as the best performed locals. Teenager Shaun Craike claimed second behind the Sunshine Coast's Joel Becus in the Under-18s. However, Shaun's father Rob finished one better, taking out the Legends division (Over-45s). Rob Craike won the title from another Lennox Head local, Bill Hession. A good crowd was on hand to watch the open men's final between the Gold Coast's Matt Tobin and Taree's Lee Cavanagh. Both had been in slashing form at the weekend. However, the crowd was left disappointed. Lost control Cavanagh lost control of his kite, which ended up in the water, and the Taree competitor lost at least five minutes trying to relaunch his rig. When he finally got back onto his board he was always going to be too far behind Tobin. Classic organiser Ash Woolley, of Alstonville, was extremely happy with the maiden event at Lennox Head. "We had near perfect conditions," he said. "The waves were a bit small on Saturday and we were a bit concerned, but the swell built over the weekend. "We had the best riders in the country and they were just ripping." The most striking aspect of kitesurfing are the competitors themselves. Most are built like tanks with a big upper-body. This conflicts with their surfer cousins who are generally jockey-sized. "It (kitesurfing) does develop your upper body a bit," Woolley said. "It's a difficult sport to do, trying to ride a wave and position your kite." Already Woolley and his team are preparing for next year's event. "It's going to be huge," he said. "It will be twice as big next year." The Lennox Point Classic was supported by Agrimac Macadamias, All Above Board, Bennett Hire, Coast and Country Marine, Lennox Point Bakery, Retone, Design Team Ink and Triple X wetsuits.
Results: Open men - 1st Matt Tobin (Gold Coast), 2nd Lee Cavanagh (Taree), 3rd Stuart Martin (Newcastle). Open women - 1st CJ Jones (Gold Coast), 2nd Marine Sudre (Sydney), 3rd Cheryl Button (Gold Coast). Juniors (Under-18s): 1st Joel Becus (Sunshine Coast), 2nd Shaun Craike (Lennox). Legends (Over-45s): 1st Rob Craike (Lennox), 2nd Bill Hession (Lennox). Masters (Over-35s): 1st Gene Phoenix (Gold Coast), 2nd Jamie Symonds (Gold Coast).
WIND POWER: Action from the weekend's Lennox Point Hotel Kitesurfing Classic men's open heats: main picture, Southport's Matt Tobin, who went on to win the men's open division; below, from left, Mike Walker (Sunshine Coast), Paul Jackson (Gold Coast) and Dave Hegarty (Lennox Head. Pictures: COLLEEN BACON