AGE NO BARRIER: Its not just the oldies who enjoy getting on a longboard, as these youngsters at Lennox Head would testify. Th
AGE NO BARRIER: Its not just the oldies who enjoy getting on a longboard, as these youngsters at Lennox Head would testify. Th

Longboards to the top

By Phil Roxburgh THIS weekend will herald the 10th anniversary of what is now known as the SaMoana Resort - Virgin Blue 10th annual Lennox Longboard Classic 2007.

The popular event includes nine divisions and this year is shaping up as a milestone in its 10-year history, attracting more than 110 competitors from as far afield as South Australia and North Queensland.

The high-profile longboard pro, Jackson Close (Currumbin), will compete alongside local charger Scott Channon in the open 9-foot division and specialists like Justin Healey from Caloundra in the Old Mals.

Close is rated world No 5 and has just returned from Tahiti where he finished third in a 4-star WLT event.

Banora Point's Kirsty Webster has not long returned from competing in the Women's World Longboard Titles in France.

Webster will be comfortable in whatever the Lennox waves dish up for the open women's division.

Regular event winners such as Ballina's Eric Walker in the Over-55s, Tweed's Mike Pimm in the Over-50s and Suffolk Park's Gary Burden in the Over-40s will all be contenders, as will the local knowledge of Lennox locals such as Forfar Petrie (Over-50s) and Scott Seymour (Over-40s).

The two-day event is renowned for serving up some excellent waves in what can be testing conditions when the swell is up.

With conditions forecast to be favourable south through to westerly winds and a southerly swell hovering around 1.5m the stage looks set for another classic event.

Over the years the Lennox Longboard Club has, like most clubs, struggled at times to find strong sponsorship but those days seem to be past, with a record level of business and community support.

This year, new sponsors such as the SaMoana Resort and Virgin Blue are putting forward a seven-day all-expenses-paid holiday for one lucky competitor, to be drawn at the presentation tomorrow at 4pm at the Lennox Point Hotel.

The preferred venue is Lennox Main Beach with heats and some semi-finals today and semi-finals and finals tomorrow.

Tonight is a fun night at the Lennox Point Hotel sponsored by Coopers Ale starting at 7pm, with the draw for the mystery event final, competitors giveaways (including two new longboards) followed by the surf band Mal and the Longboarders. Contest draw for today: 7.20am O/40s Heat 1, 7.40am Juniors Heat 1, 8am Juniors Heat 2, 8.20am Old Mal Heat 1, 8.40am 9 Open Heat 1, 9am 9 Open Heat 2, 9.20am O/30s Heat 1, 9.40am O/40s Heat 2, 10am O/50s Heat 1, 10.20am O/55s Heat 1, 10.40am Ladies Heat 1, 11am Ladies Heat 2, 11.20am O/50s Heat 2, 11.40am Juniors Heat 3, 12.00 O/40s Heat 3, 12.20pm O/50s Heat 3, 12.40pm O/55s Heat 2, 1pm Ladies Heat 3, 1.20pm O/55s Heat 3, 1.40pm O/30s Heat 2, 2pm Old Mal Heat 2, 2.20pm Over 50s Semi-final 1, 2.40pm Over 50s Semi-final 2, 3.00pm Over 55s Semi-final 1, 3.20pm Over 55s Semi-final 2, 3.40pm Finish Day 1.

Tonight: Coopers Ale promotion at the Lennox Point Hotel, competitors' boards and give-aways at 7pm (competitors' Lanyard and number needed).

Contest draw for tomorrow: 7.20am Juniors Semi-final, 7.40am O/30s Semi- final, 8am O/40s Semi-final 1, 8.20am O/40s Semi-final 2, 8.40am Old Mal Semi-final 1, 9am Ladies Semi-final 1, 9.20am Ladies Semi-final 2, 9.40am Juniors Semi-final 2, 10am Open 9 Semi-final, 10.30am Mystery Final, 11am Old Mal Final, 11.30am Ladies Final, 12 noon Cadets Final, 12.30pm Juniors Final, 1pm O/30s Final, 1.30pm O/40s Final, 2pm O/50s Final, 2.30pm O/55s Final, 3pm 9 Open Final, 3.30pm Finish.

4pm Presentation at the Lennox Point Hotel.

Check heat board during the day for any time or heat changes. Inquiries to the contest director.

Trophies produced by Joe Booth, Wayne Booth, Terry and Angus Kay. Queensland State bodyboarding THE third and final round of the Queensland titles was held at Broken Head on Saturday, July 21, in 1-metre fun peaks with regular bigger sets.

The northerly sweep could work both for and against competitors, while low tide's hollow lefts made for some high scores.

Grant Writer took a perfect 10 in the drop-knee final after a beautiful snap and float across one of the bigger waves and pulling off a top landing.

In the wash-up, after a long day of surfing, the Queensland State team was selected with more than a third coming from the NSW North Coast (all other FNC surfing disciplines also used to surf under the Queensland banner).

Local placegetters for the third round: Cadets 4 Casey Robinson. Juniors 1 Jack Cerne. Opens 1 Kristian Gerathy, 2 Daniel Petterson, 4 Taurey Witsel. Dropknee 1 Grant Writer, 2 Ben Gray.

Overall Queensland championship: Cadets 4 Casey Robinson. Juniors 2 Ryan Wakefield, 3 Jack Cerne. Opens 1 Taurey Witsel, 4 Jason Milham. Dropknee 1 Grant Writer, 2 Ben Gray.

All go straight into the Queensland team for the nationals at Port Macquarie in September, along with Sam Boulton, Jeremy Benwell-Clark and Ben McDonald.

The Headlanders club round was scheduled for last weekend. Headlanders Bodyboard Club inquiries to Inverted on 66807100.

Pro juniors LENNOX Head's Stuart Kennedy continues to impress the judges and registered an excellent 9-point ride in the recent Dakine Pro Junior at North Narrabeen on Sydney's northern beaches.

The event was won by Sunshine Coast super surfer Mitch Coleborn, who has swept all before him this year. Pros on holidays HOW good do these guys get it work consists of ripping the daylights out of the world's best waves with only one or two others out, then they get a six-week holiday before they turn at Lower Trestles for some more hard yakka.

While they contemplate their strategies for the second half of the season, Kelly Slater has started to claw it back in the WCT rankings, with his Jeffreys Bay second place lifting him to fourth, about 1000 points off the lead.

For the Australian camp, 2007 has been a good year. Mick Fanning still leads the rankings with 4860 points, just ahead of the J-Bay winner, Taj Burrow, on 4286.

Byron Bay's Danny Wills is now eighth, while Joel Parkinson is fifth, Bede Durbidge seventh and Dean Morrison ninth.

Coming up Le-Ba Boardriders' August club round this weekend, meeting at the usual places.

Evans Head Over-8s Malibu Club club round tomorrow, 7am at Main Beach.

Byron Bay Boardriders' next club round is Sunday, August 11. Annual away round is on September 1-2 (venue to be advised). Surf check THERE should be enough surf to satisfy most this weekend, with mainly offshore winds at most beaches (southerly around to westerly) along with a southerly swell around 1m-2m. The swell is expected to pick up next week.



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