Noosa turns it on
By PHIL ROXBURGH
THIRTEEN world champion surfers lined up at Noosa last weekend and, with perfect 1m waves at the legendary First Point, the Noosa Festival of Surfing wound up in fine style.
Now recognised as a major world surfing event, the festival continues to gather momentum despite the often serious lack of surf.
But then, when those points do break they absolve everything.
Noosa had it all this year, with CEO surf summits, auctions, music events, expos, ASP-sanctioned events, competitors from the world over and, yes, as mentioned above, they managed to attract 13 world champions.
Layne Beachley, Steph Gilmore, Peter Townend, Shaun Tomson, Rabbit Bartholomew, Mark Richards, Tom Carroll, Tom Curren, Damien Hardman, Mark Occhilupo, Mick Fanning, Bonga Perkins and Josh Constable all competed in a corporate teams challenge where they helped raise an astounding $110,000 for charity.
This year was also the beginning of the Feet of Fame pathway, with surfing icons Hayden Kenny OAM (Australian Surfing Hall of Fame) and Bob McTavish leaving the first impressions.
Kenny was the first Noosa surfer, with McTavish not far behind.
There were some fine results for FNC surfers along the way, with Lennox Head's Geoff Channon winning the Over-60s division and Byron Bay's Alan Atkins the GSI One Design event. Evans Head's Isaac Fields took out the coveted Old Mal division while Angourie's Bryce Young tore up the Juniors for a win there and Ballina's Kara Nobbs finished sixth among the amateur women.
Professional results: Men's Pro: 1 J Constable, 2 S Wilson, 3 G Thomas, 4 J Close. Women's Pro: 1 J Smith, 2 J Irons, 3 J Dupont, 4 S Riddle. Stand-Up Paddle: 1 Bonga Perkins, 2 Brian Keaulana (Hawaii), 3 Luke Egan, Josh Constable. Noserider: Christian Wach (US).