Surfing, brown snakes ... must be summer
By PHIL ROXBURGH
EXCELLENT conditions at Evans Head's Main Beach have provided clean, well-shaped surf up to one metre for the 15th Evans Head Longboard Invitational at the weekend.
More than 100 surfers from Sydney to Noosa have been competing, aged from five to 55.
Specialty divisions such as the Old Mals, for surfboards built before 1967 and the Bic Sport Open with a $500 prize purse and where all competitors ride Bic surfboards, have also been popular.
Competitors and spectators alike have enjoyed the bright sunshine, light offshore winds and warm water, all making for perfect beach weather.
Some of the other locals have been enjoying the beach and keeping the surfers on their toes too, with a number of brown snakes, one more than two metres long, sighted in the vegetation zones on the dunes and occasionally crossing the access paths.
The two days of competition whittled the fields down to the semi-finals in most divisions and all finals will be held today.
The Bic Sport Open still has two former Australian champions in the field ? Evans Head local Ross Cribb and Ballina's Eric Walker. Also standing out were Eungai's Mark Fuller, Lismore's Paul Fletcher and Angourie's Bryce Young.
The Open Nine-Foot final looks set to be a very local final, with all six having strong ties to the Over 8 Malibu Club.
However, on semi final form Isaac Fields and Justin Sheridan will be odds on to take the title.
The Open Women's field has displayed some great surfing, with Broadwater's Amy Clarke, Tweed Heads' Sally Paxton and Lennox Head's Mel Mott all in winning form.
A large field in the Under 18 Boys is now down to the semi-finals where, Byron Bay's Nick Satori and Tim Compton, Angourie's Bryce Young, Sydney's Matt Chojnacki and defending champion, Evans Head's Jamie Hutley are all in the running.
The Under 18 Girls sees Emma Black (Byron Bay) chasing her second title in as many weeks after winning at Bonny Hills last week.
With another perfect beach day (5-10 knot winds and a one-metre SE swell) forecast for today, the 15th anniversary event should be one to remember.
The finals start at 8.30am and culminate in the Open Nine-Foot final at 1pm.