Le-Ba wins Surftag title
PINT-SIZED surfer and crowd favourite Marcus Aboody emerged as the hero when he helped lead the Lennox-Ballina Boardriders Club to victory in the Jim Beam Surftag final at Lennox Head yesterday.
Le-Ba finished almost seven points clear of second-placed Snapper Rocks in the final, picking up $15,000 and taking out its first national title in the club's history.
Aboody took centre stage in the semi-final when he found himself having to score two waves in quick succession to keep Le-Ba in first place.
"Owen (Wright) took a bit more time than what we anticipated and I just wanted to get in and out as quick as I could," Aboody said.
"We knew we had a good chance of winning the final but we just had to get there.
"I'm short and stocky but I think that lower centre of gravity gives you a bit more balance."
Club president Jonny Hewett was full of praise for Aboody.
"He is pretty much the Nathan Hindmarsh of surfing, he just keeps coming back and getting the results," Hewett said.
"Marcus is an experienced surfer and he has been doing team events for years."
The team also comprised World No.3 Owen Wright and World Championship tour surfer Adam Melling, along with World Qualifying Series surfers James Wood and Stuart Kennedy.
Apart from some individual brilliance from WCT and Snapper Rocks surfers Joel Parkinson and Josh Kerr, Le-Ba never looked in danger during the final.
Melling believes having the event in Lennox Head played a big part in the win.
"You have the crowd here and you lift that little bit extra because you want to do well in front of them," he said.
"We played it pretty smart and cheered each other on."
It was a triple celebration for the Le-Ba club as they also took out the Boardriders and Manufacturers Cup.
Wood won the individual Boardriders Cup on Tuesday and joined Melling and Kennedy in the Manufacturers Cup yesterday.
"Guys like Marcus, Stuart and Woody are here helping the club all year round," Hewett said.
"We have a few stars in the team that everyone sees, but those guys are the back bone.
"There has been a lot of people and hard work involved over the years and this is by far our best moment.
"We have almost 300 members in the club now with kids as young as seven to blokes in their 70s."