BOARD BATTLE: Matt Wilkinson surfing Pipeline in Hawaii.
BOARD BATTLE: Matt Wilkinson surfing Pipeline in Hawaii. Damien Poullenot

No Matt but where there's a Wills there's a way ...

PROFESSIONAL surfer Matt Wilkinson will line up in the Australian Boardriders Battle national final - but it won't be for Byron Bay.

Wilkinson was announced by Surfing NSW as the latest addition to the Byron Bay team but instead will surf for Avoca at the two-day event in Newcastle.

"I rang our team manager and he didn't know anything about it,” Byron Bay Board- riders club president Neil Cameron said.

"We just assumed he would be surfing for his home club Avoca and that turned out to be the case.

"I spoke to Matt and there is no drama there; these guys love surfing for their home clubs.”

Lennox-Ballina received a wildcard into the event and will have Stu Kennedy and Adam Melling, who both competed on the World Surf League last year.

Former World No3 Danny Wills led Byron Bay to a second-place finish in the qualifying round at Yamba before Christmas and will be at the helm again.

"Danny is such an icon around town and all the boys look up to him,” Cameron said.

"Matt is a great surfer but we won't miss out on any- thing with the passion and experience Danny brings.

"We'll definitely be sending a team that will be very competitive.”

The Australian Boardriders Battle series involves more than 60 of Australia's best boardriding clubs in eight state qualify- ing rounds with the final at Newcastle on February 18-19.

The winning club will get $20,000 and an overseas trip for six of its surfers.

SIGNING ON ...

IT all starts for Byron Bay tomorrow with the club holding its sign-on for the upcoming season at JS Surfboards.

Membership includes club shirt, entry into all club rounds and barbecues.

Club members are entitled to discounts from local sponsors, such as surf- boards, clothing and surf accessories.

The sign-on kicks off at 5.30pm and there will be fish tacos and other food available as well as a raffle for a new board.

The first club round is set down for February 5.



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