Longboarder Jack Milgate, of Byron Bay, struts his stuff at Evans Head at the weekend.
Longboarder Jack Milgate, of Byron Bay, struts his stuff at Evans Head at the weekend. DAVID NIELSEN

Ruben rubs shoulder the wrong way

THE stage is set for some tense finals at the Evans Head Longboard Invitational at Main Beach as home-town hero Ruben Roxburgh attempts to overcome a shoulder injury and some top competitors to claim the prestigious nine-foot division today.

Roxburgh qualified for the final of the nine-footers then surfed in the retro surfboard division and injured his shoulder, hindering his preparation for the final.

He is also lined up to surf in the BIC open division semi-finals this morning, which will only add fatigue to his injury.

“In the main event I think the favourites would be Brett Caller and Ruben Roxburgh, although Ruben picked up an injury that he will carry into the final,” contest co-ordinator John Newman said.

“But anyone in the final, the top six, has the potential to win.”

Caller, a Southern Cross University student based at Byron Bay, was impressive in the three- to four-foot swell at the weekend but former Australian junior longboard champion Bryce Young ishovering ready to strike.

Indeed, Byron’s Ben Dickens, Evans’ Keenan Roxburgh and the Sunshine Coast’s Josh Cooper are also in with a claim.

Highly regarded Arrawarra surfer Jared Neal failed to progress past the semi-finals.

Most of the nine-foot finalists will also fight it out in the $500 BIC open, which sees competitors using a BIC board.

Meanwhile, in the women’s final, Isabelle Braly and Roisin Carolan are the favourites.

Carolan and fellow finalist Jessica Roberts, of Byron Bay, will contest the junior girls and the senior women’s final.

Newman said the Evans Head event had attracted about 150 surfers to the seaside town.

“We have a lot of locals and many from the Mid North Coast and up to the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“The standard of the opens now is unbelievable. There is a great vibe on the beach down here.”


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