Stand-up paddleboard team decided in testing conditions
THE Queensland stand-up paddleboard (SUP) team was decided over the weekend in challenging conditions at Tugun beach in a junky 2 to 3ft swell combined with onshore winds making things very interesting for competitors.
Coolangatta's Jackson Close took out the open men's division in the dying seconds, paddling into a nice wave with plenty of wall allowing him to complete several critical manoeuvres to the beach for victory.
"It was quite challenging out there, but it only makes it more interesting when there's a challenge involved," Mr Close said.
Only narrowly beating the Sunshine Coasts Keahi De Aboitiz by .58 of a point, Mr Close had plenty of admiration for his fellow competitor.
"Keahi is always getting his board in the air and he's really flashy, so you feel great when you can beat someone like that," said Mr Close.
The SUP contest was held as part of day two of the three-day Immerse SUP and Paddle Festival, which included many other formats including the ocean race from Snapper Rocks to Currumbin.
The three-day festival will provide the exclusive qualification pathway for Queensland athletes aiming to compete at the 2013 Australian SUP Titles, which will also take place on the Gold Coast later this year, and subsequently the 2014 International Surfing Association (ISA) Paddleboard and SUP World Championships.
A past Australian champion, Mr Close will be flying the flag for Coolangatta/Tweed and hoping for another big result.