Byron surfer adds indigenous surfing title to trophy cabinet
BYRON Bay surfer Soli Bailey can add Australian indigenous surfing champion to his growing list of accolades.
Bailey, 20, became the Association of Surfing Professionals Australasia junior champion in New Zealand last year.
He has now won the open men's division of the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles at Bells Beach, Victoria.
Bailey was unstoppable throughout the competition, winning every heat on his way to the final.
He overcame Coffs Harbour surfer and defending champion Otis Carey in the semi-finals.
There were plenty of highlights at the event for Bailey including the highest individual wave score on the final day with a 9.77 out of a possible 10.
A total score of 17.77 saw him claim the title, beating Central Coast surfer Russell Molony (8.00) in convincing fashion in the final.
"I was so wrapped just to be there with all the different tribes," Bailey said.
"It didn't really matter to me whether I won or lost.
"This event is so much fun, it's really relaxed and everyone is just happy to be there.
"I'm one of the youngest guys in the competition, so I'm constantly learning off all of the guys.
"It means so much to all of us."
Robbie Page took out the masters' men's division for the third year in a row.
The former Pipe Masters Champion showed composure in the solid swell with a series of under-the-lip turns and big carves.
The Banaam Indigenous Surf Titles will take place at Fingal beach near Tweed Heads in October.
Meanwhile, former Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright is currently competing in the Fiji Women's Pro.
She won her first round heat against Silvana Lima and American Sage Erickson yesterday.
It is the fifth stop on the World Championship Tour for the women this year.