Wedding bells may hinder Surftag
THE wedding of Lennox Head surfer Stu Kennedy is set to throw a spanner in the works when Lennox-Ballina Board-riders Club competes in the Queensland qualifying round of the Jim Beam Surftag at Duranbah, Tweed Heads, on Saturday.
Le-Ba will need to finish in the top six to qualify for the national finals at North Wall, Ballina, on February 22.
The team includes World Championship Tour surfers Owen Wright and Adam Melling along with Kennedy, James Wood and Marcus Aboody.
"It's unfortunate timing with the wedding and hopefully it works out," Le-Ba president Johnny Hewett said.
"Stu is surfing for Le-Ba on his wedding day with the rest of the team.
"His fiancé is happy because she knows he loves to surf. We just have to make sure he gets back to Lennox Head in time.
"We were trying to get a back-up squad but it's hard because everyone in the club is going to the wedding.
"If worse comes to worst we might have to pull out of the final, but as long as we make the top six, we'll qualify for the finals in Ballina."
A record 20 teams have entered for the Queensland event, which will make things difficult for Le-Ba.
"I'm going to add two extra trial heats and that will push the semi-finals back to later in the day," event organiser Steve Harrison said.
"Le-Ba will want to have their best team there for the semi-finals to finish in the top six."
Former world champion Mick Fanning will surf for Kirra and world No 2 Joel Parkinson for Snapper Rocks.
Kieren Perrow will lead Byron Bay and boost their chances of backing up their top-three finish in the national finals last year.
Surftag is Australia's largest national teams surfing competition with a combined prize pool of more than $130,000, attracting more than 80 boardriding clubs.