Surfers did battle in small waves with two-time Longboard World Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) and Karina Rozunko (USA) taking top honors in the Australian Longboard Surfing Open World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) divisions at Kingscliff, NSW.
The men's Final started off slowly as two-time reigning World Champion, Harley Ingleby (Emerald Coast, Australia) and reigning event champion both struggled to find waves.
Ingleby took the first wave after almost ten minutes of competition and scored a 5.5. Jensen nudged forward as well with a score of 5.63 after his first wave. Jensen then managed to find a worthy wave, netting a 7.67 for his powerful and precise surfing. Further adding to the pressure, he made the most of the tough conditions by securing a third wave under Ingleby's priority and increased his overall score with a 5.77.
Needing a 7.95 to win, Ingleby caught his final wave with only 10 seconds remaining but only scored a 5, leaving Jensen to win his second Final of the day. Jensen had earlier won the Villa World Logger/Old Mal division, once again, beating Ingleby. The rivalry continued in the Noserider Final, with Jensen once again triumphant.
"Wave selection was critical," Jensen said. "It was a tough heat, no waves came through as it was the bottom of the tide, but I'm really happy with the win. I got busy towards the end of the heat. I knew it was going to come down to who had the highest of the medium scores and I just got lucky with the wave."
In the women's Final two WSL Longboard Championship competitors went head to head, but it was Karina Rozunko (USA) who was dominant against Victoria Vergara (France). Rozunko got an early start over Vergara and secured a 5.5, followed by a 6.33. Vergara was unable to find the scores to catch Rozunko, but didn't give up easily, entertaining the crowd on small waves in her effort to score big.
"Conditions were a bit tough, but that's the whole thing about a contest, you go out there and you see who can surf the best," Rozunko said. "Victoria (Vergara) is a good friend and we knew one of us was going to win and one of us was going to lose, but it was still good fun to surf with her."
The 2015 Australian Longboard Surfing Open has been hugely successful with great crowds at the beach to watch the surf and attend the lifestyle events as part of the Longboard Surfing Festival of the Asia-Pacific. Events featured have been the Scoot Miss Beach Girl competition, surf films, yoga, art, classic car vehicles and more.
More info available at www.australianlongboardopen.com