In a punchy, four-foot swell the club from Sydney's northern beaches survived an exciting day of eliminations at the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle, as some of the biggest names in Australian boardriding fell by the wayside while a host of unheralded clubs reveled in knocking over the heavyweights.
2016 WSL Championship Tour (CT) rookie Davey Cathels scored a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) on his last wave to seal the deal for the club's biggest ever win.
"This has been such a good day," Cathels said. "We have a really good club and our last few years results haven't represented that, but today everything fell into place. Everyone played their part, it was a real team effort. To get that wave and that score at the end was amazing, it was a great end to a great day."
Another CT surfer that was representing North Narrabeen was Laura Enever, who counts this as one of the best wins in her career.
"This is so good," Enever said. "Our whole club is down here today, everyone just lives and breathes it. We haven't won a team event for a while so this is really special. I'm just stoked to surf with all of the guys on our team, it's an amazing group of people."
In a new format for this year's event, the top four clubs at the end of the preliminary Skins, Women's and Teams rounds contested a one-hour Teams relay Grand Final to end the two-day event.
The top four clubs at the end of the preliminary rounds were North Narrabeen, Point Lookout Boardriders, North Shelly Boardriders and Merewether Surfboard Club. In a staggered start for the Grand Final, North Narrabeen had the full 60 minutes and made the most of it to take the honors with 35.67 points, ahead of Point Lookout (30.37), Merewether (27.30) and North Shelly (26.97). The remaining three clubs started on 55 minutes, 52 minutes and 50 minutes.
North Shelly, finishing fourth, were the clear underdogs of the Final led by an amazing effort from Shane Holmes, who took home the Milwaukee Power Hack prize.
"I'm stoked with our effort," Holmes said. "I was so tired by the end of the day I just missed the wave that Davey was going for. The event has been unreal, surfing against all the pro's with all your mates it's an awesome experience."
Overnight leaders Merewether Surfboard Club was also eliminated early from the Teams division but had enough points from Day 1 to stay in the top four. Ryan Callinan was a standout for Merewether but came just short of yesterday's form in the Final.
"It was such a fun event," Callinan said. "Narrabeen are a tough club to beat, they have such a strong team with so much talent. It was cool to surf with Davey as we're both rookies on the CT this year and just good to get the contest jersey on."
While the heavyweights stumbled several smaller clubs including North Shelly, Jones Beach Boardriders and North Shore Boardriders had a day out to ride some incredible on-beach support with North Shelly making it all the way to the Grand Final. Culburra Beach Boardriders were a major threat throughout the event but were eliminated in the Semifinals of the Teams rounds.
In several special awards also presented, Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout Boardriders) was awarded the Wayne Bartholomew Medal for the best-performing male surfer at the National Final. Macy Callaghan (North Shelly Boardriders) won the Layne Beachley Medal for best- performing female. Each surfer also received $1000.
Shane Holmes (North Shelly Boardriders) won the Milwaukee Heavy Duty Hack Award for the surfer who displayed the biggest and best power move and won $1500 in Milwaukee equipment and $1000.
Burleigh Boardriders won the Fox Sports Patriot Award and $5000 for the club that demonstrated the most passionate spirit during the National Final, thanks in large part to their standout fashion sense. North Narrabeen also won $1000 of FCS product for finishing first.
FINAL LEADERBOARD AND PRIZE MONEY (Including Skins Jackpots and Women's Prize Money)
TOP 4 North Narrabeen Boardriders $23,000 Point Lookout Boardriders $10,000 Merewether Surfboard Club $8,000 North Shelly Boardriders $5000
5th to 20th Margaret River Boardriders $5000 Jones Beach Boardriders $4,000 Culburra Beach Boardriders $3,000 North Shore Boardriders $2,000 Snapper Rocks Surfriders $3,000 Burleigh Heads Boardriders $1000 Cabarita Boardriders $1000 Kirra Surfriders $1,000 Ulladulla Boardriders $2,000 South Coast Boardriders $1,000 Le Ba Boardriders $500 Long Reef Boardriders $500 Peninsula Surfriders $1,500 Cronulla Sharks Boardriders $500 South Arm Boardriders $500 Portland Boardriders $500