Jack Entwistle and Natsumi Taoka have won on an exciting final day of competition at the 20th annual Whalebone Classic Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) at Isolators Reef in Cottesloe, Western Australia.
Despite swell easing overnight, clean and highly contestable 1-2 feet waves were on offer for the finalists, who put on an amazing display of traditional and progressive longboarding.
Entwistle claimed his first-ever World Surf League LQS final with victory over Dean Bevan. Entwistle combined critical top turns with effortless footwork on his way to the win to post a winning heat total of 14.75.
"This my first WSL win and I'm stoked to have done it here in Western Australia at the 20th Whalebone Lonbgboard Classic," he said. "This result puts me on top of the Australasian ratings and gets me a spot onto next years World Tour.
It was pretty scary this morning when we woke up and there wasn't much swell, but as the morning went on the waves definitely improved. I like small waves and the board I was riding definitely suits conditions here at Isolators."
Dean Bevan surfed with his typical speed and power, but was left chasing an 8.11 to overtake Entwistle when the final siren sounded. Bevan posted a combined total of 12.40, but was stoked with his efforts to make his first Final as well.
"It was a good Final, the waves came to both of us and we both had our opportunities out there," said Bevan. "Jack is such a good surfers in these sort of conditions so I'm glad I can him a nudge. Second is as good as a win for me as far as the ratings go, so I'm pumped."
The lone international competitor in the event, Natsumi Taoka claimed her second LQS win in Australia this year, defeating Kathryn Hughes on the strength of the event's highest individual score of 9.60.
Taoka added the Whalebone Classic to her win at Kingscliff earlier this year and confirmed her love of the sport, finishing on a two-wave combined total of 16.60 (from a possible 20).
"I'm so happy, we had fun waves during the final. I really like this wave and two win both LQS events in Australia is great," she said. "I love it here in Western Australia and the food is so good."
Kathryn Hughes caught only two waves during the final, dropping an 8.75 and 6.65 to finish on combined total of 15.40 (from a possible 20). Hughes was left chasing a 7.86 to catch Taoka.
"I'm pretty devastated I couldn't find another wave out there," said Hughes. "The ratings points are crucial for me, I'm looking forward to competing at Taiwan later this year."