Jack Entwistle (Manly, NSW/AUS) and Georgia Young (Swanbourne, WA/AUS) today etched their names into one of Western Australia's most prestigious and iconic trophies, with victory today at the 21st annual Whalebone Longboard Classic in Cottesloe, Perth.
Entwistle went back-to-back at WA's only World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event, defeating Dane Pioli (Coolangatta, QLD/AUS) in a wave-starved Final. While WA's own Georgia Young used her intimate knowledge of the reef at Isolators to overcome rising superstar Emily Lethbridge (Noosa, QLD/AUS). In another day of spectacular winter weather, competitors were greeted to clean 1-2 feet peeling waves along Perth's metropolitan coastline.
In the 30-minute women's LQS final, Young used her home ground advantage to perfection, catching the best two waves on offer and posting some big numbers on her way to her the win. Young used both traditional and modern longboard manoeuvres to claim a heat high 8.00 (from a possible 10) and then backed it up with a 6.50 to finish on a combined two-wave total of 14.50 (from a possible 20).
"I'm so stoked, we've had three days of amazing waves and it's been such a high standard of competition, all the girls were shredding and it was awesome to really push myself and get the win," said Young. "Emily (Lethbridge) surfs so well and I knew it was going to be a tough final, it was a really good battle and I'm so thrilled to come away with the win."
Emily Lethbridge styled her way to a two-wave combined total of 13.65 (from a possible 20), but was left chasing a 7.61 (from a possible 10) when the final siren sounded. Despite the second place finish, 17-year-old Lethbridge proved she's a star on the rise, capturing the 2018 LQS Championship for the Australia/Oceania region and qualifying for the 2019 WSL Longboard Championship Tour.
"It would have been nice to get win, but it's been a goal of my mine this year to be the regional LQS champion so I'm really happy about that," said Lethbridge. "Georgia held priority for a long time and got the two best waves of the final. It's been really nice here in WA and I'll definitely be coming back next year."
On the men's side of the draw, Jack Entwistle made it consecutive Whalebone Classic victories, defeating Dane Pioli (Coolangatta, QLD) in a wave starved 30-minute final. Entwistle waited almost 20 minutes before catching his first wave and despite the lack of scoring opportunities he was able to muster an impressive combined two-wave total of 16.00 (from a possible 20) that included an 8.50 and a 7.50.
In an unbelievable turn of events, both Entwistle and Pioli finished tied on the LQS regional ratings, with a count back required to determine Entwistle as the WSL Australia/Oceanic regional Champion for 2018.
"Dane beat me in the LQS final up in Kingscliff, NSW earlier this year so it was nice to get one back on him," said Entwistle. "I just had to be patient out there and wait for those better sets that came through. The Whalebone Classic is a super fun event, really good atmosphere and one of the best run contests in Australia, it feels so good to get the win again."
Despite some solid surfing from Pioli, which saw him finish with a combined two-wave total of 13.76 (from a possible 20), he couldn't mid a set wave when it mattered the most."I first won this event back in 2008 and although it's been a while since I've been back over here for it, I remember what makes this event so special," said Pioli. "I'm really stoked to be here making finals, making some money, making points and qualifying for the World Tour in 2019. I love longboarding and progressing the sport as far as I can so I can't complain at all."
As well as the WSL LQS event, the Whalebone Classic saw 14 amateur divisions contested.
After the WSL LQS champions were crowned, surfers from across Australia battled it out across 12 separate amateur divisions' finals.
The 2018 Whalebone Classic brought together over 130 professional and amateur longboarders come together in a true festival atmosphere, with strong corporate support, great community engagement, and a whole bunch of stoke spread across a broad age demographic.
The Whalebone Classic was born in 1998 after local longboarder Peter Dunn, discovered a whale's rib bone immersed in the surf at Isolators and decided to host a longboarding competition in memory of the whale's spirit.
Twenty-one years on, the competition has grown to be one of Western Australia's most iconic longboard events and a much-loved tradition within the local community.