Some of Australia's best longboard surfers are preparing to do battle in Western Australia this weekend for the 22nd instalment of the annual Whalebone Longboard Classic at Isolators Reef in Cottesloe. The World Surf League Longboard Tour (LT) 1000 event will run from Friday July 5 - 7.
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-two 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.
One of the locals who embodies the spirit of the whalebone Classic is Anthony Spencer who will be looking to claim his first ever WSL event when competition gets underway at Cottesloe tomorrow.
"It's so good to be competing at a WSL event on home soil after travelling around," Spencer said. "I competed at the major event in Noosa earlier this year and made it to Round 3 which wasn't really the result I wanted but I'm hoping with a solid result here I can improve my seed before heading to Spain and New York later this year. The weather is pretty wild at the moment but hopefully we get some decent conditions over the weekend and have a great event."
Reigning event winner and local favourite Georgia Young is always one to watch when the LT comes to her home break. The WA favourite will be looking to clinch her sixth Whalebone Longboard Classic when competition gets underway this weekend.
"I'm so excited to be going into the Whalebone Classic as the defending champion," Young said. "It really pushes me to try and retain the title and represent WA and Cottesloe on the world longboard scene. This is by far my favourite event of the year and I love having all the hometown support. It's such an iconic event that everyone in the community gets behind. It's looking like a bit of a wild and woolly year of competition but the tents above the contest site are always still full of people supporting the event and making the weekend such a great celebration of longboard surfing."
Perth is set for a wild and woolly few days of weather meaning there should be no shortage of waves throughout the three day window according to Surfing WA's Event Director Justin Majeks.
We're really looking forward to hosting the 22nd instalment of the annual Whalebone Longboard Classic," Majeks said. "We've got some pretty wet and torrid conditions today but we almost need a storm to bring a swell into the Cottesloe coastline so this is a good thing. We're looking to kick off the opening rounds of the event tomorrow and then pick the eyes out of the forecast over the weekend and get the best surfers out there in the best conditions. This is a really iconic Wester Australian event and it gives our local longboarding community a great opportunity to earn some points and prize money to further there professional campaign throughout the year."