Day 3 at First Point

Stu Nettle
Form Guide

Day Three was always the most ominous in terms of swell forecasts for the 27th annual Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing and the day dawned with very little oceanic action.

A hopeful set inspired judges and the festival remained at First Point, rather than opting to shift location towards the river mouth.

The senior gentlemen were the first to paddle out for extended 25-minute heats and, despite large lulls in between sets, proved that the point was offering plenty of opportunity for scoring waves.

Earl Page, a very familiar face at the festival over the years, claimed the first heat of the Noosa Civic Men’s 65 & Over, patience his virtue to take advantage of the few set waves. Norm Bateman was a one-man wave magnet, clocking up his maximum ten-wave tally before heat’s end, his top two awarding him the win.

Bruce Channon, a frequent winner here in Noosa, was definitely Man of the Day in this division, waiting patiently for just two waves in 25 minutes, but those two surfed impeccably to gain the highest heat score of the festival so far.

Dropping down half a decade, the Kennards Hire Men’s 60 & Over entered the lineup next, an advantageous dropping tide giving an increase in waves.

Familiar names again in the top ranks, with defending champion Albie Curtis, Eric Walker and Keith Crocker all taking wins into the third round.

Competition got fierce in the Salt Magazine Men’s 55 & Over, Noosa local Scott Ford just getting pipped by Peter English in the first heat. Mark Bain surfed superbly, but heats and the sporadic nature of the swell proving that no one was safe until the heat end. Glen Gower, former president of Noosa Malibu Club was on fine form, closely followed by Wally Allen, though undisputable in his lead and eventual win.

The inaugural New Age Caravans Lady Logger Pro took place under clear blue skies., beach-goers enjoying the fine weather after a changeable weekend, as well as the incredibly high calibre of the female longboarders.

From almost the first wave, Mason Schremmer showed that she had made the return trip from Hawai’i with nothing but a win on her mind, taking out heat one confidently.

Byron Bay’s Roisin Carolan was sublime, her incredibly smooth yet calculated surfing providing her a win, though Hawaiian Kelis Keleopa’a was snapping at her heels throughout the heat.

Kirra Molnar has shown massive progression in her longboarding in a very short time, winning her heat solidly, though far from easily, while the heat one winner’s younger sister, Lola Schremmer came second to progress, just behind Californian Avalon Gall.

The long but exciting afternoon continued with the ten heats of the New Age Caravans Mens Logger Pro, 60 of the world’s finest longboarders going toe to nose-hanging toe in what many consider to be the premiere events of the Noosa Festival. Suffice it to say that the action and impeccable rides were too numerous to mention. Highlights included an absolutely immaculate set wave that took Matt Cuddihy to victory, textbook surfing from walking encylopaedia of all things old-school surf, Matt Chojnacki, a blistering heat from Noosa’s Josh Constable and a near-perfect ride that dropped jaws and popped eyes of the appreciative crowd from Taylor Jensen. Jensen’s single ride wasn’t enough to stave off Hudson Ritchie, sneaking the win by the narrowest of margins.

The day’s surfing concluded with the repechage rounds of the Men’s 65 and 60 divisions, but the day was by no means done.

Former festival director and co-founder Phil Jarratt took to the all-too-familiar stage, joined by great friend, Bob McTavish, switching their written work to read for the crowd from each other’s fascinating memoirs.

Following the readings, we were honoured to be joined by two of Australia’s preeminent surf photographers in Ted Grambeau and Jon Frank. Their incredible images have been seen and appreciated around the world, and the two talented lensmen presented a breathtaking talk and slide show of images from their new books, ‘Adventures in Light’ and ‘Broken’.

Presented by Noosa World Surfing Reserve, the Save the Waves Film Festival  provided a mellow and visually spectacular culmination to a great day of surfing, concluding with Keith Malloy’s ‘Fish People’ presented by one of our week’s special guests, Mark Cunningham.

A fantastic day three, and plenty more to come tomorrow.