The sweet smell of a southerly change swung through yesterday morning for the Australian Longboard Surfing Open at Kingscliff – which was welcome relief as the weekend of finals kicks off today. By yesterday afternoon (pictured above) the swell had bumped up a foot to be shoulder high with some semi-clean lines filtering perfectly into the groomed Kingy banks – complemented now by a mix of sideshore to offshore winds filtering in. The last few days have seen some hectic competition fought out in contestable but far from ideal conditions, with a majority northerly wind influence pushing in mid morning each day. Photos below.
In perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament so far, three-time previous winner of the mens open, Coolangatta’s Dane Pioli, was toppled early by Frenchman and current European longboard champion Edouard Delpero. Dane later turned his attention to the noserider division where he remains favourite heading into the final. Other outstanding performances have been from the USA’s Taylor Jensen, current world champion Harley Ingleby and Evans Head legend Ruben Roxburgh who have all booked a spot in today’s semi-final for the World Surf League Qualifying Series event. Yesterday’s run of better waves, set to improve into today, saw many of the specialty and amateur events run with some great performances across the field, including the amazing Hobby Pro SUP heats. The event runs the semis for most divisions today, and into the finals for Sunday – full details and updates at www.australianlongboardsurfingopen.com and the official event Facebook page. You can tune in live online and watch, but we reckon being there is just so much better – in front of the Cudgen SLSC (plus you can grab a schooner, some wedges, and watch from the balcony like a VIP!)