Cottesloe, Western Australia (Saturday July 12th, 2003) – – Twenty-nine year old Dave Neilsen flew high in the 1.5 metre waves of Cottlesloe, West Australia, to outpoint his younger rivals and post his inaugural win in today’s Quiksilver Airshow World Series event. The Umina (NSW) surfer held out Kallbarri (WA) goofy-footer Kirby Brown in the final event of the 2002/03 Australasian Series leaving the 20-year-old to settle for second place in the final.
The Airshow Series crown went to Cronulla surfer Kirk Flintoff who was rewarded for his sensational surfing season by winning the prestigious title despite not even competing in the final and sixth event of the series. The 22 year old proved to strong for his opponents with the best four results counting to the end of season ratings. Flintoff featured in all five contested finals including his victory in last months Japanese event.
Heading into the deciding Airshow in WA, Flintoff was one of four surfers in contention to claim the crown but with Kalbarri’s Ry Craike exiting in the semi finals, defending series champion Dave Reardon-Smith finishing fourth and the Gold Coasts Dion Agius placing fifth in the final, it was Flintoff who took the 2002/03 title.
Clean 1.5 metre waves greeted the worlds best aerial surfers this morning with a cross shore sea breeze chopping up conditions as the day progressed. The airbourne division of the surfing world was in full force, pushing the boundaries of progressive surfing.
Dave Neilson stamped his winning intentions early on in the day and won every heat on his way to the final.
“This ones for my kids.” said an emotional Neilson.”I surfed well all day and then a had a slow start in the final and was thinking I might have peaked too early”
“But then I got that set wave that walled up and I went for the crowd pleaser, thinking I wouldn’t land it but I did and it felt amazing. I worked out that I was doing airs before a lot of these guys I was competing with had even started surfing so I do feel like a bit of a veteran and I guess the experience paid off today. Neilson Said.
With a growing repertoire of aerial antics and a rock-solid forehand air 360 that never seemed to let him down, Kirby Brown had a great start to the 25-minute final, “In the first minute I got a 7 and knew I had heaps of time to get another good score.” Brown said.
“But then my waves didn’t link up as well and I started falling off a lot. I then scored a 4.27 which was enough to get me into second so I’m stoked as I haven’t done many Airshows before I’m stoked for Dave as he really deserves it”
The Quiksilver Eyewear Best Air of the day was awarded to Josh Kerr who stomped a “backside shove it” – judges awarding him with a 9.17 for the 270 degree board rotation. Kerr who won the opening Newcastle Airshow suffered an injury plagued season commencing with a hit and run in Hawaii later last year. The 19-year-old re-stressed the fracture when he was competing in the USA forcing him to withdraw from the last four airshows on the Australasian circuit and finished 7th in this event.
The Torquay Time Tunnel best tube ride was awarded to Kirby Brown for a long barrel on a chunky set wave.
The top four surfers on the ratings have qualified for the Quiksilver Airshow specialty event aboard the Quiksilver Crossing in the Caribbean later this year. Series winner Flintoff (Cronulla, NSW) will be joined by # 2 Ry Craike (Kalbarri, WA), # 3 Dave Reardon-Smith (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and # 4 Dion Agius (Gold Coast, QLD).
In addition to the surfing action, the final round of the Quiksilver Airshow DJ comp took place throughout the day. This round was won by DJ Finatik, who now gets a trip to next years Quiksilver Pro for the DJ final and will be competing to have a shot at the $5000 prize money.
The 2002/03 Quiksilver Airshow Series comprised of six one-day events incorporating Newcastle-NSW, Marroochydore-QLD, Portsea-VIC, Piha-New Zealand, Japan and Cottesloe-W.A. Each event shared a prize purse of $20,000 with a winner’s cheque of $10,000. Airshows have created a sub-culture for the worlds most innovative and futuristic surfers and have attracted a strong cult following around the world.
The Quiksilver Airshow Series sees competitors attempt to launch themselves as high as possible off a wave into the air, completing a technical aerial ‘move’ at the same time. Judges only score maneuvers performed in the air, as opposed to the more traditional approach of judging surfing maneuvers on a wave
Official results of Quiksilver Airshow World Series in Perth.
1st Dave Neilson
2nd Kirby Brown
3rd Dru Adler
4th Dave Reardon-Smith
5th Dion Aguis
6th Kable Rowlinson