North Narrabeen Wins Back To Back Jim Beam Surftag National Finals At Home Break

March 7, 2008 : – – North Narrabeen overcame a galaxy of WCT stars to claim the $100,000 Jim Beam Surftag Series National Final with a faultless performance in fluctuating conditions at North Narrabeen Beach today.

North Narrabeen went into the event with one of the most consistent teams in the competition and Nathan Webster, Nathan Hedge, Christo Hall, Ozzie Wright and Chris Davidson stood tall when they needed too most in a star-studded final.

North Narrabeen, which made it back-to-back titles, had to overcome World No.2 Taj Burrow’s Yallingup, World No.9 Kai Otton’s North Steyne and the unfancied Ulludulla, which covered itself in glory by claiming second place. After moving through the quarter finals and semi finals with very consistent surfing, North Narrabeen exploded into action in the final, blowing away the opposition as conditions deteriorated late in the day.

Webster started the ball rolling with a strong start of 23 points before Hedge (20.1), Hall (25.3), Wright (14.1) and Chris Davidson (25) kept the momentum to win by 12 points from Ulludulla (99.1), North Steyne (93.9) and Yallingup (71.9).

Anchorman Chris Davidson was a rock for the North Narrabeen team, putting aside the death of his Grandfather this week, to secure the title with a stirring last man score of 25 when the pressure was at its hottest. “To win the National Title on our home break with so many mates and family at the beach was massive,” Davidson said. “We worked really hard for this and tried to be consistent right the way through the day and it worked.

“Consistency is such an important part of surfing and we managed to do that and in the final the boys went off. Noodles (Webster) started the ball rolling as strong as he always does then Hedgey (Hedge), Christo (Hall) and Ozzie (Wright) did the job before tagging me in.

“It has been a very tough few days (regarding the death of his Grandfather) but this goes someway towards putting a smile back on my face.” While North Narrabeen took out the top honors Burrow won the individual awards, claiming the O’Neill Surfer of the Series award for his wave average (27.54) over the three rounds today and also the Oporto Powerwave competition for scoring a 9.0 in the semi finals.

The World No.2, who competed in the Jim Beam Surftag Series between WCT events on the Gold Coast (last weekend) and Bells Beach (next week), was thrilled to be able to compete as part of a team and fly the flag for his native Western Australia.

“We had a pretty good day but couldn’t quite keep it going in the final,” Burrow said. “I’m just happy to be flying the flag for WA and Yallingup and competing side-by-side with the guys I grew up with for Yallingup. “I don’t get to surf as part of a team too often so it’s always good to be part of a team, especially Yallingup. For a small club in WA to finish 4th in the National Final is great for everyone involved with Yallingup.”

World No.9 Kai Otton was also a winner on the day, taking home a brand new v-moto scooter for recording the highest wave score of the final, scoring 28.9 for his three waves.

Otton’s North Steyne (96.5) was the first club into the final after dominating the first semi final. A strong mid section that saw Otton (24.2), Dayyan Neve (21.6) and Paul Evans (25.4) string together some great waves, was enough to see them win the first semi final with Ulludulla (91.1) joining them in the final.

NSW Champions Cronulla (84.5) looked like they would progress along with North Steyne but Ulludulla’s fifth and final surfer, Tim Taplin scored a 23.7 to leapfrog the NSW Champions and send the south coast club into the final. Elouera was also eliminated after scoring 65.4 points

Yallingup then threw down the gauntlet thanks to a magnificent opening burst from former WCT surfer Jake Patterson and Burrow, which helped the West Australian team amass the highest team score of the entire Jim Beam Surftag Series of 109.

Patterson started off with a 32.0 from his three waves, including one ride of 8.8, and then tagged Burrow who notched a 31.5, highlighted by a 9.0 ride, to give them an unassailable lead after just 20 minutes of the one hour semi final. Yallingup were joined in the final by local club North Narrabeen (86.1) but Seaford’s giant-killing run ended as they posted a score of 74.4 and Curl Curl also bowed out with 71.1 points.

Earlier in the day, the 2008 Jim Beam Surftag Series started in spectacular fashion with the first quarter final going right down to the wire with NSW Champions Cronulla, local rivals Elouera and Lennox Ballina (LeBa) finishing within 1.5 points after the one hour heat. Cronulla (96 points) and Elouera (95.6) progressed to the semi finals ahead of a desperately unlucky LeBa (94.4) and Margaret River (75).

North Steyne then flexed its muscles with a very impressive opening heat, registering 97.9 straight off the bat as Beau Mitchell started with a 24.7 before WCT surfers Kai Otton (23.5) and Dayyan Neve (22.8) continued the momentum. North Steyne were joined in the semi finals by South Coast club Ulludulla (76 points) while Philip Island (65.5) and Scarborough (48.6) bowed out of the competition.

The Big Guns continued to fire in the third quarter final with North Narrabeen using its local knowledge to score 96.4, just pipping the Taj-Burrow inspired Yallingup (96.3), which meant Kirra (76.8) and Sandon Point (67.3) were knocked out. Burrow showed why he is ranked No.2 in the world, scoring a 31.8 out of a possible 40, in a good comeback after a disappointing early exit from last week’s Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast.

The first upset of the day came in quarter final four when one of the favorites, Snapper Rocks crashed out of the competition, beaten by Cinderella South Australian club Seaford.

Seaford became the first team from South Australia to compete in the Jim Beam Surftag Series and after winning its way through the Victorian Qualifying event, stormed into the semi finals of the National Final with a massive combined score of 100 points, edging out Curl Curl (87.5) with Snapper Rocks (77.3) and Queenscliff (63.5) knocked out.

The completion of the quarter finals saw Cronulla, Elouera, North Steyne, Ulludulla, North Narrabeen, Yallingup, Seaford and Curl Curl progress to the semi finals. In a major shock, no Queensland-based club progressed to the semi finals for the first time in the seven-year history of the Jim Beam Surftag Series.

Results:

Final
1st – North Narrabeen 111.5Nathan Webster 23, Nathan Hedge 20.1, Christo Hall 25.3, Ozzie Wright 14.1, Chris Davidson 25 bonus points
2nd – Ulludulla 99.1Phil Macdonald 24, Tim Wrench 20.9, Kurt Nyholm 15.9,Nathan Marks 16.2, Tim Taplin 19.1, bonus points 3
3rd – North Steyne 93.9Beau Mitchell 19.4, Kai Otton 28.9, Dayyan Neve 22.7, Paul Evans 18.9, Jan Bruun 3, bonus points 1
4th – Yallingup 71.9Jake Patterson 11.3, Taj Burrow 25.3, Jay Davies 13.1, Zac Ogram 11.4, Wyatt Davies 8.8, bonus points 2

Semifinals
SF 1: 1. North Steyne (96.5), 2. Ulludulla (91.1), 3. Cronulla (84.5), 4. Elouera (65.4).
SF 2: 1. Yallingup (109.7, 2. North Narrabeen (86.1), 3. Seaford (74.4), 4. Curl Curl (71.1).
QF 1: 1. Cronulla (96), 2. Elouera (95.6), 3. LeBa (94.4), 4. Margaret River (75).
QF 2: 1. North Steyne (97.9), 2. Ulludulla (76), 3. Philip Island (65.5), 4. Scarborough (48.6).
QF 3: 1. North Narrabeen (96.4), 2. Yallingup (96.3), 3. Kirra (76.8), 4. Sandon Point (67.3).
QF 4: 1. Seaford (100), 2. Curl Curl (87.5), 3. Snapper Rocks (77.3), 4. Queenscliff (63.4).

O’Neill Surfer of the Series award:
Taj Burrow (Wave average of 27.54)

Oporto Powerwave competition:
Taj Burrow (highest wave score of 9.0 – in the semi finals)

Vmoto award for highest wave score in the final:
Kai Otton (28.9)

How Surftag Works:
Surftag is a team’s event where four clubs compete in a one hour heat. Each club has five surfers, who surf one at a time and must catch three waves and then tag the next surfer from their club, creating an evolving and exciting format. Surftag is a team’s event where each team (Boardriding Club) has five competitors. All competitors must be over the age of 18 and one surfer must be over 30.
Each heat goes for one hour with surfers required to catch three waves before coming to shore and tagging their next team mate. All three waves are scored by judges with the second wave of each competitor deemed a “Power Wave” and worth double points.
Teams also receive bonus points for finishing within the one hour time limit with four points (4) for the first team to finish, three points for the 2nd team, two points for the 3rd team and one point for the final team to finish inside the limit. The point scores from all five surfers plus any bonus points are tallied to find the winner.
The 2008 Jim Beam Surftag National Series is proudly supported by Jim Beam, Oneill, Oporto, Vmoto, Mizone, Tracks and Coastalwatch.

s:
Surftag is a team’s event where four clubs compete in a one hour heat. Each club has five surfers, who surf one at a time and must catch three waves and then tag the next surfer from their club, creating an evolving and exciting format. Surftag is a team’s event where each team (Boardriding Club) has five competitors. All competitors must be over the age of 18 and one surfer must be over 30.
Each heat goes for one hour with surfers required to catch three waves before coming to shore and tagging their next team mate. All three waves are scored by judges with the second wave of each competitor deemed a “Power Wave” and worth double points.
Teams also receive bonus points for finishing within the one hour time limit with four points (4) for the first team to finish, three points for the 2nd team, two points for the 3rd team and one point for the final team to finish inside the limit. The point scores from all five surfers plus any bonus points are tallied to find the winner.
The 2008 Jim Beam Surftag National Series is proudly supported by Jim Beam, Oneill, Oporto, Vmoto, Mizone, Tracks and Coastalwatch.