Piha Beach, New Zealand (Saturday, February 8th 2003), – – WesternAustralian junior surfer Ry Craike (Kalbarri) posted his first victoryin over a year by taking out today’s Quiksilver World Airshow Series atPiha Beach in New Zealand.
Clean 3-4ft (1.5m) waves were on offer throughout the day, providingplenty of ‘ramp’ sections for the world’s best aerialists to launch off,as hundreds of spectators soaked up the incredible action.
Craike, 17, put his trademark front-side airs reverses to full effect.He secured a 9.33 and then a 7.83, which resulted in his total of 26.40out of a possible 30 points, since each surfer’s best ride is doubledwhen tabulated; a bonus incentive setup to inspire bigger moves.
The 25-minute final saw Kable Rowlinson (Dee Why, NSW), Dave Neilson(Central Coast, NSW), Dion Agius (Currumbin, QLD), Asher Pacey(Coolangatta, QLD) and James Lewis (Mermaid Beach, QLD) fill therespective minor places.
In the final, the surfing pilots took to the air and scores remainedintense right until the end with Rowlinson nailing the first perfect10-point ride for the 2002/’03 series. Craike’s combination of two hugeboosts, however, proved the linchpin.
“This feels amazing.” began Ry. “I had a 9.3 and a 7 something whichis usually enough to win.” he continued, referring to his best scores.
“But when Kable got a 10 with five minutes to go I was freaking out -just so nervous that he would get another score, but I managed to hangon and was so stoked.” Added Craike.
Rowlinson stomped a variety of technical grabs but with five minutesremaining, he found a decent right and unloaded a massive front-side airreverse on a huge section to tighten the race.
“I saw the section and knew I had to go for it.” Rowlinson said,”I went for it as hard as I could and didn’t care if I was going tohurt myself or not. I heard the commentators yell I got a perfect 10 soI knew I had a shot (at the title) but I didn’t have a second wave toback it up unfortunately”
“My goal is to make the top 4 of the season ratings so with this resultI’ll move up a few spots and it would be an honor to make theprestigious final aboard the Crossing.” Rowlinson added.
Former world aerial champion Josh Kerr (Gold Coast, QLD) commenced histechnical comeback by competing for the first time since his hit and runaccident in Hawaii last year.
The 18-year-old, who is still recovering from his badly broken leg,gained crucial ratings points by paddling out to keep his hopes alivefor a top four finish in the Airshow Series ratings. Kerr is aiming forcomplete recovery by March when doctors have predicted he will be 100per cent fit.
Dave Roardon-Smith (Sunshine Coast, QLD) finished 7th overall andnarrowly maintains the lead of the Quiksilver Airshow World Seriesratings, but the skies are still wide open though and with two morevictories to claim, there’s sure to be some shuffling in the standingsbefore the series is over.
Jay Papworth was the highest placed Kiwi, coming unstuck in the semifinal and placing 10th overall.
The 2002/03 Quiksilver Airshow Series comprises of six one-day eventsincorporating Newcastle-NSW, Maroochydore-QLD, Portsea-VIC, Piha-NewZealand, Japan and Cottesloe-W.A. Each event shares a prize purse of$20,000 with a winner’s cheque of $10,000. Airshows have created asub-culture for the worlds most innovative and futuristic surfers andhave attracted a strong cult following around the world.
In this specialised series of surfing contests, competitors attempt tolaunch themselves as high as possible off a wave into the air,completing a technical aerial ‘move’ at the same time. Judges only scoremanoeuvres performed in the air, as opposed to the more traditionalapproach of judging surfing manoeuvres on a wave
In addition to the surfing action, DJ Shay Rainger won the QuiksilverAirshow DJ competition which is unearthing the nations best youth DJtalennts. The winner of the play-off from each series event gets an allexpense paid trip to play at the Airshow DJ Contest Final, for the grandprize of $5000 in cash.
The next event on the Quiksilver Airshow World Series will be in Japan,June 28th, 2003.
Official results of Quiksilver Airshow World Series at Piha Beach, NZ.
1st Ry Craike $10,000 – 26.40 points outof 30.
2nd Kable Rowlinson $3,000 – 24.0
3rd Dave Neilson $2,000 – 19.80
4th Dion Agius $1,500 – 19.80
5th Asher Pacey $750 – 16.6
6th James Lewis $750 – 11.60