Ripping bru! South Africa’s Travis Logie. Photo: Surfing Australia
In the tightest men's final at Newcastle for many years, former ASP Dream Tour surfer Travis Logie (17.50) defeated current ASP Dream Tour surfer Drew Courtney (16.45) from Umina on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Thirty-year-old Logie, who was a world amateur champion at 23, edged out Courtney in the Mark Richards Pro. Courtney, currently ranked 17th in the world, lost a fin from a favourite board with 12 minutes remaining on the clock.
Although he secured another surfboard, Courtney was never able to secure the 9.25 score required to regain the lead in the wave tussle. Logie's two top waves from the tightly contested battle were each worth 8.75, while Courtney's top wave score was an 8.25.
Hailing from Durban in South Africa, Logie first turned heads when he demolished Kelly Slater in the Nova Schin festival in Brazil in 2005. While a WQS win remains elusive for Courtney, Logie claimed today's victory ranks alongside his win at a six-star event in Hossegor, France in 2004.
"This is huge confidence boost. I've been training so hard so it's good to see it pay off," said Logie. And pay off it did, with the natural-footer ready to go to the next leg on the Australian professional surfing tour in Tasmania $US5000 richer.
Logie, who is considered by his peers to be one of the very best small wave surfers on the planet, is recovering from a serious knee injury. But he believes his knee is now 100 per cent and today's win is the massive confidence boost he needs as he does his best to get back on the elite ASP Dream Tour.
Logie is no stranger to Newcastle. "Mark Richards is a true icon of the sport of surfing and to win a trophy named in his honour is unbelievable," he said.
Logie had another tight win in the semi-final, after coming up against local school student Sam Lendrum from Catherine Hill Bay. Lendrum, (13.50) the last local hope in the Mark Richards Pro, lost to Logie (13.45) by the narrowest margin (0.05-points) in the entire competition.
The unlucky 18-year-old, who had earlier led the victory charge of the Catherine Hill Bay boardriders in the Coca-Cola teams challenge, was pipped in the last minutes of the heat by the South African.
While its back to school for Lendrum, other surfers will move to Tasmania to contest the O'Neill Cold Water Classic.
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