April 9, 2008 : – – Even before the weekend crowds the set-up was already smoking Manly Beach was transformed into a giant living, breathing and smoking atomic laboratory over the weekend as 120 surfers from all around Australia arrived in town for Volcom Stone’s Totally Crustaceous VQS Grand Championships.
Volcom Labrats with two tickets to America for the $100,000 VQS Word Titles up for grabs the stakes were certainly high but that didn’t stop competitors and spectators from having a ball and taking full advantage of the wacky scientific set-up.
Thunderbox madness kids won prizes by taking part in ridiculous activities such as the Volcom mad lab thunder box ticket grab and the Electric Visuals crumb cutlet comp in which they rolled on the beach to see who could get the most covered in sand.
Some grommets got drenched in baked beans and flour in the Future Fins Torture Chamber, others scored big time in the Famous Accessories Arms of Fury challenge. The Vestal Watches VQS Handstand Comp was another big favorite, while the Wave Magazine Cheer your guts out Scream-a-thon saw one lucky gremlin head home with a six month subscription.
The Red Bull girls were at their stunning best and crowds were treated to a late afternoon expression session featuring the likes of local heroes Ozzie Wright and Davis Vlug as well as international guests Dustin Cuizon and Jake Kirchenbaum. Jakey from East Coast USA a Standout in the Twilight Expression Session The Stroppy Hurricane was out and about.
Local legend Vluggy was on fire too Ozzie and Cortney Brown autographed a few posters for the groms. But it was Volcom Stone’s VQS Grand Championships finals that everyone was there to see and in the end small waves did little to deteriorate the mass enthusiasm of roaring crowds and amped competitors. Young grom Beau Forster stoked to be ripping up heat at Manly
The 14-Under division saw the two best surfers of the entire weekend fight it out in pretty inconsistent conditions. Cooper Chapman tried his best to wiggle points out of the waves he scrapp into but when Oscar Scanes pulled the only set of the final it was lights out for Coop.
“It was tough going out there but it was an awesome weekend and I can’t wait to come back to the VQS next year for even more fun,” said Scanesy, who scored a new guitar as his first place trophy. Can he play? “Mate, I can’t even play the triangle I guess I’ll have to get lessons,” he said.
The hotly contested Girls division was a much closer affair. Tyler Wright looked to have the edge but when Dimity Stoyle scored the wave of the final and lacerated three massive backside turns it looked as if an upset might be on the cards. Unfortunately for Stoyle the score wasn’t enough and Tyler held on for the narrowest of victories. “I thought Dimity might have pulled out the Houdini on that last ride,” said Tyler.
“I think I’m just as relieved as I am stoked that she didn’t get the score.” Tyler rode off on a brand new cruiser from Manly Cycles for the win. Dimity Syle’s last wave fell just short of getting her the VQS Grand Champs win And Tyler Wright steals the win The 15-17 division was always gonna be a firey encounter especially with a flight to the states for Volcom Stone’s VQS World Titles up for grabs.
James Woods and Mitch Crews exchanged a handful of long winding rights up the beach as the rising tide presented a few more rippable options. In a sea-sawing battle there was no clear winner from a spectators point of view when the final hooter blasted the end of the heat. As both surfers waited anxiously at the presentation to find out the judges decision it was Woods who got the nod and the boarding pass.
“Oh man, I’m so stoked,” said an ecstatic Woods. “I really enjoy these competitions and now to represent Australia at the VQS Worlds is awesome. I can’t wait to get over there.”
The last heat of the day was the open Pro-Am final and with anothher trip to America up for grabs Tom Salverson made his intentions clear early by paddling up and under Luke Cheadle for the first 10 minutes of final. A double interference frustrated Cheads even further but when he finally picked off two rare running lefts he didn’t waste his opportunity of securing a win over Salvo with a couple of patented frontside fin busts.
“I came up herevreally wanting to win this event, so to achieve that is pretty cool,” said Cheadle after the final,”Bring on Disneyland.”
Volcom Stone’s VQS Grand Championships were the perfect end to a year’s worth of touring VQS regional grass roots events that buffed out over 1000 kids in four states. Congratulations to everyone who took part and especially to those who qualified for the VChamps. Good luck to our Aussie reps Luke Cheadle and James Woods at Volcom’s Totally Crustaceous VQS World Titles at Newport Beach California on May 9th. For the full webcast and to cheer the boys on go to Volcom.com.
Big thanks to product sponsors: Electric Visual, DVS Shoes, West Wetsuits, Vestal Watches, Famous Traction, Future Fins, Waves Magazine, Manly Cycles, Redbull Energy Drink, Gnech Surfboards, Eagles Music,