Rip Curl Kirra Teams Challenge
Friday Feb 20 to Sunday Feb 22
Coolangatta to Duranbah Gold Coast Queensland
Prize Pool $12 000
Sunday February 22, 2009: North End Boardriders on the Gold Cast today won their first ever Rip Curl Kirra Teams Challenge.
Regarded as surfings' most prestigious and sought after national club teams trophy, this event pitted 36 of Australia's top Boardriding Clubs against each other over three days and the final results saw an incredible five clubs separated by just one point with North End victorious on 29 points out of a possible 32 points.
Out of their 8 surfers, surfing in four man heats, North End scored their win with 5 heat wins and 3 seconds .
Tied on 28 points were Le-Ba (short for Lenox/Ballina), Kirra, Noosa and Snapper Rocks with three of those four clubs on five wins, two 2nd's and a third … these clubs were placed 2nd to 5th based on their surfers cumulative points tally – see below for exact points tally.
The result went down to the second last heat of the day where North End surfer Damon Nicholls surfed his clubs final heat knowing that a 1st or 2nd placing would win the event while a 3rd or 4th would hand it to Le-Ba!
"Unbelievable finish for me, the pressure was amazing and I actually dreamt last night that it would come to this and being chaired off the beach – just an amazing feeling to be part of a winning team – I surfed a safe heat knowing that second would be good enough and that's exactly how it panned out – the perfect finish!"
Earlier on North End Surfer Scott Wilden put the club into a winning position when he posted a huge heat win over his opponents – Wilden posting a score of 14.5 while his opponents were requiring combinations of scores on 7.87, 7 and 4.02!"
North End club coach Tai Graham, who played a significant role in today's win also by defeating the highest rated ASP surfer in the event in Burleigh Heads' Jay Thompson when Graham won his heat was elated after the win saying – " We knew we were the underdogs here and felt we had something to prove – The south end gets all the attention with world champions in Fanning and Gilmore and the superbank and all but up our way we have surf too… and some great surfers which we proved today – our zone is from Broadbeach right through to South Straddie and we have pulled off a great win here today – It's the best teams event to win in Australia for sure and we've come close before so today is really special for us."
Le – Ba Boardriders applied pressure today with two big scoring heat wins from Adam Melling and James Woods but all they could do was watch today's final heat and hope Nicholl's would falter for his club.
" Second is a great result for us – winning is always better and we have won here before, but second is still an awesome result and full credit to today's winners – they surfed brilliant throughout and had a tough heat draw so they deserved their win" commented Le – Ba's club president after today's final.
This year was the 25th anniversary of the Rip Curl Kirra Teams Challenge and this event, apart from being etched in history and with an awesome eagle crafted trophy, is regarded as surfings' premier national Boardriders Club event.
North End have added their name to the perpetual trophy for 2009!
Top Ten Placings out of 36 Clubs for 2009 Rip Curl Kirra Teams Challenge :
North End Boardriders 29 point
Le – Ba Boardriders 28 points (119)
Kirra Boardriders 28 points (110)
Noosa Boardriders 28 points (105)
Snapper Rocks 28 points
Werri Beach NSW 27 points
D'Bah Boardriders 27 points
North Shore (Maroochydore)
North Narrabeen Sydney 27 points
Cabarita Boardriders 24 points