(Gold Coast – Sunday 18th January, 2009): REIGNING state champion Shaun Gossmann (Burleigh Heads) claimed first blood in the race for the 2009 Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC) crown, taking out the season-opening Billabong Alley Classic on the Gold Coast today.
Gossmann, 26, proved his 2008 QCC crown was no fluke, making his mark on the Currumbin Alley line-up to collect $3,000 and a valuable 1000 rating points in the 3 star rated, $6,000 tournament.
"It feels good to come to this event and do well, especially after coming off such a high last year," said Gossmann.
"My result in last year's event set me up for the 2008 crown, so hopefully I can repeat it this year."
The former Durbanite, who won each of his three heats en route to the final, defied rising 2-3ft wind-affected, high tide waves to take line honours head of Byron Bay's Ellis Ericson, Coolangatta's Clancy Dawson and Alexandra Headland's Blake Wilson.
Post final, Gossmann said he was thrilled to jag his maiden Alley crown after multiple finals appearances.
"It's eluded me for like eight years," he said.
"I've made four or five finals in the past, so to finally come off with a win is a huge relief. I'm over the moon."
In tempo with the tricky conditions, Gossmann jagged a set wave before unleashing successive high-performance moves to net an 8.00 in the early stages of the 25-minute final.
Leaving nothing to chance, Gossmann backed it up with a 6.85 to put the result beyond doubt. Gossmann finishing on a two-wave combined total of a 14.85 (out of a possible 20) to Ericson's 11.35.
Dawson and Wilson finishing in third and fourth respectively.
Final Scores: Gossmann (14.85), Ericson (11.35), Dawson (10.75) and Wilson (8.75).
Apart from winning the Alley title, Gossmann joined a prestigious list of past winners including World tour stars Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta), Luke Munro (Currumbin) and Adriano De Souza (Brazi).
Adding to the event's already high stakes was the Tooheys Extra Dry 'Wave of the Weekend’. Despite finishing in third, Dawson was awarded four cartons of the clean crisp taste of Tooheys Extra Dry for netting the event's highest individual wave score, an impressive 9.60 (out of a possible 10).
The next stop on the 2009 Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC) will be the Rip Curl MP Classic, starting on Jan 31, 2009.
The Billabong Alley Classic is the first stop of the 2009 Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC), a four event – $16,000 series, that continues to set the benchmark for surfers aspiring towards a professional surfing career.
Check out all the action on www.surfingqueensland.com