Media Releases 2015

Posted on 15/04/2015 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Community Embraces Second Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve Surfing Teams Challenge

The Surfing Teams Challenge held to celebrate the second anniversary of the declaration of the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve was a true recognition of what surfing is all about - fun, family, community and great waves…

Throughout the day, 99 competitors in 11 teams battled it out in often challenging conditions at Cape Woolamai under the watchful eyes of judges Pal Caninas and Craig Clark along with a large, supportive crowd.

Once again, it was a very close competition with only a few points between winners. ‘Island Surfboards’ won the day taking out the Dave Fincher Memorial Trophy. Sandy Ryan, who posted the highest individual wave score of the event, accepted the award on the team's behalf. 

Emotions ran high in the room as Dave’s daughters Rebecca and Michelle presented the trophy that the family made for the event. Sandy thanked everyone saying he was honoured and that Dave Fincher “had been such an inspiration to him his whole life, since he was eight, and that he had been sorely missed on the day.” Dave would have been equally thrilled to see grandson Walt Hiatt's team romp home in third place. 

‘Archysurf’ team came in second with the ‘Wave Pinchers’ team, captained by Walter Fincher and containing the most juniors in one team, coming in third place. 

“It was a very close competition,” said contest organiser Geoff Owens. “There was only one point between the second and third teams and only two points between the second and winning team.”

Once again, the supergroms (14 years and under) shone through with a fantastic display of enthusiasm and skill, which shows that the future of Phillip Island surfing is in very safe hands indeed.

Throughout the day, there was a great community feeling which many competitors described as the ‘big surfing family’ that is the Phillip Island surfing community. 

Competitors also commented on the fun spirit of the event and how the tag-team format and team make-up allowed for surfers of all ages and styles to have a go. 

As well as the cash prizes for competitors, over $3000 worth of goods were donated by local businesses including Island Surfboards, Reece, Outereef, Islantis and Full Circle.

Spectators and competitors also went into the draw for the major prize of a custom board donated by Island Surfboards. The coveted prize was won by Michelle Murphy from the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club who had spent the day providing first aid assistance for the event with Club Captain Georgie Wettenhall

Contest director Geoff Owens summed up the event: “This competition is a wonderful showcase of our wider and surfing community. People enjoy the format - it’s fun and inclusive.”

“Craig Clarke has been a judge for 20 years and had just been at Bells Beach and said the showcase of talent on the day here is second to none!” said Geoff.

The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve community project continues to be proudly supported by: Bendigo Community Bank San Remo, Cowes and Grantville; Ramada Phillip Island; Langford Jones Homes; Karoon Gas; Phillip Island Nature Parks; Bass Coast Shire Council; Phillip Island Boardriders Club and Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

It is hoped the Surf Teams Challenge will continue to be a regular event on the surfing calendar. Information and ongoing updates about the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve can be found on Facebook: ‘Phillip Island NSR’.

Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve Tag Team Challenge Results:

First place: Island Surfboards

Captain: Sandy Ryan – twin fin

  • Simon McShayne – open
  • Tim Van Bremelen – single fin
  • Francis Meade – junior
  • Caigan Meade – super grom
  • Bridget Gregson – female
  • Kev Fisher – kneeboard
  • Simon Chipper – Over 50
  • Eli Curry – Malibu

Team award – Tim Van Bremelen

Second place: Archysurf - captained by Luke Archibald
Team award – Jake Bill (supergrom)

Third place: Wave Pinchers – captained by Walter Hiatt and contained the most grommets and juniors.
Team award – Mitch Baker (for second highest scoring wave of the day)

Fourth place: TNT 2 Crew – captained by Carl Wright
Team award – Stu Campbell

Fifth place: Newhaven College – captained by Andy Neil
Team award – Will Edwards (supergrom)

Other competing teams:
Team Penguin
– captained by Andre Chiaradia
Team award – supergrom

Team Confusion – captained by Bob Matthews
Team award – Sam Dunlop (competed with a broken hand)

Woolamai Hards – captained by Geoff Owens
Team award – Luke Dunlop – supergrom

Cloud 9 – Captained by Amber White
Team award – supergrom

Gold Diggers – captained by Amber Goldsbury
Team award – Ravi Fostin – supergrom

True Dat – captained by Danielle Bayliss
Team award – Ed Amorin

Media contact:
Sally O’Neill 0408 101 976  sally.oneill@bigpond.com