(Merewether beach, Surfest Newcastle Australia, 3 March 2019)
AUSTRALIA’s richest surfing contest for Indigenous surfers has been won by Russell Molony from Bateau Bay on the NSW Central Coast.
Molony, who took home $6000 and the perpetual trophy that carries his name, left it until inside the last minute to secure his victory in small waves fanned by a north-easterly wind at Merewether beach.
“It was tight final and we all had a bit of a slow start when there wasn’t a heap of waves coming through. It all came down to the last five minutes and then mine came with 30 seconds to go and it paid off ,” the 42-year-old said.
The former national Indigenous champion said it is always a lot of fun coming to Merewether and catching up with friends and their families and seeing how much surfers have improved each year.
“It always feels good coming here. I’m not really nervous before any heats anymore which is a good sign and my equipment seems to be working well.
“My body seems to be taking longer to recover and I’m just coming off an injury and so it feels good to be getting in there with all the boys,” Molony said.
Jasmine McCorquodale from Bateau Bay on the Central Coast claimed her second successive crown in the Wandiyali Women’s Classic.
The year 10 student from Tumbi Umbi High said it was great to get waves in conditions where wave selection was essential to securing a good score.
“It was great to just catch some waves this time because I’m so used to comps with bad waves. This year we got some fun waves and it was great to get out with the girls,’ she said.
And how have things changed for the 15-year-old since she won this contest at Merewether last year?
“Obviously I still get a bit nervous but I am a lot more comfortable with my equipment and how I have been surfing.
“The girls in the Indigenous comps have improved so much so you never know what to expect or what they are going to do,” she added.
McCorquodale will be back at Merewether beach on Tuesday and Wednesday when she will surf for Tumbi Umbi High in the Go Kindy High Schools Team Challenge.
In the two other events that were contested at the Wandiyali Indigenous Classic over the weekend, Taj Simon from Coomba Bay won the juniors and Victorian Rhys Collins won the longboard competition.
Wandiyali Classic Mens
1. Russell Molony (Bateau Bay, NSW) $6000
2. Byron Simon (Coomba Bay, NSW) $4000
3. Rohnin Henry Micale (Corrimal, NSW) $2000
4. John Craig (Newcastle, NSW) $1500
Wandiyali Classic Womens
1. Jasmine McCorquodale (Bateau Bay, NSW) $1500
2. Summer Simon (Coomba Bay), NSW $750
3. Jalaan Slabb (Casuarina, NSW) $500
4. Charli Law (One Mile, NSW) $250
Wandiyali Classic Junior
1.Taj Simon (Coomba Bay, NSW) $1000
2. Jed McDonagh (Coomba Bay, NSW) $500
3. Rohnin Henry Micale (Corrimal, NSW) $300
4. Julung Slabb ( Casuarina, NSW) $200
Wandiyali Classic Longboard
1. Rhys Collins (Redhill, VIC) $1000
2. Tom Avery (Coolangatta, QLD) $500
3. Robbie Page (Bellbrook, NSW) $300
4. Donny James (Merewether, NSW) $200