Caba cranks at Sailor Jerry
SNAPPER Rocks Surfriders have stormed home late to win the Sailor Jerry Surftag Queensland and Northern NSW qualifier ahead of LeBa (Lennox Ballina), Cabarita and Kirra at Cabarita Back Beach.
The Duranbah Boardriders women's team and the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club men's team were the big winners at the weekend's Queensland and Northern NSW qualifying elimination round for the Sailor Jerry Surftag Teams competition held on the back beach of Cabarita.
Trailing in fourth place behind early leaders LeBa and seemingly on the ropes, Snapper Rocks mounted a sensational late comeback, counting on their big guns to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Snapper's fourth and fifth surfers Mitch Parkinson and Jay Phillips both scored in the excellent range to take Snapper's team total to 97.13, nine points clear of runners-up LeBa on 87.57.
Snapper Rocks' new brigade of rippers - Max Kearney, Dextar Muskens and Reef Doig - kept them in the hunt during the early stages of the final but, when Mitch Parkinson posted a 7.83 and 9.00 point on his 'Powerwave' (double points), Snapper Rocks had narrowed LeBa's early lead despite big scores from former world tour pro's Adam Melling and Stu Kennedy.
Snapper's president Jay Phillips, who was their anchor man and final fifth surfer, kept the pressure on by racking up unpassable scores with an 8.00 and 6.37 to secure the final victory.
Phillips, who was holding down the team captain role too, has been a stalwart for the club's team competition over the last 20 years.
Jay always seems to find that little bit extra to ensure Snapper gets over the line and says he is so happy to still be in the Snapper Rocks team, which now includes the next generation of surfers.
"I'm stoked to be part of such a great club and to be still representing the club alongside the younger guys who all surfed so good today,” Phillips said.
"The LeBa team on paper looks unbeatable but we knew we just had to keep grinding away and Mitch really put us in a good position when he scored the 9-point powerwave.
"We are really looking forward now to the Australian Championships in a few weeks at D'Bah which is a world-class wave.”
With the top six teams qualifying to the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Championships, Snapper Rocks, LeBa, Cabarita and Kirra will be joined by D'Bah and Kingscliff at Duranbah Beach on April 27-28.
In the women's division, D'Bah Boardriders (65.27) peaked in the final to finish on top of North End Boardriders (51.50) who had earlier in the day beaten D'Bah in Round 1.
Freya Prumm was a standout for D'Bah, scoring a 9.40 in the final which was backed up by Audrey Styman-Lane's two-wave total of 15.53.
D'Bah will now head into the Australian Championships looking to secure their fourth straight Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian title, a feat that has never been achieved in the 17-year history of Surftag.
The top 24 men's and 10 women's teams will contest the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Championships at Duranbah.