2019 Merimbula Classic enjoys stunning success

Air-time: North and South Easterly winds provided excellent kite surfing conditions on Main Beach Merimbula for the annual Classic. Picture: Henry and Trish Jones.
Air-time: North and South Easterly winds provided excellent kite surfing conditions on Main Beach Merimbula for the annual Classic. Picture: Henry and Trish Jones.

About 200 surfers enjoyed blissful conditions for four days of wind and waves at the Raging Bull Merimbula Classic.

Event director John Smythe said winds and swell were spectacular throughout the event and surfers were able to embrace excellent conditions up and down the coast.

"We spread ourselves around the Sapphire Coast," Smythe said. "There were some good sessions up at Bournda Island, down at the Pambula Rivermouth and some strong kiting up at Short Point."

Smythe said entries took a huge jump for the 39th Classic, up about 50 from last year and he was delighted to see conditions on point for all the entrants.

"We had entrants from just about every state in Australia and a few internationals," he said.

He said there were sponsor-entrants from Denmark and Europe as well as New Zealand, the Philippines and some from the US.

"It was a big four days, we had good waves and great wind throughout, while strong conditions early favoured the stand-up paddlers," he said.

Winds eased a bit on Saturday, but it created a spectacle all the same as the new toys came out with wings and foils dominant in the lighter conditions.

A good north easterly blow returned for the final sessions on Sunday with everyone taking to the water.

"Thewre was just about every wind and water toy you could imagine out the front at Main Beach Merimbula," Smythe said.

Social activities were also a highlight with gourmet oysters, seafood paella and tacos in the offing on Friday night as part of what Smythe described as "a taste of Merimbula" with Sam Mills coordinating a number of local musicians for the night.

Things took a wild west turn on Saturday as entrants enjoyed a Figments gig at Club Sapphire with a western theme to suit the Raging Bull with Smythe saying it "was outrageously fun" as something of a "cowboy-Woodstock".

Sunday provided presentations with about $70,000 in prizes being handed out with some of the major draws featuring holiday packages to Fiji and the Philippines.

There was also plenty of gear with kites, wings, foils and boards in the offing with plenty of up-and-comers able to expand their collection, Mr Smythe said.

On Monday Smythe said visitors were preparing to make the trip home, but all were leaving with smiles, while many had cars packed with trophies or some new gear.

Officials are now focusing on the Classic's 40th annivesary event to run in 2020.

Smythe said he and other officials were hoping to welcome back some of the faces who helped launch the surf annual in 1980.

Smythe also thanked new sponsors Raging Bull Surf and Coopers for their support.

RESULTS

Ben Wilson Kite week and Namotu Island prize

(The BW kiter of the future) Woodley Hall

The Gary McKenzie-Smith Ozone Kite prize Patrick Smyth

Algie up and comer award Aaron Kebbell

Philthy Phil Award Aaron Kenny

Big Wave Dave Award Luca Duffin

Horizon Big Air Award Alex verkecchia

CLASS AWARDS -

Men's

KITE SURFING

1.Beau Pilgrim

2.Beau Blake

3.Alex Lewis-Hughes

WAVE SAILING

1.Adrian Levy

2.Dean Hendrie

3.Angus McMillan

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) SURFING

1.Jack Johnston

2.Liam Johnston

3.Matt Burgess

Women's

KITE SURFING

1.Kelly Gearing

2.Peri Roberts

3.Ashley Brunette

WAVE SAILING

1.Anthea Williams

2.Cheryl Cater

3.Junko Murphy

SUP

1.Madeline Rayner

2.Melissa McMannus

3.Denise Kane

JUNIORS

KITE SURFING

1.Patrick Smyth

2.Woodley Hall

3.Sandon Roberts

SUP

1.Josh Stretton

2.Indy Rose

3.Spencer Hole

MASTERS

SUP

1.John Messenger

2.Andy Davies

3.Mick Slattery

KITE SURFING

1.Ben Will

2.Lee Kavanagh

3.Fabio Tomi

WAVE SAILING

1.Ben Wood

2.Rohan Cudmore

3.Craig Spottiswood

GRAND MASTERS

SUP

1.Scott Brown

2.Rod Hinson

3.Warwick Lee

KITE SURFING

1.Glen Brunette

2.Brad Hampson

3.Rich Stenning

WAVE SAILING

1.Ben Johnston

2.jason Cater

3.Grant Jones

LEGENDS

WAVE SAILING

1.Warren Holder

2.Bruce White

3.Glenn Kewish

SUP

1.Phil Baggs

2.Peter Sharp

3.Rob Duffy

KITE SURFING

1.Jeff Steel

2.Nigel Allison

LOCAL

KITE SURFING Chris Hagan

WAVE SAILING Ginna Graham

SUP brody and Byron Kellalea