NOOSA HEADS, Queensland/Australia (Wednesday March 17, 2010) – A in swell did little to deter the world’s finest professional longboarders from ping near perfect scores as the Noosa Festival of Surfing showcased world class performances in both the Pro Men’s and Women’s divisions today.
Despite a stacked heat draw consisting of ASP World Champions and multiple Australian Title holders it was non other than defending Golden Breed Pro LQS champion Taylor Jensen (USA), who blew the competition out of the water, posting the second near perfect 9.00 ride of the event, in dredging low tide conditions during the quarterfinals.
Completing a sensational performance off a smoking right-hander, Jensen’s series of clean off the top blasts and a fantastic barrel ride on the inside, earned him his spot into the semifinals over Jackson Close (Qld), Mitch Surman (Qld) and Jesse Jerrems (Qld).
“It’s been a great start to the event for me,” said Jensen. “This is the biggest event in longboarding we have World Titles and LQS events but everything seems to come together at this one so to win here again would be enormous.”
Local talent Josh Constable (Noosa) a former three times Noosa Champion, four times Australian Champion and former ASP World Longboard Champion stamped his authority on his home break, staving off a determined attack from Dane Pioli (Gold Coast) to advance into the semi finals in first place.
Constable showed exceptional form putting on a breathtaking performance to earn his second consecutive heat win of the day, with 7.5 and an 8.25 scores (out of ten).
“It was pretty difficult out there on the low tide, there’s a strong sweep and I was lucky to get those two reeling ones,” Constable said. “My strategy was just to get as many waves as possible because otherwise you just end up paddling the whole time. It was a good battle against Dane (Pioli).”
Constable, who posted the first near perfect 9.00- point ride of the event during round 1, will be tough to beat especially if the swell increases.
With a large Northeasterly swell caused by the twin cyclone pattern currently off the central Queensland coast predicted for the weekend, surfers are looking forward to epic conditions with waves in the 2-meter region expected at First Point.
“I’ve never seen Noosa that big, so it’s going to be different competing in that size swell,” Constable continued. “Obviously my goal every year is to win out here and I’m a big guy so I’m excited to compete in some solid waves.”
Reigning ASP World Longboard Champion Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour) is similarly looking forward to the predicted increase in swell at the weekend.
The current longboarding kingpin taking two out of two wins over stylish Californian noserider Christian Wach today, to join Constable in the semifinals.
“It’s good to get those heats under my belt because I knew today would be the smallest day in the swell,” said Ingleby. “Josh is looking exceptionally strong, he will be the hardest guy to beat at his home break.”
“Hopefully with a bigger swell it will level the playing field and everyone will be able to get a good size wave out there.”
Also advancing into the semifinals this afternoon were Grant Thomas (Qld) and Thomas Kibblewhite (NZL).
Local girl Rosie Locke (Noosa) was the shining light in the Back Beach Pro 1-Star LQS Women’s division, the reigning Australian Champion advancing into the Semifinals at her home break today.
“It was amazing to win that first heat because it really sets you up for the rest of the event,” said Locke. “I haven’t won an event at Noosa since I was a junior and my surfing is feeling so good at the moment, it really feels like it’s meant to happen this year.”
The stand-out surfer from start to finish, Locke picked off just the right waves in the tricky high-tide conditions, defeating trials winner Brodie Murray (QLD) whilst eliminating local girl Kelly Winter (Noosa) and Nava Young (WA) from this years competition.
Reigning ASP Women’s Longboard Champion Jennifer Smith (USA) suffered a shock upset in her round 1 heat, when she was defeated by fellow American surfer Leah Dawson (USA) and Claire Norman (NSW) the usually stylish Californian failing to find a wave that would connect onto the inside.
Byron Bay’s Isabelle Braly looked as polished as ever, capturing a convincing heat win to advance into the semifinals along with local surfer Bianca Anstiss (QLD).
Georgia Young (WA) was another standout surfer advancing into the semifinals Young taking an early heat lead with impressive 7.00 and 6.9 scores to defeat Crystal Dzigas (HAW) and eliminating Haunani Kane (HAW) and Jodie Basby (NSW).
The action continues tomorrow with the Semifinals of the Pro Mens and Womens divisions scheduled from 12H20.