PIHA BEACH, Whangarei/New Zealand (Sunday, February 6, 2011) – Australia’s Josh Constable has claimed the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour title at Sandy Bay, Whangarei, New Zealand today – the first event of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Australasia Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) for 2011.
Constable now leads the four event LQS and also jumps back into the lead on the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour in New Zealand after winning the two events he has contested to date.
The final day of the Sandy Bay event took place in clean 0.5m – 1.0m waves with light winds and crisp conditions. After the previous two days of competition, day three delivered the best waves of the event and the large crowd witnessed a true spectacle of quality surfing.
The Open Men’s Final was run in the best waves of the entire event. Clean 1.0m waves broke on two clearly defined Sandy Bay peaks and the world class surfers thrived in the fun conditions. Harley Ingleby (AUS) opened up the final scoring a solid 9.0 ride (out of a possible 10) with a number of vertical back hand re-entries on a punchy left hander.
Josh Constable (Noosa) replied with some super stylish nose riding showing true class but young Mitch Surman (AUS) stole the lead at the half way point scoring a 9.5 on a long right hander, linking vertical re-entries with a nice long nose ride. Surman who is one of Australia’s most promising up and coming surfers, had been one of the form surfers throughout the entire contest and displayed a full repertoire of traditional and progressive moves.
However it was Josh Constable (AUS) who scored a perfect 10.0 point ride with seven minutes to go and followed it up with an 8.6 point ride to take the lead with two minutes to go, a lead he never let go.
Constable, who was runner up at the 2010 event here at Sandy Bay, put on a repeat performance from earlier heats absolutely destroying two long right handers right to the beach. It was evident from his body language that he was pleased the waves came his way and he was able to take the lead.
The former world champion showed true competitive prowess and was untouchable in the final.
“I thought Mitch had it in the bank, and even after my 10 I was still in second place” he said.” I’m stoked on my win here, it’s a great way to start the LQS year and I love coming back to Sandy Bay.”
Constable, who was runner up in the 2010 event, will no doubt be a hot contender for the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Champion.
Earlier in the day, 2009 ASP World Champion Harley Ingleby (AUS) surfed an impressive semifinal heat showing true class and moving through to the final. The upset of the day was the semifinal elimination of Taylor Jensen (USA), opening the door for sole Kiwi campaigner Phil Morris (Orewa). Morris put on a crowd pleasing effort and young Queenslander Mitch Surman (AUS) wafted fins to secure his spot in the final alongside eventual champion Constable.
ASP LQS Open Men’s Division Final
1 – Josh Constable (AUS)
2 – Mitch Surman (AUS)
3 – Harley Ingleby (AUS)
4 - Phil Morris (NZL)