2009 Noosa Surfing Fest

ORGANISORS and sponsors of the 2009 Noosa Festival of Surfing once again elected to include a tandem surfing competition to this years' festivities. Tandem surfing is always a crowd favorite and it delighted the thousands gathered to watch the great surfing action this past week-end at Noosa Heads' fame surfing break.

The tandem surfing team who entered this year were treated with First Point perfection and gave a stellar performance. The competitors were three Australian pairs from Sydney: Simon & Nicole, Dan & Sacha, and Stuart & Linda, as well as the French expats, now Noosa residents: Fred and Aurelie.

Contest director Alan Atkins (ISA) and tandem head judge Barrie Boehne decided on a competition format which would maximized water time for all the couples and encourage them to perform difficult lifts without compromising the surfing performance. All four couples battled it out during three heats, where the surfing component made up one half of the score while the other half was based on the completion of the lift with the highest degree of difficulty. A point ranking based on the performance during the three heats was used to decide the winners.

With a panel of ISA and ASP judges and the expertise of Barrie Boehne who won multiple tandem tittles with her husband Steve between 1964 and 1995, the competitors could not have dreamed of more competent judging. Another treat which made the 2009 edition special is that Steve Boehne commentated all the heats; his expert and passionate input captivating an audience of thousands who clapped and cheered after each rides!

The competition's winner, Aurelie and Fred Branger, a newlywed couple from France, now living in Noosa Heads were, as Tandem Surfing Australia President Simon Phin described it: “a Class Act.” Delivering wave after wave of varied, intricate and elegant moves, Aurelie showing beautiful form and athleticism and Fred skillfully maneuvering his 11 foot board down the fast peeling Noosa waves.

The couple who specializes in exhibition surfing rather than competition were more than happy to give a full performance, including the most difficult lifts such as the arm to arm but also more simple and original ones, as well as a full range of surfing maneuvers. It is their goal while in Australia to encourage more team to take on this beautiful art. Starting next weekend, they will be organizing regular workshops in Noosa. If you are keen to participate, you can get in touch with them through their association's website: {http://www.nalu-surf.com|www.nalu-surf.com}.

Simon & Nicole earned second place for their 4th Noosa Festival participation, pushing their surfing to a higher level, performing multiple overhead lifts. Dan and Sacha, who have performed several exhibitions this summer with Fred and Aurelie, also gave a great performance, finishing third; surfing their best in Sunday's bigger waves. Stuart and Linda, a new tandem couple, came in Fourth. They also surfed their best on Sunday managing a beautiful High Reverse Stag.

If you want to get in touch with any of the Australian teams, you can do so through the new site, {http://tandemsurfingaustralia.com|tandemsurfingaustralia.com}.
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> {http://nalu-surf.com/fisheye.php?ID_Video=20|Watch the video} > {http://nalu-surf.com/gallery.php?ID_Gallery=25|Visit the Gallery}

Full event results and coverage: www.noosafestivalofsurfing.com
Fred and Aurelie Branger - Association Nalu: www.nalu-surf.com
Tandem Surfing Australia: www.tandemsurfingaustralia.com
Sacha's website: www.escapetoparadise.com.au
Simon and Nicole: www.tandemaustralia.com
Steve and Barrie Boehne: www.infinitysurfboards.com**