Press release - (Werri Beach, NSW - Friday, 2 July 2010): THE best surfers in the state finally got the opportunity to show their wares in small, but competitive conditions as the NSW Open Surfmasters Titles got underway at Werri Beach today.
Having seen yesterday lost to small, incontestable conditions, which consumed the entire South Coast, competitors were keen to get their campaigns off to a sparkling start.
With ten state titles up for grabs, the action was scintillating as competitors fought, hammer and tong, for a birth at the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival to take place in August.
Seeing the over 40 Men's division winding back the clock, spectators and officials alike were treated to some great surfing.
Leading the way with a dazzling early morning display was Scott Myers (Lake Munmorah, NSW).
Surfing in his twelfth NSW open Surfmasters Titles, Myers showed great experience and poise to grapple the challenging conditions.
"It was definitely challenging," Myers said.
"But, in saying that I managed to get a couple of good scores."
Having finished second a number of times, Myers is looking at going one better in 2010.
"A win would be nice, but qualifying for the Aussie titles will be good enough," he said.
With the bar set by Myers, Matt Hucker (Shelly Beach, NSW) and John Schmidenberg (Corindi, NSW) were locked into a battle royale as they produced the tightest heat of the day.
Locking in an great eight-point ride, early in proceedings, Schmidenberg was reeled in as Hucker tore off a series of backhand manoeuvres to accumulate a superior heat score of 13.50 (out of a possible 20) - the highest total heat score of the day.
The Cronulla trio of Scott Baxter, Glen Pringle and Ben Horvath also progressed through to the next round of competition with solid performances in the half metre waves.
Whilst qualification to the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival remains the key objective for competitors, catching up with old friends and foes is still part and parcel of an amateur event of this stature.
"It's always great to catch up with everyone," Myers said.
"The camaraderie is really strong and tight nit and seeing everyone, if only for once a year, makes the event all the more fun."
In the Over 45 division it was Illawarra's Ian Lee (Fairy Meadow, NSW) who took only one wave, the highest single heat score of the day, to qualify through to the next round. Joining Lee in the next bracket of competition was Mark Morgenthal (Mona Vale, NSW) and Craig Naylor (Cronulla, NSW) who were able to string a variety of turns together in the challenging conditions.
Tomorrow will see a busy day of competition as champions will be crowned in the over 28 and 35 Women's divisions alongside the 40, 45, 50 and 55 Men's divisions.
For the confirmed running schedule, contest location and all information please visit www.surfingnsw.com.au