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2012 Jim Beam Surftag Surf Industry Challenge Champions 2012 Jim Beam Surftag Trade Off Champions - Central Coast Builders. L to R, Cameron Sharpe, Nathan Horswell, Russell Molony and Randall Sharpe.

CENTRAL COAST BUILDERS HAMMER IT HOME TO WIN THE JIM BEAM SURFTAG TRADE OFF

19/11/2012

THE hotly contested
Jim Beam Surftag Trade Off played out in spectacular fashion last Saturday with the Central Coast Builders taking home the title at South Curl Curl Beach, Sydney.

In junky 2-3 foot surf, The Central Coast Builders (70.17), led by current Australian Amateur Champion Russell Molony, won a down-to-the-wire final from Hardware & General (61.80), Garage Pizza (58.47) and a team of Warringah Lifeguards (55.90).

Russell Molony said the win – which netted $1000 prize money - was a real surprise for the boys and there are already plans to defend their title next year.

“I’m still trying to get it to sink into my head, I can’t really believe we took it out,” an elated Molony said.

“We didn’t really know what to expect and when we saw the other teams, who were surfing really good, we were a little worried.”

“The boys in our team were just ripping so that helps out when everyone contributes, I think that was the major turning point for us, our consistency.”

With huge prize money up for grabs, winning was high on the agenda but so too were the laughs. Warringah Lifeguards wore their signature sluggos when they hit the waves and in their first Surftag appearance, Garage Pizza brought along a huge support crew.

The Central Coast Builders of Molony, Randell Sharpe, Cameron Sharpe and Nathan Horswell were the other debutants and locked solid scores in the final. But the win wasn’t secured until the last surfer hit the sand after Garage Pizza claimed the bonus points finishing first with huge scores posted by Tom Salverson. Hardware and General had never made a heat in their two-year Surftag career but blew history out of the water with their finals appearance.

The Trade Off is a specialty event on the Jim Beam Surftag calendar as teams are made up of four full-time workers in the same type of occupation. Each surfer must catch three waves, their second of which scoring double points, known as the power wave.

The Central Coast Builders were awarded the signature Jim Beam shortboard trophy and a year of hard-fought bragging rights as the best surfing builders in the state.

“Everyone from up the coast wants to come and compete in it next year,” Molony said.

“They are all going to try and swamp us but we’ll be back next year, we were already talking about it on the way home.”

Manly’s Charlie Bar turned into a sea of Hawaiian shirts and leis as hundreds arrived to celebrate the launch of the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series.

Steve Harrison from Global Surftag said the celebrations marked the beginning of the biggest year of Jim Beam Surftag.

“It was a great party with so many different people from different clubs, celebrating the start of another big year,” he said.

“Everyone is really excited about the series that starts in January with 80 plus teams hitting it out for the title. Defending champs LeBa are going to have a hard-time defending their title with so much talent in every club.”

With $100,000 in prize money and the title as the country’s best boardriders club on the line, the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series continues to grow bigger every year.

Sanuk, Perfect Wave Travel, Tracks and Coastalwatch proudly support the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series.

For results, photos and videos during the even go to www.facebook.com/surftag