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2013 NSW North Jim Beam Surftag Champions - Merewether Surfboard Club. Image - Wes Lonergan. 2013 NSW North Jim Beam Surftag Champions - Merewether Surfboard Club. Image - Wes Lonergan.

MEREWETHER WIN THE 2013 NSW NORTH JIM BEAM SURFTAG TITLE

07.01.2013

MEREWETHER Surfboard Club won back-to-back NSW North Jim Beam Surftag Titles on Saturday in onshore, two-foot waves at Merewether Beach, securing the club a berth at the Australian Championships in April.

In an intense final that saw the judges award several excellent-range scores, Merewether Blue - Mitch Ross, Ryan Callinan, Craig Anderson, Jesse Adam and Paul Parkes - won with a total heat score of 95.73.

But North Shelly (93.83) fought hard until the final hooter, finishing a close second after Shane Holmsy scored a personal total of 30.23, with a stunning 9.33 on his powerwave. Riding the highest double-points wave of the event meant Holmsy took home the highly contested BOSCH Powerwave Award. Merewether Black (85.80) and Port Macquarie 2 (48.40) also surfed through to the day’s final showdown.

As if being a part of the winning team wasn’t enough, Ryan Callinan won the Jim Beam Barrel Award for the best tube-ride during the event. Callinan said the win was a huge boost for the Merewether boys going into the Australian Championships to be held at D-Bah, Coolangatta in April.

“We used to have a really strong team back in the day, it was almost unbeatable, but over the years it faded and now its feels like it’s come back to where it was,” he said.

“We won here last year with the same team and between the boys, you can’t fault them, we are really getting back to the top. The National Titles are going to be really interesting. I can’t wait.”

Callinan added the home-break advantage helped the club to get two teams into the final.

“It was howling onshore and the little right-hander was tricky so it really favoured both of our teams because we’ve surfed it in all conditions.”

“It was the best day of the year. Everyone was so happy and psyched on surfing. Everyone came down and supported us, we had a tent set up in the car park and people kept filtering in all day.”

The Jim Beam Surftag Series is the pre-eminent event for surfing clubs in Australia, as they round up their best surfers every year to compete in the relay-style format. Each surfer must catch three waves, their second of which scoring double points, known as the power wave.

The six teams to qualify to the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Championships from the NSW North region are Merewether Blue, North Shelly, Merewether Black, Port Macquarie B, Avoca and Port Macquarie A.

The next regional competition will take place this weekend, January 12 and 13, at Werri Beach on the South Coast. Some of the state’s best boardriding clubs including North Narrabeen, Bronte, Queenscliff and Werri will clash in what is expected to be a weekend of mind-blowing competition surfing.

2013 is going to be the biggest year of Jim Beam Surftag in its 12-year history with 32 teams competing at the Australian Championships– increased from 24 – and over $100,000 in prize money up for grabs. The winning club will receive $15,000, plus five spots on a Maldives 7 day boat trip valued at $8500. LeBa (Lennox Head and Ballina) are the defending Australian Champions but with over 100 teams vying for the top-spot this year, sparks are set to fly when the Series reaches Coolangatta.

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

For results, photos and videos from the event go to www.facebook.com/surftag