TORQUAY BOARDRIDERS CLUB ARE HUNGRY TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
The 2013 Jim Beam Surftag VIC/SA Qualifier begins Saturday March 2 at 13th Beach, Victoria.
Torquay Boardriders knows more than any club the frustration of missing out on the National Titles. The heralded club, who were expected to be in contention for last year’s title, narrowly missed out on qualification.
But for World Qualifying Series competitor and Torquay local Cahill Bell-Warren, the Jim Beam Surftag Series is an opportunity for the club to prove its dominance when it takes on eight of the best at the Victoria/South Australia Regional Titles this Saturday at 13th Beach, Victoria.
“Last year was a moment we’re certainly looking to forget,” said Bell-Warren.
“We had a shocker last year in the final. The boys and I had a really slow start, and things went backward because the pressure really got to us.”
“I know a lot of the boys are keen to come back bigger and better. We’ve only gone to the Nationals once but we’ve had a few top-level guys return back to the club like Troy Brooks.”
But Bell-Warren was quick to send praise towards 13th Beach Boardriders Club, tipping them as the favourites for the event.
“I honestly think 13th are always a really strong team so I think they could be the biggest competition with a home break advantage. They are the local favourites and there’ll be a lot of crew their to support them.”
While 13th Beach local Elliot Gray admitted the tricky beach break would work to their advantage, he said beating Torquay would be a sweet victory.
“Torquay are normally pretty arrogant, they’re the ones who are the best people to beat,” Gray said.
“It’s not only the Jim Beam Surftag, it’s the same with state events as well, when you beat them it’s the best thing ever.
“We’re very excited because the event is often held at Jan Juc, or somewhere on the East coast, nothing gets held here. We’re hoping of a bit of a leg-up being at home, it’s a weird beach and only a few people know how to surf it properly.”
But there’s one thing these two rivals agreed upon – the pressure of surfing in a Jim Beam Surftag heat.
“Surfing for your club is way more daunting than surfing at a QS level. You’re doing it for your mates, your home club and the pressure can force you to make the simplest mistake,” said Bell Warren.
“It’s the team aspect about these events, where the community comes together, its so much more exciting and intense because everyone’s apart of it,” added Gray.
However, it’s not a two-horse race for the converted Regional Title and $1500 winner’s cheque with defending champions Phillip Island, Peninsula A & B (Vic), Seaford (SA), South Coast (SA), Seaview Road (SA) and 13th Beach B also in contention.
The top three teams will qualify for the Australian Championships held on the Gold Coast April 5-7 where the country’s top 32 clubs will contest the National Title. 2013 has been the biggest year of Jim Beam Surftag in its 12-year history with 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 $10,000. LeBa (Lennox Head and Ballina) are the defending Australian Champions.
BOSCH, Sanuk, Perfect Wave Travel, Swimmable Underwear, Tracks and Coastalwatch proudly support the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series.
For results, photos and videos during the event go to www.facebook.com/surftag