SHOWDOWN IN THE WEST
The 2013 Jim Beam Surftag Western Australia Qualifier begins Saturday March 9 at Gas Bay, Margaret River.
The Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series reaches its final stop of the national tour this weekend with the Western Australia Regional Titles and expect fireworks with long-time rivals Yallingup Boardriders and Margaret River Boardriders prepared to hunt down the coveted title. It’s been a long running duel between the two clubs with Margaret River claiming five WA Regional Titles and Yallingup winning four.
Standout surfer from last year’s clash, Matt Baldock said a victory over Yallingup would be the sweetest win of all.
“It’s a really good rivalry between us and Yallingup Boardriders, we always hit it off and there’s plenty of banter,” he said.
“We take it seriously when this comp comes so we can keep the bragging rights for the year.”
“It’s usually between us and Yals but last year Trigg came in and did the swoop so between the three of us it’s going to be a big hit out. When someone like Trigg wins, they give us heaps of lip because they won it in our hometown. We definitely are going into it to win.”
Yallingup Boardriders President, Todd Taylor said once the dust settles after competition, both clubs love to share a drink.
“The whole rivalry is all made up. We love each other,” he joked. “It’s like West Coast and the Dockers put it that way. We love to beat each other but we’ll also have a drink together at the end of the day.”
Trigg Boardriders made history last year as the first Perth-based club to win the Title but a back-to-back victory won’t come easy. Margaret River have two teams competing for the Regional Title and the $1500 winner’s cheque along with Yallingup, Contacio, Cottesloe, Geraldton, Scarborough and City Beach all registering teams.
The top three teams will qualify for the Australian Championships, a feat Baldock said is number one priority.
“We’d be super stoked to get through to the finals, put a good team down on paper and try to beat all those East Coast clubs.”
“You don’t go into these events trying to win personal accolades. You want two sixes for your team to get everyone across the line. It’s so good to catch up with a bunch of crew you haven’t seen for a while.”
The Australian Championships will be 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