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Nick Muscroft (Torquay). Credit - Wes Lonergan. Nick Muscroft (Torquay). Credit - Wes Lonergan.



The 2014 SA/VIC Jim Beam Surftag Qualifier begins Saturday, March 8

For the first time in the 13-year history of Jim Beam Surftag the qualifying event for the two southern states will be held in South Australia.

Torquay Boardriders Club have long had the heavy-hitters and run away with the Regional Title on five different occasions. They come into this event as defending champions but the change of venue could potentially swing the pendulum. Peninsula Surfriders and 13th Beach Boardriders will join in the inter-state road trip – with Seaford, Seaview Road and South Coast happy to wake up in their own beds for competitions day.

Few come happier in relation to the move than Seaford’s Todd Goudie who says having the support of their locals could become a deciding factor in the result. The club hasn’t won since 2009 and will be pushing hard to clinch the Jim Beam Surftag title this year.

“It’s unreal to have it at home this year,” he says. “Just having the home crowd support is going to be the biggest motivation for the teams. The local knowledge of the conditions, the waves to chose are really going to help out not just the Seaford boys but the other clubs from South Australia.”

“The surf is looking like there will definitely be some good size swell so fingers crossed the winds cooperate and we get a couple of waves.”

“A lot of the beaches are very similar to the beaches in Vic so I think all the teams will still do quite well. Torquay are always in with a chance because they’ve got such a star-studded line-up.”

The monumental decision to relocate from arguably the richest surfing coastline in the country to South Australia is an indication of the huge boost in club numbers in the state and the hunger to be a part of this surftag format sweeping the country.

“Through the early 2000s there was a real hiatus from the clubs around this area. One by one each club rebuilt after their flat spells and they’re looking to compete more and more,” says Goudie. “It’s really gone leaps and bounds over the last half a decade to where we are now with the biggest numbers in boardriding history.”

“Seaford are going to be putting two teams in. We’re a little under-gunned with Dion Atkinson on the CT now and Jarrad Howse working with Jordy Smith. But we’ve got a good group of boys and I still think we’re going to have a good showing. There’s a number of guys looking to prove themselves.”

13th Beach have leapt at the chance to clock in travel time as a club, organising a bus to cart their two registered teams across the boarder. They’ll be bringing their very own home crowd with word out of the 13th Beach camp there’ll be up to 20 members coming to support. Like many clubs who compete on the national tour, the Jim Beam Surftag is as much about coming together as a club and sharing their stoke for surfing as it is about winning titles.

The top three teams will qualify for the Australian Championships to be held at Duranbah Beach on the Gold Coast, March 27-29. The country’s top 32 clubs will contest the National Title with the winning club taking home $15,000 plus five spots on a 7-day boat trip through the Maldives.

Perfect Wave Travel, Tee Ink and BOSCH proudly support the Jim Beam Surftag and head over to for the event preview, results and video highlights.