The Noosa Festival of Surfing
Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
28Trip End Dec 31, 2008
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i have to admit, we timed it quite perfectly (although not on purpose) and we got there for the last couple heats of the women's invitational longboard final. we happened to get a pretty sweet spot in the shade and watched the end of the women's heats. before we realized it, surfers were paddling out for the Noserider Invitational Men's final--the climax of the competition
like i said before, mary and i had a pretty good view and i was able to take a few good shots of all the contestants. not only were these guys the creme de la creme of the longboard specialty but conditions were UNREAL. for the past couple of days we've had quite a bit of rain and some of the events were cancelled due to downpours and crappy surf. however today, the surf gods were smiling down upon noosa heads beach. the contest announcer said that it was "noosa at its finest"... long, clean waves peeling off-- equally spaced-- from the point. this was what noosa was famous for and the guys took full advantage of it. some truly amazing style was shown out there; it was entralling to watch. sometimes a set would come in and there'd be one surfer on each wave, one right after another, all up at the same time. so cool.
besides the riders mentioned above, also on the invitee list were Noosa locals Zye Norris and Matt Cuddihy, current world number twos Antoine Delpero of France and Chelsea Williams of Australia, former world champion Jen Smith, and former world junior shortboard champion Julian Wilson, fresh from his great form at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
the men's final heat was intense--everybody was getting amazing rides. the lead was passed back and forth between Jensen and Constable throughout the duration of the 30 min heat, but in the end Jensen prevailed with an unbelievable 9.6 ride helping him clench the win. Wach placed 3rd and Roach in 4th.
this past wednesday, legend aussie noserider Dane Wilson won the Stand-up Paddle Competition, making due with the smaller waves to edge out fellow australian James Watson. Wilson also surfed in a final heat today but i didn't stick around long enough to find out the results.
after the men's invitational heat ended we walked further along the beach to the Noosa National Park to try and see some wildlife (and of course, more surfies). it may have been the surf festival or maybe it was because of the really good surf, but man, they were EVERYWHERE. there were quite a few more breaks along the NP and though i didn't see any koala.... i did see a goanna!