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Bra Boy Goes Soft In Coolite Classic Win

By Dan Hutton on February 21, 2011 in Sport

Perth and Sunny post dance off... Photo: Brad Malyon

Organisers couldn’t have hoped for better weather when the Tama Coolite Classic made its long-awaited return on the first weekend of February.

The mercury made its way past the forty-degree mark early in the day but the real heat was being felt out in the water as competitors battled it out for the crown in glassy two-footers.

Just over fifty competitors registered on the day, a figure slightly under organisers’ expectations.

“We were hoping to have a few more entrants but Bronte made the finals of the Jim Beam Surftag and that took a few big names north of the bridge. We still had Luke Smith, Bones Dwyer, Wylie Moyes and JJ Botella representing Bronte though. The hot weather probably kept a few people away too,” explained event promoter, marketing guru and local surfboard expert Liam Geale.

In the Masters (Over 35s) event, competition amongst the old guard was fierce as they set out to prove that you can still go hard on a softboard. At the end of the day it was Eben Kelk who walked away with first prize, followed by JJ Botella and gun local photographer Bill Morris.

Lone grommet entrant Jeremy Shanahan showed the value of youth in the Open event, proceeding through to round two with some stylish surfing, but at day’s end the judges could not separate the head-dipping, barrel riding and air 360s of Perth Standlick from the lip smashing prowess of hardened veteran Sunny Abberton, so it was off to the dance floor to decide the champion. It was Abberton’s gravity-defying break dancing and age-defying splits that won the crowd over and saw him declared the winner on a day that everyone in attendance enjoyed.

“It was a community event, there was no ego and all the beaches were represented. There was a great vibe. It was just like the old days,” frothed Geale.

Of course events like these can’t happen without sponsors, organisers and helpers, and Geale was quick to sing their praises.

“Matt Goodall, a.k.a. Dirty Kev, did a great job of organising the Classic. Thanks also has to go out to the major sponsor Softlite, Luke Redmond from the 18 Footers at Double Bay for organising the kegs (including two emergency back-up kegs after the first three ran out), the lifeguards, particularly Mouse Jenkinson, for keeping the beach open, and Paul from Tama Surf Club for use of the lawn and the garage to keep the kegs cold and the beer flowing. Big ups to Bondi Boardriders too for organising the judges, tents, comp rashies, scoreboard, a very professional sounding heat buzzer and a megaphone, which was great for heckling people all over the beach!”