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Quacking Victory For Bronte’s Blue Ducks

By Robert Bruns on February 22, 2012 in Sport

Photo: Wes Lonergan

On January 22, 2012, at a windy North Narrabeen beach, the mighty Bronte Boardriders took out the South NSW Jim Beam Surftag Title for the second time in four years.

The team of Azza Graham, Caleb Reid, Tom Whitaker, Luke Hitchings and Ryan Clark dominated the two-day event, in which 32 clubs from southern New South Wales took part.

Without sounding biased, and at the risk of gloating, contained here within are some interesting facts.

The Bronte team recorded the three highest team scores of the competition: 95.66 in round one; 96.97 in the quarter final; and, saving the best for last, 97.43 in the final! To put that into perspective, only two other teams in the entire competition got over 90 – Bondi once and Elouera once.

It wasn’t entirely smooth sailing though, with the semi final causing some serious stress on the heart. The boys just scraped through to the final in the last 30 seconds, holding out Queenscliff and Maroubra by 1.61 and 4.26 points respectively.

The final was a high standard, nerve-racking affair, with the teams from Bondi, North Steyne and Curl Curl all ripping. Azza got the boys off to a strong start, yet we still trailed Bondi early, though only by a slight margin. Enter Tom Whitaker, who on his power wave (the points for which are doubled) pulled off the highest wave score of the comp, a 9.17!

As time trickled down it was up to Ryan Clark to close the deal, and he did so by getting three strong waves and securing four bonus points for being the first competitor across the finishing line back on beach. His experience as the fifth surfer of this team showed, and in the end it was enough to beat Bondi by 6.34 points.

I also must mention the performance of Caleb Reid, Bronte’s second surfer. Anyone who has watched these Surftag comps over the years would know that Caleb is always one of the best performers going around. His surfing is right up there with plenty of the guys on the professional tour, and this Jim Beam Surftag teams event is the only comp (besides Bronte Boardriders) that he surfs in all year. And basically, he rips!

Well done to our neighbours Maroubra, who knocked Bronte’s ‘B-team’ out in the quarter finals and gave the ‘A-team’ a real scare in the semis.

Congratulations also to Bondi, another proud local club, who finally fielded a team.

I will point out that all of Bronte’s winning team learnt to surf at Bronte and for each of them Bronte Boardriders was their first surfing comp.

The same can actually be said for the 60 or so Bronte supporters, not including the WAGS, who travelled, many on the team bus, to support the team. It is unquestionable that at these events Bronte are the best supported, most enthusiastic, passionate and spirited club. Even the most successful clubs, such as Narrabeen and Snapper Rocks, have recognised this.

Yes, yes, I know – Bondi have got an awesome bus. And yes, we have to hire a bus, and it was pink. But, as it is with people, it’s what’s inside that counts, and you should have seen the inside of our bus on the way back from Narrabeen after our local surfers won another state title!

Go The Ducks!

Note: Three of the winning team member’s dads were actually Bronte Boardriders.