SCARBOROUGH Boardriders are ready to take on some of Australia’s best surfers in the richest club event in history at Main Beach Newcastle starting Saturday.
The Nudie Australian Boardriders Battle is the world’s biggest grassroots, boardriders event with 24 clubs from across Australia to fight it out for the $160,000 in cash and prizes on offer.
Scarborough won their way through with a second place finish at the NSW state qualifying round at Kiama in December and president Christian De Clouett is confident of a strong showing.
“Our team’s probably the strongest it’s ever been,” De Clouett said.
“Kalani Ball’s in the top five in the WQS rating this year, Nick Squiers is about to launch his WQS campaign for 2017 and Billie Melinz has been there and done it all before.
“She’s actually taking a year off competing to focus on her HSC but she’s primed and ready for this event. It looks like the surf won’t be small, it’s going to be a good two-metre swell, which will play into our hands a little bit.”
The two-day event, encompassing men’s and women’s heats along with skins and tag-team formats will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and features some of the biggest names in Australian surfing.
Reigning world champion Tyler Wright will lead Culburra’s charge while six-time world champion Steph Gilmore will fly the flag for Snapper Rocks alongside 2012 tour champion Joel Parkinson.
Matt Wilkinson and Adrian Buchan (Avoca), Bede Durbidge and Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout), Bronte Macaulay (Margaret River) and Connor O’Leary (Elouera) are other WSL regulars who will feature, putting the Scarborough club in elite company.
“It’s a massive deal in so many ways for our club to get this chance to mix and compete against some of the biggest names in the sport from Australia,” De Clouett said.
“These clubs are calling on their most talented surfers who’ve been surfing around the world back for this one event for their club because there’s a lot of money and prestige on the line.
“We invested heavily into our juniors between five and eight years ago and I think the fact that our juniors are really coming through now and representing themselves around the world and also the club is a culmination of club’s efforts over those years.
“We’ve managed to qualify in a good position for this event and it’s not a coincidence. We had a vision five years ago and now we’ve got a chance to reap those rewards and compete on this stage.”