Kennedy adds to his titles after classic Byron win
The event was held in 1.5 metre to 2m crunching beach breaks at Broken Head, over three days, with more than 180 competitors taking part in 12 divisions.
Surfers from nine to 60 years took part, and even the senior men’s division had a top-class field, with two former WCT surfers Danny Wills and Shane Wehner contesting the four-man final.
The open men’s final was much anticipated and did not disappoint, with two Byron Bay locals and former event champions, Danny Wills (1996) and Yerin Brown (2007), taking on two young guns from the Le-Ba (Lennox/Ballina) club, Stuart Kennedy and James Wood.
The final started slowly, but picked up pace when 2007 champion Yerin Brown scored a 7.17 from the judges for a combination of turns including a reverse re-entry on one of the bigger sets of the day in the 12th minute of the 25-minute final.
But in the 17th minute Kennedy made his move, grabbing a medium-size wave and ripping into it all the way to the beach, punctuating the wave with a huge forehand air on the shorebreak, scoring an 8.17 from the judges to back up an earlier score of 5.67.
He was not overtaken from that point.
As the minutes ticked down there was a flurry of action, first from Danny Wills busting a huge forehand air and landing to score a 7.17 from the judges, and then in the 23rd minute scoring a 5.37 to just fall short of overtaking Kennedy.
Kennedy’s Le-Ba clubmate, James Wood, then made his move, scoring a 6.17 and a 7.00 in two minutes, not quite enough though, falling short by 0.67 points. It was a thrilling final, with only two points separating 1st to 4th place.
Kennedy took out the final (13.84 points), from Wood (13.17 points), Wills 3rd (12.54), and Brown 4th (11.84 points).
Although the Byron Boys placed 3rd and 4th in the open division, they had some big wins in the junior division, with Garrett Parkes winning from Kirra surfer Jack Freestone, and the senior men’s where Danny Wills had a solid win from Tweed Heads surfer Paul Ward.
Open men 1st Stuart Kennedy, 2nd James Wood, 3rd Danny Wills, 4th Yerin Brown
Junior men 1st Garrett Parkes, 2nd Jack Freestone, 3rd Jason Jameson, 4th Alex Swaddling
Senior men 1st Danny Wills, 2nd Paul Ward, 3rd Shane Wehner, 4th Simon Massey
Masters final 1st Dave Sparrenberg, 2nd Max Perot, 3rd Jason Flanaghan, 4th Charlie O’Sullivan
Women’s final 1st Carly Smith, 2nd Britanny Nicholl, 3rd Angela Keighran, 4th Tiana McNeven
Under 19 women
1st Cody Klein, 2nd Bride McNeven, 3rd Kirsten Ogden, 4th Maddie King
Under 16 women 1st Kristen Ogden, 2nd Jamie McNeven, 3rd Letarcia Hunt, 4th Lana Parkes
1st Jake Cumberland, 2nd Tommy Boucat, 3rd Dylan Hunt, 4th Mackie walker.
Fleas (under 12) 1st James Young, 2nd Dexter Muskins, 3rd Blaine Robinson, 4th Dylan McCarthy
Fleas girls (under 12) 1st Alyssa Lock, 2nd Jamee NcNeven, 3rd Kiana Dobbyn.
Neil Cameron, 2nd John Skinner, 3rd Ross Marshall, 4th Brian Hurrell
Single fin invitational 1st Paul Sullivan 2nd Harry Docking, 3rd Neil Cameron, 4th John Skinner, 5th Dave Treloar, 6th Malcom Brough.