Perfect ten paves Duke's way to win
A PERFECT ten score in his semi finals heat has helped young Byron surfer Duke Wrencher win the Under 12s division of the Hurley BL's Blast Off held over the long weekend in Sydney.
Surfing in good quality 2-3 foot swell at Sydney's Avalon and Whale Beach the young member of the Byron Bay Boardriders Club smashed it, winning every one of his heats.
Surfing in a total of 5 heats over four days Duke was up against 84 other competitors in his age division with 350 surfers signed on for the whole competition.
"I am so stoked to win this,” said Duke. "There was a really great left at the Wedge at Whale Beach that was really fun to surf.”
Founded and directed by Aussie surf legend Barton Lynch and supported by Hurley, the much-loved school holidays' event is billed as the world's biggest surf festival for pre-juniors.
The event is the only one of its kind in the world to focus on enjoyment and performance improvement rather that competition.
"Barton Lynch was there congratulating and encouraging everyone no matter how they did in the comp,” Duke said.
"He was so stoked and I got a lot of really good vybes out of the experience.”
Duke sets off next week with a Byron Bay Boardriders team that includes Danny Wills to Coffs Harbour for a competition that will see surfing clubs from all over Australia hit the water in the Boardriders Battle.
Duke's mother Jane said the whole family was thrilled for her son and was full of praise for the event.
"Barton is really involved with all the competitors and the waves were amazing,” she said.
"There were even whales breeching out the back at Avalon.
Mr Lynch said the event, now in its 12th year is held on weekdays during the school holidays so the participants get a good run of the beach.
"We don't encourage competitive stress - and everyone gets at least two chances to surf before elimination,” he said.
A number of surfing greats also attended including Layne Beachley, Tom Carroll, Rabbit Bartholomew, Damien Hardman and former World Masters champ Terry Richardson.