With hardly and swell around (and even less in the way of sandbanks) the first surf club of 2023 almost didn’t go ahead. The club motto of keeping it fun generally means call it off and start the party early if there is nothing to surf. Thankfully, after an optimistic surf check the decision was made to go ahead and we are so glad it did because a fantastic day was had by all!
A semi surfable peak had been spotted just prior to high tide on the elements side of Belongil. Contest organizers had the unenviable task of getting a gazebo, folding table, chairs, clipboards and comp vests (as well as their own surfboards) across the park, up the sandhill and down to the sand. A trolley was enlisted, which seemed great in theory, until it was discovered that both tyres were flat and only one had a valve to re-inflate. Luckily there were plenty of helping hands available and before long we were all set up and ready to go.
First 2-3 heats in the water enjoyed glassy conditions and waves that were a little better than expected. Conditions deteriorated throughout the day but the quality of surfing did not! Surf club regulars (and a few new faces) put on an excellent display of contemporary longboarding. Kai was surfing incredibly well throughout the day but somehow bowed out early. The next bank up the beach played host to some insane surfing all day, with competitors warming up or de-briefing from their heat on some fast righthand runners.
New face Willow made the trip up from Crescent and made a strong impression at his first ever surf club meet, making it through to the finals with Ambrose, Reed and Kahu who all surfed consistently well throughout the day. However it was Ambrose who took out the comp with an amazing first wave that simply couldn’t be beaten during the time remaining.  
In the womens division Gabi was a stand out but most of her waves during the final ended in a near death dismount in the close out section. Jessamyn found plenty of mysto lefts throughout the day, before running out of puff in the final. Jill surfed super smooth and consistently on all her waves but in the end Ro Ro was always going to be hard to beat and simply out-surfed everyone in the difficult, windblown conditions. 

1st Ambrose McNeill
2nd Willow
3rd Reed Smith
4th Kahu Andronicus
1st Roisin Carolan
2nd Jillian Bontempo
3rd Gabi Streader
4th Jessamyn Jean
Thanks to Postcard for putting on the after-party and the incredible BBQ, as well as Gage Roads Brew Co for providing the beers. Next club meet to be held Saturday Feb 26 and a note for next time - bring more water, more shade and more suncream.
Thanks @moonbiscuit for the photos!