April 30 - May 6  2023: Issue 581


Local Surfer Andrew Cassidy Wins Longboard SUP In Port Stephens Surf Festival; Blaze Roberts Wins Open Women Log AND Open Women Longboard - Manly Longboard Classic QS 1,000 Commences This Week

Andrew Cassidy, winner of the Grand Kahunas Men Over 50 Longboard SUP Surf . Photo: Peter 'Bosko" Boskovic / Surfing NSW

The 2023 SUP State Titles, the first surf discipline involved in the Port Stephens Surf Festival presented by Okanui was held at Birubi Beach on Friday April 28th. The event saw a large range of age groups participating in the competition, showcasing the camaraderie that exists within the growing SUP surfing community.

The conditions were ideal for Stand Up Paddleboard surfing, with sunny skies and a light offshore breeze creating clean and consistent waves throughout the day. The surf report indicated 2-3 foot swell with light to moderate winds, making it a perfect day for competitors to showcase their skills.

The event attracted participants from all over the state, ranging in ages up to 60+ years old, each bringing their unique style and flair to the competition. The atmosphere at Birubi Beach was electric, with competitors, friends and family cheering on their favourite competitors as they battled it out in the finals. The level of competition was fierce, with each participant demonstrating their skills in the water, making it an exciting event for all involved.

“We are thrilled with the turnout for this year’s SUP State Titles at the Port Stephens Surf Festival,” said Rohan Fell, Surfing NSW’s Event Manager. “The level of talent on display gets better and better each year and the camaraderie shown between participants is awesome. We would like to congratulate all the winners and participants for their epic efforts.”

Mona Vale proficient  Andrew Cassidy, winner of the Grand Kahunas Men Over 50 Longboard SUP Surf division, added to Rohan’s sentiment by explaining his win and stoke with the turnout of this year’s SUP State Titles.

“I’ve been involved in every Australian SUP Title since it started in 2009 and took out my first national win last year so I’m stoked to have secured a place for the 2023 Australian SUP Titles. The SUP State Titles is always great fun, catching up with old mates and enjoying the waves as well as the increase in participants for this discipline, it’s awesome!” Cassidy said.

Blaire Moore (Woonoona) made his presence felt yet again and he will again be taking a victory home. Shellharbour's Rebecca Dunning has also excelled, taking wins in two divisions, as did Byron Bay's Wesley Fry and the South Coast's Skyla Rayner. There was a strong representation from Shellharbour at this year's NSW Titles, with those gaining wins going on to represent NSW at this year's SUP National Titles.

Skyla Rayner. Photo: Peter 'Bosko" Boskovic / Surfing NSW

Rebecca Dunning. Photo: Peter 'Bosko" Boskovic / Surfing NSW

The Longboard State Titles commenced the next day and although they were 'on hold' Saturday, some Divisions were completed on Monday May 1st. The results so far show Avalon Beach surfer Blaze Roberts has won both Open Women Log and the Open Women Longboard.

Blaze is also taking part in the next event, the Manly Longboard Classic WSL LQS on May 4th and 5th.

Blaze took up surfing on a Longboard a few years back when injury forced her to relinquish the shortboard for a while. The classic style of surfing was a way to return to the water without putting too much pressure on her injury. Since then she has enjoyed this form of surfing and excelled, joining in the Palm Beach Longboarders monthly comps. and even reigning in a few girl mates to join in.

Blaze Angel Roberts: winner of 2023 NSW Open Women's Longboard State Title and Open Log. Photo: Fiona Roberts

The Port Stephens Surf Festival is presented by Okanui, a well known surfwear brand established in 1978 in Pittwater. 

Founder Dick Ash first sewed Okanui boardshorts on his mum’s Singer from canvas Australia Post bags he “borrowed” from the Avalon PO. His boardshorts were a hit with local surfers in the ’60s, and demand for them grew through word-of-mouth. By the ’70s, Ash introduced his famous hand-drawn hibiscus print and went full-time with his business. Today, Okanui is run by Ash’s niece Wendy and her husband Simon from Sydney’s northern beaches, and they offer a range of apparel for men, women, and children.

On March 22nd 2023 a partnership was announced between Surfing NSW and Okanui. The collaboration will see Okanui own presenting rights for two major surfing events in NSW: the Port Stephens Surf Festival and the Manly Longboard Classic World Surf League (WSL) Longboarding Qualifying Series (LQS) 1,000.

The road trip-style of events for longboarders kicked off with the Port Stephens Surf Festival from April 27th to May 3rd and culminates in the Manly Longboard Classic WSL LQS on May 4th and 5th

Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden expressed his gratitude and excitement for the partnership, stating, “We are incredibly grateful to announce a road trip of Longboard events in NSW. To be able to create a pathway for NSW and Australian Longboarders is a huge achievement.” Madden said, “The NSW Pro Surf Series has been extremely successful for several years for shortboarders. To implement that now for longboards, Surfing NSW hopes to see many Australian World Longboard Champions emerge from this new partnership.”

With such a rich surfing history in NSW, this partnership presents a unique opportunity for surfers to compete and showcase their skills at the home of surfing in Australia, where the first-ever World Champions Phyliss O’Donnell and Midget Farrelly were crowned on the shores of Manly Beach in 1964.

Okanui CEO Simon Kasprowicz “Longboarding runs deep in NSW surfing heritage, by partnering up with these two iconic events it presents a rare opportunity for today’s surfers to carve their names into the history books, riding the same waves that have inspired generations of Australian Surfers”

Known for its retro-inspired clothing and accessories, its products are designed for surfers and beachgoers who value comfort, durability and style. Okanui is committed to promoting surfing and fostering a sense of community within the surfing industry.

To view the Port Stephens Surf Festival heat schedule and results in real time head to Live Heats

Congratulations to all the winners and participants for their outstanding efforts in the SUP State Titles. Winners of each division:

SUP State Titles: Winners of each division

Open Men SUP Surf: Wesley Fry

Open Winner SUP Surf: Skyla Rayner

Grand Masters Men Over 40 SUP Surf: Marty Cole

Grand Masters Women Over 40 SUP Surf: Rebecca Dunning

Grand Kahunas Men Over 50 SUP Surf: Blaire Moore

Grand Kahunas Women Over 50 SUP Surf: Lesa Prowse

Open Men 10FT SUP Surf: Wesley Fry

Open Women 10FT SUP Surf: Skyla Rayner

Grand Kahunas Men Over 50 Longboard SUP Surf: Andrew Cassidy

Grand Masters Women Over 40 Longboard SUP Surf: Rebecca Dunning

Over Men SUP Surf: David Stretton

Marty Cole. Photo: Peter 'Bosko" Boskovic / Surfing NSW

Port Stephens Surf Festival: 2023 NSW Longboard State Titles Results

Results from finals (so far) - O/45 Men Longboard, O/50 Men Longboard, O/50-60 Women Longboard, O/55 Men Longboard, O/60 Men Longboard, O/65 Men Longboard and O/70 Men Longboard heats and semi-finals currently taing place – Finals scheduled for Wednesday May 3rd. Manly  Longboard Classic WSL LQS begins May 4th and runs through 5th.

Ken Williams Tag Team Event
1st Manly Mal Club
2nd Cronulla Mal Club
3rd Curly Mal Club
4th Freshwater Longboard Club

Open Men Log
1st Tom Bennett
2nd Archy Bemrose
3rd Cooper Kelaher
4th Harrison Stewart

Open Women Log
1st Blaze Angel
2nd Jasmin Howarth
3rd Lily Nolan
4th Chelsea Tingle

Open Men Longboard
1st Kyle Teale
2nd Archy Bemrose
3rd Matt Mulder
4th Braden O'Rourke

Open Women Longboard
1st Blaze Angel
2nd Juliana Scopel
3rd Tati Guedes
4th Jasmin Howarth

Junior Log
1st Charlie Ticknor
2nd Jimmy James Tualima
3rd Joe Mills
4th Jasmin Howarth

Under 18 Boys Longboard
1st Charlie Ticknor
2nd Jayden Fletcher
3rd Jimmy James Tualima
4th Cooper Kelaher

Under 18 Girls Longboard
1st Jasmin Howarth
2nd Chelsea Tingle
3rd Lily Nolan
4th Giselle Taylor

O/40 Men Log
1st Shane Baker
2nd Andrew Tyler
3rd James Archibald
4th John Fraser

O/40 Men Longboard
1st Shane Baker
2nd Luke Redmond
3rd Kieran Plim
4th James Archibald

O/40 Women Longboard
1st Laura Pigott
2nd Wendy Stevenson
3rd Suellen Goyne
4th Tati Guedes

Photos: Peter 'Bosko" Boskovic / Surfing NSW Report: Surfing NSW - 2023 NSW State Longboard Titles, A J Guesdon