May 19 - 25, 2024: Issue 626


Jordan Lawler Wins 2024 World Surf League GWM Sydney Surf Pro.!: WSL Leaves North Narrabeen In A High Stoke - Tahiti Pro. Commences This Week At Venue For Paris 2024 Olympics Surfing Comp. 

Jordan Lawler being chaired by the home crowed. Photo Credit: © WSL / Matt Dunbar

The WSL roadshow has rolled into North Narrabeen and rolled out again, leaving the site of this National Surfing Reserve a little bit too quiet after 6 days in a row of spectacular surfing by some of the best athletes. There is a lingering, palpable, high stoke.

Just as happened at the Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro the week before, when icons of surfing Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, and Stephanie Gilmore joined Kelly Slater in a World Champ's Super Heat celebrating the best of competitive surfing, local legends were part of this iconic surf festival.

On Sunday May 12, Mother's Day, the last heat of the day saw a group of local surfing greats take over the line-up at North Narrabeen for a 40-minute spectacle to see who still rules the roost and entertain the solid Sunday crowds that lined the shore. 

Surfers included 2018 Grand Masters World Champion Rob Bain, Two-time World Champion Tom Carrol, Former CT competitor and big wave world record holder Laura Enever, two-time World Champion and North Narrabeen Boardriders Club President Damian Hardman, and CT event winner Nathan Hedge. 

Pictured: The Bonsoy Legends Heat hit the water at North Narrabeen with legends [Left to Right] Damian Hardman, Rob Bain, Laura Enever, Tom Carrol and Nathan Hedge. Credit: © WSL / Matt Dunbar

All five surfers traded waves and had their moments, but it was Laura Enever who earned the biggest highlight of the session for a long left-hander with multiple turns completed on the sand. 

However, the highlight of this year's WSL GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Bonsoy was witnessing North Narrabeen's own Jordan Lawler take out the event.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Isabella Nichols (AUS) and Jordan Lawler (AUS) claimed victory at Stop No. 2 of the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS). In front of a packed beach at North Narrabeen, the Aussie duo were able to overcome a massive international field to take the win in super clean two-to-three-foot surf. 

North Narrabeen local Jordan Lawler (AUS) won in front of a huge home crowd, securing the title in scenes reminiscent of those 1970's to 1980's competitions at the same site. Although this win was a replay, to some degree, of his 2019 crowning in that WSL Sydney Surf Pro at the other beach renowned for hosting professional surfing competitions on the peninsula, Manly, this ranks as the biggest result of his career. 

In 2019 Jordy competed in the Qualifying Series events. Surfers who are not currently eligible for the Championship Tour (CT) events are able to compete in a Qualifying Series (QS) of events, earning points towards qualifying for the following year's CT.

The big difference between a Challenger Series event and a Qualifier Series event (the second-tier comps) is how they allocate points. A Challenger Series event hands out more points for the global QS leaderboard that surfers aim to climb, unlike a regular QS event.

The Challenger Series is the launchpad to the elite Championship Tour, pitting established surfers fighting to stay on tour against the next generation of premium talent. Across the events, the 2024 fields of 84 men and 52 women will battle for one of the 10 men's and 5 women's coveted spots at the top level of the sport.

Having missed qualifying for the Challenger Series in 2024, Lawler came into the event as a wildcard. With low expectations on himself, he was able to cruise through the draw and claim a memorable win. 

“Honestly, the last few months have been a real rollercoaster,” Lawler said afterwards. 

“After not qualifying for the Challenger Series this year, I was honestly thinking about calling it quits, so I’m just stoked I stuck with it. I was pretty low there for a while, and I hadn’t had a good result for a while, so I’m just so stoked right now. To make it to the Championship Tour has been my goal for so long and to win an event of this size can really help with that, I just can’t believe it.” 

Jordan Lawler getting some air. Photo Credit: © WSL / Matt Dunbar

In the 35-minute Final, Lawler came up against former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Alejo Muniz (BRA) in a classic frontside versus backside battle on the North Narrabeen lefts. Muniz had been in solid touch all week but it was the local knowledge and hometown support that got Lawler an early lead. 

Jordy was then able to build momentum throughout the matchup, eventually posting a 15.75 (out of a possible 20) two-wave total, his highest of the event and enough to put Muniz in a combination situation. In the dying minutes, Muniz found a 7.20 (out of a possible 10) to break the combination but was unable to back it up, leaving Lawler to claim victory. 

“Winning at home in front of all of these familiar faces is so amazing, I’m speechless,” Lawler said. "Growing up, I looked up to so many of these surfers, and to be competing against them and getting the win is like a dream come true, especially at home. I’ve worked so hard to be here, and I’m keen to get it done this year, qualifying for the Championship Tour.”

Jordan first picked up a board at the age of 4 down at Wilson’s Promontory, and started really getting into surfing at around age 11. His first comp was through the North Narrabeen Boardriders club when 12. He graduated from Narrabeen Sports High School in 2014.

The North Narrabeen Boardriders Club,  established July 26, 1964, celebrates its 60th year in 2024. A black tie event is scheduled to take place in October.

In more great news for the club this week the NSW Government has allocated $632,000 for upgrades to North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club under the Surf Club Facility Program, which includes the extension to the north first mooted by Council in 2023. Details here.

Full report runs as this Issue's Profile of the Week.


'Lynne's Park' At Warriewood Officially Opened

Lynne's family and Mayor Sue Heins at the official opening. Photo: Cr. Miranda Korzy
The long-awaited park for Warriewood residents was officially opened on Wednesday May 15, with lovely tributes delivered by Trent Czinner, son of Lynne, and Mayor Sue Heins.  Lynne's extended family, former Pittwater Council General Manager Angus Gordon, councillors and residents attended the ceremony.

The park increases the amount of green space available for the community of Warriewood to use at this location and complements the existing park affectionately known as ‘Rocket Ship Park’ through a new bridge connection across Fern Creek. The park was renamed, in consultation with the community, to Lynne Czinner Park after the former Mayor of Pittwater, an environmental trail blazer.

The new green space includes:

  • A shared path and pedestrian bridge connection across Fern Creek
  • Picnic areas with BBQ facilities, shade and water bottle refill stations
  • Network of pedestrian paths
  • Open grassed areas 
  • Native plantings and landscaping
  • Car parking on Dove Lane

Mayor Sue Heins said this highly anticipated open space will be well utilised by the community. 

“By naming this green space after Lynne we honour her legacy. May this space forever stand as a testament to her dedication, vision, and service to our community. 

“This project was fully funded by developer contributions providing a wonderful new open space for the community to enjoy now and into the future.” Mayor Heins said. 

One of Lynne’s three children, Trent Czinner described his mum as being incredibly generous and doing anything for others.   

“We are so proud and thankful to the Council for choosing to honour mum in this way.  Mum loved plants and nature and advocated for shared outdoor spaces, and she would have loved this park. We grew up in this area and it holds a special place in our hearts.

“Mum became a Councillor only to make a difference, but I know she would be chuffed to be recognised for her years of tireless work on the Council. In fact, I think she would cry with joy and be lost for words with the naming.

“On behalf of mum, her children and grandchildren, I want to say how humbled and honoured we are that this absolutely wonderful park carries her name and I hope it will be a place that creates special moments and memories for all of the lucky people who live here or come to visit.” 

Mayor Sue Heins' Address and the Speech given by Trent is available HERE


Surf Club Facility Program 2024 Allocations Are Great News For North Narrabeen, Mona Vale, South Curl Curl 

North Narrabeen SLSC, site for the WSL GWM Sydney Surf Pro. presented by Bonsoy, Thursday 9 May 2024 to Thursday 16 May 2024. Photo; A J Guesdon

North Narrabeen SLSC lifesavers and surfers have good cause to smile after their club was awarded $632,343 towards extensions and upgrades. The club is among 32 across NSW to share in more than $5 million towards the upgrade, restoration or construction of facilities under the NSW Government’s Surf Club Facility Program. The projects awarded funding in the 2023/20-24 round were announced on Tuesday May 14.

Other local projects awarded funding under the program includes $68,480.00 for a solar pv, battery and waste water system and $70,145.45 for a storage and equipment room.

Details are:

Category 1 Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club Inc, Surfview Rd
Mona Vale: $68,480.00

For:  Solar PV, battery and waste water system for financial/environmental sustainability Mona Vale SLSC is embarking on a transformative project to enhance sustainability and embrace environmentally friendly practices. Focussing on energy and water efficiency, the project aims to make significant strides towards becoming more sustainable. We do this through installation of PV solar, battery storage and waste water management system. To: Northern Beaches Council

Category 1 South Curl Curl SLSC, Carrington Pde
Curl Curl:  $70,145.45

For: Equipment & furniture storeroom Construction of a storeroom adjacent to the Club hall.   The hall is used year round for Club training/meetings/social, community events and hire for income.   Currently these is no storage within the hall. This means that training equipment and furniture must be kept downstairs, in a bathroom or even left outside. To: Northern Beaches Council

Category 3 North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club Inc., 2 Malcolm St
Narrabeen: $632,343.00

For:  Stage 1 Works - Building Extensions & Upgrades


Mona Vale SLSC. Photo: Michael Mannington, OAM, Community Photography


2024 NSW Architecture Awards: Six Local Projects On The Shortlist 

Jane Cassidy Appointed National President Of The Australian Institute Of Architects - 2024 National Prizes: Philip Thalis Receives Gold Medal

Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club, Adriano Pupilli Architects, has made the Shortlist in the 2024 NSW Architecture Awards in the Public Architecture category. Photo: Martin Mischkulnig and courtesy the Australian Institute of Architects

More than 100 architecture projects have been shortlisted for the 2024 New South Wales Architecture Awards. Ranging from the development of a surf club to an aquatic centre, train stations and housing projects, 126 projects have been shortlisted to the next round of the NSW Architecture Awards.

NSW Chapter President Adam Haddow said the awards were a chance to highlight the excellence of local practitioners and the value they brought to society.

“The Institute is dedicated to the promotion of Australian architects and architecture in both national and global arenas,” he said.

“Since 1981, we have upheld excellence in the profession by recognising best practice in the field through our National Architecture Awards program and inspiring others to continue striving to positively shape communities through architecture.”

Part of the National Architecture Awards, the NSW awards follow a rigorous judging process at all levels. Awards juries met for two days from February 17-18 to listen to 246 project presentations, and subsequently created the shortlist to continue to the final awards. Site visits to all shortlisted projects will occur in April.

Mr Haddow said this year’s entrants included more adaptive reuse projects as a percentage than ever before.

“This speaks to a societal shift that is refocusing energy towards reuse with the intent of redeploying embodied carbon,” he said.

“Architects are also increasingly acknowledging the impact of the built environment on the natural and cultural landscape, and particularly our impact on First Nations people. We are particularly excited by the number of projects that challenged convention and aimed to address Connecting to Country and Truth Telling.”

Categories include: Commercial Architecture, Educational Architecture, Heritage, Interior Architecture, Public Architecture, Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions), Residential Architecture – Houses (New), Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing, Small Project Architecture, Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design.

The nominated and shortlisted projects includes a number of designs and completed builds from our area across the Residential Architecture - Houses (New), Residential Architecture - Houses (Alterations and Additions), Heritage, Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing, Small Project Architecture and Public Architecture categories.

The projects which have been shortlisted from this area for the 2024 NSW Architecture Awards  include Bayview Tree House, Hill House, Tree House, qubec at Newport, the North Head Viewing Platforms and the new Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club.

Winners will be announced on 28 June at the NSW Architecture Awards.


Bayview Tree House (at Bayview) is also on the Shortlist. Photo: Luke Shadbolt Photography, and courtesy Woodward Architects and the Australian Institute of Architects.


The Irukandji's Win Eighth Team World Championship And Two Individual Gold Medals At The 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

Team Australia; The Irukandji's - The Australian Junior Surfing Team stand on the podium after winning gold at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.  Photo: ISA/Pablo Jimenez

In an outstanding display of skill, determination, and sportsmanship, the Australian junior surfing team, known as 'The Irukandji's', have claimed the overall gold at the 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship as well as two individual gold medals for Dane Henry (U18 men's) and Ziggy Aloha Mackenzie (U16 women's). In one of the most commanding victories in ISA competition, today's (May 13 2024 Australian time) result makes the Irukandjis the winningest team in ISA World Junior history, ending an 11-year wait since their last triumph in 2013.

Individual gold medals for Dane Henry and Ziggy Mackenzie were backed up by a silver medal for Fletcher Kelleher and copper for Milla Brown. But the performance of the entire Irukandjis team was so strong that victory was almost secured before Finals Day even began, and a heat win for Brown, backed by Willow Hardy’s performance, in Girl’s U/18 Repechage Round 9 was enough to see Australia take the Team gold medal long before the Grand Finals began.

Kate Wilcomes, the Surfing Australia National High-Performance Director, expressed the broader implications of the team's success, stating, "This win represents where Australian Junior surfing is at and the dominance we intend to continue to deliver! This team and the support staff have not only worked hard, but they have also built and embraced the Irukandji's fighting spirit. We are all so proud of each and every one of these athletes and how they have represented Australia."

In a stacked Under 18 men’s Grand Final, Dane Henry became the first Australian to win this division in 15 years. The 17-year-old led the pack with an excellent heat total of 16.8 out of a possible 20, clinching the gold medal. Close behind was fellow Australian Fletcher Kelleher, who scored an impressive 15.97 out of 20. Their strong performances triumphed over tough competition from Brazil's Rickson Falcão (14.67) and Japan's Ikko Watanabe (8.70), showcasing the depth of talent in Australian junior surfing.

Henry led the Australian charge through the entire event, with the team captain posting seven scores in the excellent range, including a perfect 10-point ride. 

Henry reflected on his achievement and the team's success, "I'm so proud of everyone in my team; it's been the best experience of my life. I couldn't have done it without my mum; she's an absolute legend, and I wouldn't be up here without her." 

Overcome with emotion, he added, "Thank you to all the coaches, everyone back at home, from the bottom of my heart this is the best thing I've ever done in my life."

Dane Henry, Team Australia / Photo: Pablo Franco

Milla Brown - Day 9 and Finals Day. Credit: ISA / Sean Evans

Full report HERE


2024 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Round 1 - Race Results + Action Photos By Richard Black

Mona Vale SLSC members taking part in the 2024 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Round 1 at Collaroy. Photo: Richard Black

The Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series is back for season 2024, with a bumper crop of eager and enthusiastic teams ready to bring the unique blend of competitive speed and technical, lifesaving precision to Collaroy ahead of Round 1.

Surf Life Saving New South Wales, in announcing the 2024 Series, stated:

The name of the game is upskilling and improvement, as it has always been, but there’s a fire burning within many athletes who want to upset the apple cart and overturn more than a decade of dual-club dominance.

For more than 10 years it’s been Caves Beach SLSC and Kiama Downs SLSC duking it out at the top of the standings, with the South Coast club usually coming up trumps.

However, Caves Beach snapped an eight-year streak when they finished ahead of Kiama Downs at the IRB Championships at Ocean Beach in 2023, having two weeks earlier also claimed the IRB Premiership Series as well.

Both teams are back and ready to roll once again this year, as is most of the clubs that kicked off proceedings almost 12 months ago at Warilla-Barrack Point, while a host of new ones including Wanda SLSC, Forster SLSC and Fingal Beach SLSC will hit the water throughout the series.

Surf Life Saving NSW Director and Chair of Surf Sport, Don van Keimpema is looking forward to seeing the 2024 Premiership play out, which sees four surf clubs host rounds over the coming months before the State Championships at Cape Hawke in July.

“The Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership is a feature event on the state surf sports calendar – it provides a great spectacle and showcases the skills of our membership in a competitive format,” he said.

“I’m really excited for the new season and to see which clubs will be in the mix to win the Premiership title.”

Local surf clubs taking part are Avalon Beach, Newport, Bungan, Mona Vale and Queenscliff. 

The 2024 IRB Premiership Rounds include:

  • Collaroy SLSC: 10-12 May
  • Fingal Beach SLSC: 25-26 May
  • North Avoca SLSC: 8-9 June
  • Ocean Beach SLSC: 22-23 June
  • IRB Championships – Cape Hawke SLSC: 5-7 July

The annual IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) competition aims to improve the skills and technique of IRB drivers and crew as well as allow crews to demonstrate their techniques and abilities to perform rescues. Along with Age Divisions, there are five events in IRB competition to hone the skills of IRB Lifesaver Members:

IRB Rescue: teams are comprised of one patient, one driver, and one crew member. The patient is in the water at a designated buoy, the driver and crew member are at the starting line at the on the beach. On the starter's signal, competitors launch the IRB, proceed through the surf to pick up the patient, round the buoy, and return to shore.

IRB Team Rescue: teams are comprised of one patient and two crews (one driver and one crew member per crew). On the starter's signal, the first crew launches the IRB and proceeds through the surf to the patient. As the IRB rounds the buoy, the first crew member jumps overboard. The driver completes the buoy turn and returns to shore alone. The second crew member moves into the water, and takes control of the IRB. The first driver runs up the beach and tags the second driver. The second crew re-launches the IRB, proceeds through the surf to pick up the patient and the first crew member, rounds their buoy, and returns to shore to finish the event.

Mass Rescue: teams are comprised of one driver, one crew member and two patients. Both patients start the event in the water. The crew proceed through the surf, pick up their first patient and return to shore. The driver and the patient must exit the IRB where the patient retires to the beach. The driver proceeds to the start/finish line, rounds a marker and returns to the IRB. The IRB is re-launched and the crew rescues the second patient, returns to the beach and across the finish line.

IRB Rescue - Tube Rescue:  teams are comprised of one patient, one driver, and one crew member. On the starter's signal, competitors launch the IRB, proceed through the surf and turn around their respective turning buoy. The crew member then enters the water and swims past the turning buoy to their patients. The crew member secures the rescue tube around the arms of the patient and tows the patient back to the IRB. Once the crew member and patient are safely aboard, the driver navigates the IRB around the team's turning buoy and returns to shore to finish.

IRB Relay: this event is a continuous relay involving the four events in the following order: Rescue Tube, Mass Rescue, Teams Rescue and Rescue. Each leg is per the description above except for changeovers between legs. 

Last weekend Collaroy hosted the first round - the Finals results, available to download at: 2024 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Round 1 - Race Results, have been collated for this record.

Newport and Queenscliff have either won or been among the placings during this Round - while strong representation from Avalon Beach, Bungan and Mona Vale SLSC's across the events and age divisions, making semi-finals and finals, are an indication of why people are safe on our beaches during the warmer seasons.

The names of Officials who worked as volunteers at this, and all Rounds of the 2024 IRB Premiership, features great people from across the state as well as from peninsula clubs; North Curl Curl, Newport, Queenscliff, North Narrabeen, Avalon Beach, North Steyne, Mona Vale and Collaroy. Without these dedicated people these events would not take place nor run as smoothly as they do.

Some of Richard Black's brilliant photos of the action run below this, capturing this is an event for all ages, and a great video SLS NSW has put together, runs HERE


Autumn In Pittwater 

Warriewood's Rat Park with low fog at dawn and dog walkers, Friday May 17 2024. Photo: Joe Mills
John Vaughan's 'Tondelao' at rest in Yeoman's Bay (Cowan Creek alongside Pittwater), May 2024. Photo: John Vaughan 
All the colours of the world at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro. at North Narrabeen, Monday May 13, 2024. Photos: A J Guesdon
Little Corella, Careel Bay, Monday May 13, 204. Photo: A J Guesdon

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