Avoca have taken out the Australian Boardriders Battle despite copping a five-point penalty in the grand final at Newcastle Beach on Sunday.
Matt Wilkinson was docked the points for standing up on his board on the way into the beach after his two rides. Each surfer is allowed to catch only two waves and his effort into shore constituted a wave ride.
However, Avoca’s 35.4 total was still enough to beat Snapper Rocks (31.95), Bondi (31.85) and North Narrabeen (25.40). Designated power surfer Adrian Buchan starred with scores of 9.9 and 7.75, while Wade Carmichael’s 8.25 started their domination of the decider before Wilkinson’s penalty was announced with 10 minutes remaining.
Earlier, Merewether fell a countback short of making the grand final at the Australian Boardriders Battle national final at Newcastle Beach.
The top four on the pointscore advanced to the grand final, which was set to started about 4.20pm.
Merewether finished level with Bondi in fourth but lost on a countback which took into account the final wave score from each club’s power surfer. Bondi’s Perth Standlick’s four beat Ryan Callinan’s three.
Defending champions North Narrabeen, two-time winners Snapper Rocks and Avoca also made the decider ahead of Merewether, who were fourth until the teams section final.
Merewether bowed out in the quarter-finals of the teams event but remained in the hunt for a grand final berth thanks largely to Callinan’s three skins victories on Sunday morning.
EARLIER: A time penalty against Merewether’s final, power surfer, Ryan Callinan, proved crucial as they were knocked out of teams section at the Australian Boardriders Battle national final at Newcastle Beach on Sunday.
Merewether sat equal second in the overall pointscore heading into the teams quarter-finals and they led for most of their four-club, 50-minute heat.
They had dropped to second when Callinan was chasing a score in the final minutes to ensure they progressed with a top-two finish but he failed to return to the change-over area in time despite a desperate sprint up the beach.
A five-point penalty dropped Merewether to third with 20.85, just 0.1 behind Queenscliff, who progressed to the semi-finals with defending champions and heat winners North Narrabeen.
Despite the setback, Callinan won three skins earlier on Sunday morning, lifting Merewether well up the leaderboard and giving them a chance to still make the 4.10pm grand final, which features the top four on the overall club pointscore.
Earlier, Callinan scored a 7 to put Merewether, featuring Travis Lynch, Luke Egan, Philippa Anderson and Morgan Cibilic, to top spot in the heat.
10.30am: LUKE Egan produced a nine-pointer to keep Merewether alive in the teams competition on Saturday and Ryan Callinan launched an aerial assault to claim three skins on Sunday at the Australian Boardriders Battle naitonal final at Newcastle Beach.
Merewether were equal second on the overall pointscore on 4250, just 100 points behind leaders Avoca, heading into the quarter-finals of the teams event.
Former world No.2 Egan was the star on Saturday, producing a series of huge flowing turns as Merewether’s over-35 surfer to help the team of Callinan, Jackson Baker, Travis Lynch and Sabre Norris get through to Sunday’s teams finals with second place in their heat.
Callinan then thrilled the crowd on Sunday morning, earning scores of 8, 8.25 and 7.5 with huge airs to beat the likes of Joel Parkinson (Snapper Rocks), Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout) and Shaun Cansdell (Coffs Harbour) and win three skins for Merewether.
“I was pretty pumped out there, there were some pretty good sections and I think it suited my surfing,” Callinan said.
Callinan lost to Avoca championship tour surfer Adrian Buchan to end his run in the skins, where each of the 24 clubs’ best surfer tries to win and progress to the next heat, where only the single highest scores are counted.
Merewether are due to surf in quarter-finals of the teams competition just before 11am.