The first event of the year was a challenge for all with long relentless paddle-outs but long peeling rights. In the early rounds Angus Murray posted the highest scores in the open followed by Simon ‘Mr nobody’ Mitchell and Andy Clee threatening the top seeds in the masters division.
By the finals everyone was feeling the effects of the long paddles but the rip was in full flow and the swell had calmed making things a little easier. In the masters Keeno continued his winning ways from last season, Animal rider Zak Lawton blew away the rest of the under 18’s with some smooth progressive surfing and in the ladies Hazell Ilet took the win by a big margin.
The open final was the last heat of a very long day and saw Zak in about his 8th heat of the day joined by Phillius over the Hillius and top 2 seeds ‘THE’ Ben Haworth and Ashley Braunton. Ben had just come close to being eliminated in the semis, Ashley was unbeaten so far and Phil was surfing better as the day wore on leaving for an interesting final. Ben came off the mark quickest and created a margin which was in the end too much for the others to beat, in good but closey conditions he tore apart a peeler and left the others scrapping for 2nd. In the end it was Ashley who managed to sneak ahead and take the runners-up spot ahead of the goofy-footers.
A great start to the year with a big turnout once again all made possible by the hard work of the members and the sponsors, the Hotdoggers would like to give massive thanks to Second Skin, Errant, Volkswagen and to Animal.
1st – ‘THE’ Ben Haworth
1st – Keeno
1st – Zak Lawton
1st – Hazell Ilet