Torquay Boardriders have qualified for Australia’s club surfing championship for the second year running after winning the Victorian round in wintery conditions on Saturday.
Torquay braved strong westerly winds and consistent rain at Smiths Beach ousting home team Phillip Island by nine points.
The win secured Torquay’s place in the final along with runners up Phillip Island in the Australian Boardriders Battle final in Newcastle next February.
“We love getting the chance to head to Newcastle and compete against the big boys at the national final,” Torquay vice-president Harry Mann said.
“To get the opportunity to surf against names like Parko (Joel Parkinson), Taj (Burrow) and Steph Gilmore is amazing for our club and the up-and-coming surfers who are trying to make it.”
One of those promising youngsters, Xavier Huxtable, was electric as Torquay’s power surfer, locking in a 7.83 ride.
Former pro Adam Robertson, Todd Rosewall and Bella Wilson backed him up scoring strong waves to help Torquay finish with a 38.66 total in the final.
Home team Phillip Island also boasted great depth in its team list with former Championship Tour surfer Glyndyn Ringrose and current Qualifying Series competitor Sophie Fletcher.
But they fell short in the final finishing on 29.30 points and placing second overall.
“Phillip Island have a high-quality team and have such great depth, so it feels really good to get the win on their home turf,” Mann said.
Placing third was Peninsula Surfriders Club on 25.32 points followed by South Coast Boardriders on 23.69.
Torquay’s Bella Wilson won Wave of the Day for her ride in the final that led to Torquay’s victory.
Now in its seventh season, the Australian Boardriders Battle is the country’s biggest grassroots boardriders event, involving more than 60 Australian clubs and $110,000 in prize money.