Conroy grabs surfing wildcard

Barwon Heads' Ben Considine came runner-up in the Open Men's final. (Noah Clifford/Surfing Victoria)

The 2024 Victorian Longboard Titles Open Women final at Surfies Point started off with a flurry of waves with all surfers finding their way onto multiple rides.

After the dust settled from the first exchange those who found themself on the larger quality rides were rewarded.

With a wildcard spot into the 2024 WSL Bells Beach Longboard Classic for the Open Men and Women on the line, Bea Conroy (Point Lonsdale) was one of them, scoring the highest of the exchange, a 7.67. This gave her the lead early with Molly Powell (Anglesea) not far behind with a 6.27 point ride.

Both scores came from larger right handers that allowed for a critical nose ride and a final hit. Saturday’s stand out, Asha Reeves (Carlton North), stayed busy on the inside trying to bridge the gap. However, she couldn’t find her way onto one that provided enough wall for her to rip into.

Conroy sealed the deal by picking up a left at the end of the heat and executing an extended nose ride to an amazing drop knee cutback. With this ride Conroy scored a combined heat total of 13.34 points to take out the final and put her in a good position for the wild card 2024 WSL Bells Beach Longboard Classic.

Coming in second was Molly Powell on an 11.54 combined heat total with Eglantine Balland (Carrum) and Asha Reeves placing third and fourth.

On the other side of the competition in the men’s final it was all smiles before paddling out with good energy in the air. Ben Considine (Torquay), the in-form surfer of the event, started strong with a six-point ride for a huge carve and a tidy nose ride on the inside.

Matthew Shay (Torquay) opted to sit deep and was rewarded after getting a cupped-out left with critical hang 5’s and some nice drop knee carves to score a 6.27 point ride and the early lead.

Both the Dunton brothers waited patiently, not getting a wave until over the halfway mark of the final. Finally, Sam Dunton (Mornington Peninsula) couldn’t wait any more as he paddled onto a larger set wave before he headed straight to the nose of his board and finished with a forehand reentry. This got Dunton a mid-range score and a chance to snatch the lead.

Staying busy Considine took off out the back and laid into multiple left hand carves as well as another hang-five scoring a 6.90 point ride and giving him the lead going into the final moments of the final.

Not long after Dunton found another steep right-hander, cross-stepping his way up the nose before teeing off on a couple of slashing turns. Before the judges had time to write a score down the rest of the field found their way onto waves in a last attempt to overtake the current final leader, Considine.

Well after the hooter sounded the scores came trickling through with Dunton’s coming in as the highest one yet, a 7.77 point ride. With the other surfers not able to improve on their situation Sam Dunton took the win on a 13.60 combined heat total.

Placing in second was Considine on a combined heat total of 12.90 with Tasman Dunton and Matthew Shay coming third and fourth.