Media Releases 2017

Posted on 01/05/2017 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Archysurf Takes Out Surf Team Challenge

The Archysurf team, captained by Luke Archibald, has won the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve’s 2017 Surf Team Challenge and Dave Fincher Memorial Trophy.

Competition was fierce yet friendly at Saturday's community surfing event and Archysurf is delighted to have finally taken out the prize after coming runner up every year since the competition began in 2014.

This year Mother Nature created the most challenging conditions yet with showers, onshore winds, extreme tides and little swell. Event Organiser Geoff Owens was up before dawn to scan the beaches and make the final decision on the contest venue. At 7.30am, the 99 competitors took it in their stride when the decision was made to relocate the comp from Flynns to Smiths Beach.

Proceedings started with a moving Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony from Boonwurrung Community member Steve Parker. Then it was down to business with briefings from Geoff Owens and Contest Director Max Wells before the teams took to the waves to battle it out.

The gutsy grommets (surfers aged 14 and under) were first to paddle out in each round and showed how it is done with displays of courage and skill. Each category of surfers presented an impressively unique spectacle with support and encouragement from the crowd eagerly watching on from the beach. Sandy Ryan attracted lots of laughs with his comical yet highly skillful antics on his Malibu.

The tide and excitement in the crowd was high as the surfing progressed to the final round. After a solid eight hours of surfing action, the group met back at Woolamai Beach Surf Clubhouse to let their hair down. As they waited for the all-important presentation, many commented that it was “very rare” to see such a wide range of surfers of all ages getting together, many having known each other for years.

In the end it all came down to guts, determination, teamwork and skill with Archysurf finally taking home the prize money along with the Dave Fincher Memorial Trophy proudly presented by Dave’s daughter Michelle. Captain Luke Archibald also achieved the highest scoring wave of the day.

Second place was well deserved by the Island Surfboards team with captain Sandy Ryan achieving best Malibu rider. The Smiths Beach team came in third with team members Steve Demos and Gavin Lewis winning the Best Comedy Act award for the duo’s on and off beach antics.

Woolamai Hards, captained by Geoff Owens won fourth place, Team TMT came in fifth and new team, The Mainlanders, came in sixth.

Judges, Pal Cininas, Gregg Bill and Craig Clarke worked solidly in the tough weather conditions and were once again impressed with the overall standard of surfing across the field. They chose to award ‘best performance from an unsponsored surfer’ to the enthusiastic and talented Zach Chiaradia from team Penguins.

Throughout the day, volunteers kept the troops fed and watered at the BBQ tent. Down on the beach masseurs from Anthony Fradkin Remedial Massage treated participants and spectators to massages and Phillip Island Nature Parks rangers tamed the energetic kids with environmental games and fun.

“We are so happy with the day and would like to thank all involved, especially our sponsors,” said Geoff Owens, Contest Director.

“Despite trying conditions, you all came and supported us and the Surfing Reserve,” said Geoff Owens to the crowd. “Thanks everyone and see you all next year bigger and better.”

Find more photos, memories, information on the Surfing Reserve and next year’s event info on Facebook: phillipislandnsr


Media contacts:
Sally O’Neill 0408 101 976
Eleanor McKay - 0422 313 847