There’s something quite surreal about living in Coolangatta and surfing Snapper Rocks aka the Super Bank all the time.
Apart from being the most crowded wave in the world and believe me it can get so crowded it does seem unreal…….. Imagine if you were a golfer and went to your local Golf course to tee off and every time you turn around you bumped into one of the world’s top golfers!!
This is what it’s like surfing Snapper, As you paddle around trying your best just to snare anything resembling a wave….it’s impossible not to notice the awesome talent of the local pro surfers, carving through around, between and sometimes over the ever present and frustrating crowd..
I’ve lived in the Coolangatta / Tweed Heads area for almost 15 years now and it’s been amazing ride watching these local kids mature into the world class athletes that they are.
Number one on the achievement list for ’08 is of course Stephanie ‘Happy’ Gilmour’s second World title. A local Snapper Rocks girl through and through, (Go Steph you Legend!). It’s going to be hard to get that trophy out of that firm grip for a few years yet.
Samantha Cornish originally from Crescent Head but now living on the Gold Coast had a reasonable year finishing 6th.
Sam has been around on tour from a very young age. Unfortunately for her, in 2008 she always seemed to be right on the edge of cracking a win. She’s always a threat in any comp and will be for a long time yet. Good luck in ‘09 Sam
Check out the cool short video of Stephanie Gilmour Free Surfing from Rip Curl below.
Steph has obviously dominated in the women’s Tour in 2008.
But when it comes to the men’s tour, consider this; Five out of forty five of the surfers on the Men’s ASP world Tour are from the Southern Gold Coast and surf the Super Bank whenever they’re at home and its breaking.
Here they are in the order they are seeded in 2009.
2. Bede Durbidge: Bede is actually from the small community of North Stradbroke Island (where he is afforded Godly Status) but has been based on the Southern Goldie for a few years now.
Since being dropped by his former sponsor Billabong, Bede has hit his straps and had a great year in 08 finishing second to Kelly.
He sums up his year in this quote.
“If somebody had said to me on January 1 this year that I would finish the year having jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 plus pick up a CT contest win along the way, I’d have gone: ‘I’ll take that’. That’s how 2008 has ended for me and I’m stoked with how the year has gone “ You can read more of what Bede has to say here.
4. Joel Parkinson; Parko’s manner, character, personality or whatever you’d like to call it seems to be the equivalent of his competitive surfing career…. He makes it look easy and just cruises through the whole thing; but in reality, when you look closely, on a wave and in competition in general, he’s going places that very few have been before him………….. and more often than not, pulling it off with style.
Joel Had a great year especially in Hawaii where he took out the Triple Crown and scored a record breaking perfect 20 in his heat in the Pipe Masters. He’s fired up and itching to go in 2009
Here’s what he has to say in ‘Surfing’ magazine.
Check out Joel’s two perfect 10’s in the vid below.
8. Mick Fanning. What can you say about Mick? That hasn’t already been said. An amazing surfer with more speed on a wave than anyone, good bloke, love’s a beer and oh yeah … Champion of the world in 2007!!.
Some may think that dropping from one to eight ………Mick didn’t have the hunger for competition in 2008. But who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t missed Mundaca and Brazil through injury??. He’s still firmly entrenched in the top ten and will be doing his best to remain a contender in 2009.
28. Dean Morrisson. Poor old Dingo, the perennial underdog! He had a shocker in 2008. He was plagued with injury, had surgery and a boating mishap that was lucky not to end in tragedy. He will be back in 2009 on the WCT courtesy of one of the few injury wildcards.
45. Josh Kerr. The air specialist Kerrsy was touted as having made big predictions about his first year on tour in 2007, but then didn’t make the cut for the WCTin 2008. Humbled but even more determined, Josh surfed like a man possessed in the WQS to get his place back in the top level for 2009.
I got a few shots of Josh a at Snapper before he left for Hawaii, and I swear, he had that same look in his eye that I saw in Mick Fanning at the Quiky Pro in 2007. He’s definitely one to watch in 2009. He’s learnt from his mistakes and is now ready to make his mark. If I was a gambling man, my money would be on him. I’m tipping him to move way up the ranks this year.
2009 is shaping up to be an incredible year in Coolangatta, these guys on the tour are only the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of talented local grommets that are waiting in the wings hoping to fill the shoes of these guys.
Good luck to everyone from the anyone competing in anything this year.
Happy new year and all that suff as well…….
At the least….It’s going to be an interesting year