The Billabong Girls Spring Classic took place this weekend as part of the Queensland Surf Series at Duranbah Beach, Australia, with local girl Rebecca Oakley taking away the coveted title.
With places in the Queensland team for the 2007 Australian titles on the line, as well as the series winner of the open women’s division scoring a wildcard into the trials of the only World Championship Tour (WCT) event on the Gold Coast in March 2008, over 70 of Queensland’s hottest female surfers took to the waves off the Gold Coast in pursuit of glory.
With ’06 QSS ratings leader Sarah Beardmore (Ballina) and other series contender Sheridan Shields (Tugun) both eliminated in the semifinals, it left lone Sunshine Coast surfer Oakley chasing her maiden QSS victory to claim the overall series title.
In a high scoring final, Oakley came from behind to win over Billabong Girl’s coach Jenny Boggis (Lennox Head), Victorian upstart Amy Stewart (Torquay) and Coolangatta unknown Jenna Hunter.
Surfing with a progressive approach, Oakley linked a series of radical forehand maneouvres within the dying stages of the 25-miunte final to capture her best result to date. Oakley’s two-wave total of 14.23 was enough to secure the win over Boggis (12.9). Stewart and Hunter finished third and fourth respectively.
“I couldn’t have hoped for a better day," said a pleased Oakley. “I was focusing on the open division due to the wildcard spot and just knew I needed to win to jump ahead of Sarah (Beardmore) on the ratings. I'm just so stoked that it’s actually happened."
In winning the prestigious open women’s title, 19-year-old Oakley has secured a trials wildcard into the only women’s World Championship Tour (WCT) on the Gold Coast in March, 2007.
“It’s going to be a big step for me," added Oakley “Hopefully I’ll do well and make it into the main round. I’ve basically got nothing to lose."
Year-round consistency proved the key for the Pro Junior (under 21) competitor, posting an equal 7th, equal 5th and a win in the three-event all-women’s series.
All divisions of the third and final event of the ’06 Billabong QSS were finalised yesterday in clean 2-3ft beach break conditions. Likewise, places in the Queensland team for the 2007 Australian titles were decided.
Coolangatta surfing sensations Airini and Sarah Mason (Tugun) walked away with wins in the under 21 and under 14 divisions respectively, while Kirstie Jones (South Coast NSW) was victorious in the under 18 girl’s final.
16-year-old Airini (Mason) made history in this very event last year, becoming the youngest surfer to win a Queensland Open championship by upstaging Sheridan Shields (Bilinga) and 15-year-old pocket-rocket Sally Fitzgibbons (NSW).
Southport surfer Mandy Roberts picked up a double, taking out both the senior women’s (over 28) and masters (over 35) divisions, while Sunrise beach surfer Naomi Stevic was a well-earned victor in the under 16 girl’s division.
Additionally, Snapper Rocks Boardriders accumulated 7390-points to win a cool $1,000 as today’s best performing club.
State Champions were crowned across the open women’s, senior women’s (Over 28), masters (Over 35) as well as a the U/14, U/16, U/18, and U/21 divisions.
The Billabong Girls Spring Classic boasts a $2000 open women's prize purse with the 2006 Billabong Girls QSS being the richest open women’s circuit in Australia, incorporating three events and $14,000 prize money.
'06 Billabong Girls QSS is proudly presented by Vodafone.
Opens: 1st Rebecca Oakley (SC), 2nd Jenny Boggis (NSW), 3rd Amy Sewart (Vic), 4th Jenna Hunter (GC)
Masters: 1st Mandy Roberts (GC), 2nd Adrianna Fugazotto (GC), 3rd Ava Kerr (SC), 4th Belinada Collins (SC)
Under 21: 1st Airini Mason (GC), 2nd Briana Lenton (SC), 3rd Kirstie Jones (NSW), 4th Amy Hart (GC)
Under 18: 1st Kirstie Jones (NSW), 2nd Tiana McNeven (GC), 3rd Airini Mason (GC),4th Briana Lenton (SC)
Under 14: 1st Sarah Mason (GC), 2nd Brodie Doyle (GC), 3rd Georgie Fish (GC), 4th India Payne (SC)
Senior Women: 1st Mandy Roberts (GC), 2nd Kathryn Schipper (SC), 3rd Nicole Nevin (GC), 4th Fiona MacKenzie (GC)
Under 16: 1st Naomi Stevic (SC), 2nd Aurora Ericson (NSW), 3rd Dimity Stoyle (SC), 4th Quincy Moore (SC)