BOTH the Ulladulla Boardriders Club and Werri Beach Boardriders Club have produced strong performances at the weekend's Fishbowl Surftag Australian Championships at Queenscliff Beach.
The Maroubra United Boardriders have won their first Fishbowl Surftag Australian Title in huge waves at Sydney's South Curl Curl Beach. The Maroubra men's team (23.27) finished ahead of Queenscliff (15.73), North Narrabeen (13.30) and North Avalon (11.53) in the 30 minute final which provided plenty of drama due to the victory at sea conditions - with Ulladulla (15th and 17th) and Werri Beach (16th) missing out on a spot in the decider.
Maroubra's team of Monty Tait (14.37), Max McGuigan (1.8), Jake Scott (3.57), Jackson Giles (0.37), Troy Van Vliet (0.17) and Blake Thornton (surfed day one) dominated the decider with first surfer Tait scoring a 4.17 and 5.10 powerwave, which was the highest two wave total in the final (14.37).
Tait was the standout surfer on the day winning the Rhondda Harrison Surfer of the Series Award with an overall average of 5.84 for all waves ridden throughout the NSW and Australian Championships.
Tait couldn't wait to take the winners trophy back to Maroubra and celebrate with members of the club.
"This is huge for the club - we haven't won anything since the Groms," Tait said.
"My game plan was just to do one big turn and I got lucky as a few of the other guys fell so it pretty much was that one turn won the whole thing".
With conditions starting of flat in the morning and the contest being put on-hold till 12.40pm, the surftag format was reduced to 30 minute heats with each surfer catching one wave as well as one nominated surfer per team having a powerwave.
The reduced format resulted in teams needing to change tactics throughout the afternoon as conditions picked up, with eight to 10 foot sets breaking well before the take-off zone.
With most waves closing out, it was tough for competitors to find a wave that allowed any scoring potential, paddling out the back and duck diving soaked up plenty of their allocated time.
Queenscliff's Tom Lane paddled for 15 minutes being pounded by white water and eventually had to turn around and stand up on a foamy wave to come in.
Queenscliff's Ben Penny excelled in the chunky conditions with the stylish natural footer locking in a seven-point ride which put QBC into second position.
The runner-up finish is Queenscliff's best result in the Fishbowl Surftag Australian Series since winning the inaugural title in 2001.
In the women's division, North Narrabeen (19.17) held on for a narrow victory over North Shelly (18.30) with Corina McGiure almost getting the job done on her last wave which fell less than a point short of the score required. Cronulla Girls Boardriders (14.03) finished in third position with Cabarita (10.40) finishing fourth in their first year competing in the Fishbowl Surftag Australian Series - as Werri Beach finished in seventh.
The North Narrabeen team of Elle Northey (12.37), Sophia Chapman (2.23), Claudia Haworth (0.63), Tiana Reid (1.03), Carly Maudson (0.90) and Laura Enever (surfed day one) secured the clubs sixth Australian title since the women's division was introduced in 2008.