08 Aug Alley Masters – Surf Report with John Veage
It was only fitting that as Cronulla world tour hopeful Connor O’Leary was tearing through his heats at the US Open at Huntington Beach, the last Cronulla surfer to make the world tour was getting back to his club roots and taking home this year’s SMP Northies Alley Masters.
There was nine hours of non-stop surfing as the five divisions battled it out in fantastic early conditions at North Cronulla Beach on Saturday with the under-14 title going to the new NSW under-12 state champion Kash Brown, who chose wisely and didn’t disappoint.
Champion: Legendary Cronulla surfer Kirk Flintoff won the 31st Northies Alley Masters contest on Saturday. Pictures: John Veage
The over-45s is one of the most competitive divisions with Ritchie Brown and Ricky Marshall going wave for wave with Brown taking the double points and bragging rights.
In the women’s event it was April Davey, who has a stranglehold on the Cronulla Boardriders Women’s trophy, that was never headed in the left handers with fellow goofy footer Grace Gosby the runner-up.
The under-16s is Cronulla’s biggest age division and the juniors went to town in the early rounds making the most of the good three foot conditions.
The low tide and wind made the final one of attrition with Jordy Turansky getting the nod from last year’s winner Oliver Watson.
The Alley Masters blue jacket and shark teeth trophy is awarded to the open winner and with a star studded field of ex champs and hopefuls the final came down to junior champ Jay Brown, club champion Jordan Widenstrom, 2006 champ Kirk Flintoff, 2005 winner Blake Johnston, Australian rep Hayden Blair and Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden late in the day.
It was former world tour surfer Flintoff making a serious effort who took the win with a massive air on his last wave scoring a nine-point ride and robbing his old junior sparring partner Johnston of a dream comeback after 11 years of not surfing competitively.
In a magnanimous gesture at the Northies presentation, Flintoff gave his contest winnings to the under-16 champ Turansky but wore the blue jacket home.