07 Sep Senior Alley Masters
The Surfing Sutherland Shire calendar has plenty of events for surfers to compete in, with 11 clubs of all different surfing disciplines.
The longest running event is the Northies Alley Masters a shortboard contest run by Cronulla Sharks Boardriders Club for 35 years.
First won by World Qualifying circuit surfer Adam Brown in 1989 the contest was held in front of club patron Joe Santa-Maria’s Milkbar on the famous Alley left.
Cronulla has spawned a majority of leftie ‘Goofy footers” in its history and most of them are on the prized shark jaw trophy caught by legendary surf innovator George Greenough in the early 80s.
World Tour surfers Occy, Dog Marsh and Kirk Flintoff’s names are on it along with fellow goofies Blake Johnston, Andy King, Joey Sear, Jared Hickel and Jay Brown.
The junior category had already been run and won weeks previously as a small swell cancelled Opens.
It wasn’t ideal surfing conditions but the small and clean 2ft lefts had the junior groms ready to go.
Sonny Leong took out the top gong in the Micros and there was a big win for Elijah Haylar in the super competitive U13s division.
In the blue ribbon U16s and after two hot semis the finalists spent most of the heat hassling each other letting Elouera’s Soren Smith use his brains and surf his own heat taking the top spot with numerous good inside Alley lefts.
The women’s division had suffered in the early years with lack of competitive numbers but this year saw the 21st woman crowned Queen of the Alley.
First won in 2002 by Billabong sponsored and world ranked 33rd Lyndsay Noyes, she surfed against the men which was the only way then to get competitive surfing experience.
Since the early days prodigy Paris Whittaker had won three crowns and April Davey and big wave sensation Summa Longbottom had won two each.
On Saturday the final at Nth Cronulla was the most competitive ever with Longbottom and NSW Junior champ Grace Gosby going wave for wave.
In the end Gosby’s two wave total just eclipsed defending champion Summa’s – seeing a new women’s winner for its 21st anniversary.
In the red hot men’s final every competitor had been a previous club contest victor but after 2021 Masters champion Jay Brown scored an 8.83 on his first wave the others were left to try and play catch up.
At the heats end Brown’s back up wave of 8.03 was enough to don the Masters Blue Jacket but second place was a real contest when Kash Brown and Hayden Blair were tied on equal wave scores – with Blair taking second with the highest third scoring wave.
In the O45s Greg Brown took the win over Bevan Gosby denying the Cronulla School teacher a father daughter double victory.
Sponsored by Northies Hotel since the start they used to supply a keg to drink on the beach but for the last decade the beers are drank in the Old Joes Bar after the surfing – paying respect to the original club patron.