Werri Slash 2009

The 22nd Annual Werri Autumn Slash 2009

April 25-26, 2009. The 2009 Werri Autumn Slash was a classic case of “Feast or Famine” as Werri Beach served up a feast of waves on Day 1 whilst surfers on Day 2 were starved of waves.

Day 1 Saturday 25th April – A strong easterly swell was producing some of the best waves at Werri Beach seen in a long time on day 1 of competition. Werri Point was chosen as the event site and the Cadet U/16 Boys, Cadet U/16 Girls and Junior U/18 Boys paddled out into some solid overhead waves which were running the length of Werri Point. The early heats saw some big sets give the young surfers some hairy moments but they all took it on. Early standouts in Round 1 of the Cadet Boys were Leroy Davies, Zac Scott, Riki Tucker and Billy Wilson.

The Cadet U/16 Girls were out next and took on the big sets hitting the reef. Rachel Campbell, Erin Dark, Emma Davies,Rachel Cheetham, Maggie Chandler and Christie Arthur showed tremendous courage and advanced to the semi finals. The Junior U/18 Boys were out next and locals Matt Gale, Doug Chandler, Justin Arnold and Jake Dempsey were solid and advanced alongside with strong performers Jordi Watson, Jake Spellacy and Riki Tucker.

The swell began to settle down and some great waves were still on offer as the Cadet U/16 Boys entered the water for their Qtr Finals. Leroy Davies, Zac Scott, Riki Tucker continued their good form and were joined in the semi finals by Sean Mawson, Tyrne Kinerson, Cam McLaurin, Troy Langendoen and Josh Watt. The Jnr U/18 Boys semi finals were next and Werri locals Matt Gale and Justin Arnold were getting quite vertical with their turns and booked their place in the final alongside Jordi Watson and Jake Spellacy. The final heats of the day were the Cadet Boys semi finals. Tyrne Kinerson and Sean Mawson stepped up in semi number 1 to earn their spot in the final and semi number 2 saw Zac Scott prevail with Josh Watt claiming 2nd place. Event organisers were very pleased with how day 1 unfolded but were in for a very rude shock the next morning.

Day 2 Saturday 26th April – The morning of Day 2 saw the that pumping swell from the previous day had dropped almost to nothing. A high tide didn’t help the ever decreasing swell. The event was moved to the north end of Werri Beach where a half to 1 mtr swell was breaking with a long lull in between sets. The blue ribband division, the Open Mens, opened proceedings and each heat of round 1 was extended to 30 mins to enable surfers more time to catch what little waves were coming through. Tully Robinson was solid in the opening heat with other early standouts in the slow conditions were Nick Squires, Ty Watson, Tom Salvesen and Tim Wrench. The Senior Mens paddled out for their opening heats and Todd Prestage and Ricky Grimson progressed with Allan Farrell, James Sharpe, Jeremy Smith and John Skinner.

The semis of the cadet girls were held at an adjacent bank. Rachel Campbell was a class act and was looking very comfortable in the tiny swell. Erin Dark, Emma Davies and Maggie Chandler were the others to qualify for their first Slash final. The wind became stronger and the swell was getting weaker which made things difficult for the Open and Senior Mens. Their were still waves coming through but only in short bursts. Nick Squires was getting some lightning quick snaps on the small lefts in the corner in his qtr final whilst Ty Watson and Tully Robinson got the better waves in their heats to advance to the semis with Nick McMullen, Elliott Binkins, Lee Carey, Tim Wrench and Hayden Blair.

Straight into Open Mens semis and a small increase in the waves coming through saw Tully Robinson and Nick Squires get the better ones to seal a place in the final. The waves backed off for semi number 2 but Ty Watson and Tim Wrench found the right ones to move in to the final. The senior mens semis saw Ricky Grimson claim first place against former WCT surfer Todd Presatge with Allan farrell claiming a win against Jeremy Smith. All 4 were into the senior mens final.

The Open Womens saw only 4 competitors enter the event so Jessie Wilson, Rachel Campbell, Skye Burgess and defending champ Yvonne Byron straight into a final. A stronger pulse of swell enabled young Rachel Campbell to open strongly. Yvonne Byron began to peg back Rachel’s lead with Skye Burgess threatening. Yvonne score another solid wave to but Rachel was too strong in the end. Skye Burgess came home strongly to claim 3rd with Jessie Wilson in 4th.

The Senior Mens final was next and the ocean went flat as the wind intensified. In a wave starved final Todd Prestage scored the better waves and claimed victory ahead of Jeremy Smith. Ricky Grimson was 3rd and Allan Farrell 4th. The Cadet Girls final was next and it was Rachel Campbell showing her class to convincingly claim 1st place ahead of Erin Dark, Emma Davies and Maggie Chandler. With the waves dying and the tide getting higher, in the Cadet U/16 Sean Mawson used his small stature to his advantage in the small waves to open up a good lead. Zac Scott came back but the Sean sealed his first Slash win with a good left to leave Zac in 2nd, Josh Watt 3rd and Tyrne Kinerson in 4th.

Another pulse in the swell saw some better waves for the Junior Boys final. In a close decision Jordi Watson claimed the jnr crown ahead of locals Matt Gale in 2nd and Justin Arnold in 3rd. Jake Spellacy was 4th. The Open Mens final was the last heat of the day but the surf had deteriorated so much the final was postponed.

The final was eventually run a few days later at the sth end of Werri Beach. Nick Squires opened a commanding lead early. Tully Robinson answered back but fell off at the end of a great wave which could have seen Tully take the lead. Nick scored another wave to extend his lead whilst Ty Watson was having a nightmare heat. Tim Wrench found a long righthander to close the gap on Nick but in the end Nick Squires claimed his maiden Open Mens title. Tim Wrench was 2nd, Tully Robinson 3rd and Ty Watson 4th.

The 22nd Annual Werri Autumn Slash was hosted by Werri Beach Boardriders and proudly supported by Surf Dive ‘N’ Ski, Carve Eyewear, Happy Daize, Martin & Holmes Legal, DSN Surfboards, Kiama Council, Gerringong Hardware, Advanced Concrete Cutting and Jacks Grill. Many thanks to those organisations for their continued supported of local and regional surfing. Contact Brad Liber for photos 0409301756