Bells Beach, VIC/AUS (Friday 31st May, 2019): The Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles presented by Rip Curl got underway today in cold and windy conditions at Bells Beach with the top Indigenous Surfers making the most of the challenging surf.
With a strong cold front impacting the coastline, visiting surfers from around the country were treated with some classic Victorian winter surf.
Current Victorian Indigenous Champion Rhys Collins (Red Hill, VIC) was stoked to make his opening round heat in the Masters division against former Pipe Master Robbie Page (Kempsy, NSW). Collins locked in the highest wave score of the heat, an 8.00 point ride to best Page by a slim margin of .73 points.
“You always know when you are in a heat with Robbie,” laughed Collins. “He is an incredible surfer so to get the chance to surf with him and to come out on top is epic.”
“This event has such a family vibe and I think that is what makes it such a fun experience. To have some of the younger surfers get the chance to learn from the elders is amazing.”
The event begun with a Welcome to Country from Traditional Land Owner Corinna Eccles and a mixing of waters from all the different regions represented in the event.
“Having a Welcome to Country is a super important part of this event,” continued Collins. “We have surfers come from so many different areas, so for them to feel like they are able to share this place with the Wadawurrung people is great.”
20 Year Old Nora Head surfer Noah Munro has progressed through to Day 2 in the Open Men’s Division.
“It was super cold out there today,” said Munro. “I’ve been coming to this event for a few years now and this is easily the coldest year.”
“Regardless of the cold the waves were fun when they came. It’s not very often you get to surf Bells with a few others out.”
Other surfers to impress on Day One include Otis Carey (Coffs Harbour, NSW), Jordie Campbell (Torquay, VIC), Anthony Hume (Armstrong Creek, VIC) and Mitch Keighran (Mullaway, NSW).
The event will continue tomorrow morning at 7:30am with the Masters Men in the water first.
Live scores, video and photos for the event can be found at www.australianindigenoussurfingtitles.com
Past champions featured at the event include Otis Carey (Coffs Harbour, NSW), Russel Molony (Shelly Beach, NSW), Summer Simon (Port Kembla, NSW) along with former masters champion Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW).
May 31st – June 2nd , 2019
The Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles is presented by Rip Curl and supported by the Victorian Government, HeadSox, the Surf Coast Shire, VicHealth, Play it Safe by the Water, Wathaurong Cooperative, Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Atmosphere Events, Surfing Australia, ONABAC, VACSAL, Strong Brother Strong Sister and Surfing Victoria.