Bells Beach / Djarrk, Wadawurrung Country (Sunday, 28 May 2023): It was a finals day for the memory books at the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles presented by Rip Curl with bombing 6 – 8 ft waves wrapping into Djarak/Bells Beach. The level of surfing was at an all time high with a total of six 9 point rides and one 10 point ride handed out by the judges throughout the day.
The majority of those rides came from the Masters Men’s division with every competitor going wave for wave out in the perfect conditions.
Dylan Robertson (Bulli, NSW) started off strong with a quick and critical approach to the wave that earned him a 7.67 point ride (out of a possible 10 points). Robertson was then quick to add to his heat total, bettering his first ride with an 8.83 point ride. However, at the halfway point of the final Lee Winkler (Coffs Harbour, NSW) stood out amongst the rest as he found a special rhythm with the ocean. He took off on his first ride and stuck the landing on a massive airdrop before jamming a forehand snap right into the pocket and getting barreled on the way back down the face of the wave. He then drew out some incredible lines on the rest of the wave to obtain the event’s first perfect 10 point ride!
Paddling back out Winkler still needed a second ride to make his way into first so the pressure was on for him to find another one. In the final minutes, he was able to catch a wave and put in another breathtaking performance on it to receive an 8.07 point ride. This incredible surfing earned Winkler the win in the Masters Men’s division and the Surf Better Now ‘Wave of the Day’.
Dylan Robertson claimed the second spot with Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW) and Anthony Hume (Torquay, VIC) placing third and fourth.
“I surfed three heats in a row so everything was kind of a blur but it felt amazing surfing those big, fast canvases,” said Lee Winkler.
“It was just about sharing waves with really good humans and enjoying the purity of surfing these waves at this location,” he continued.
In the final heat of the day Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD) claimed his third division win of the event, taking out the Open Men. This win didn’t come easy as Jordie Campbell (Torquay, VIC) posted an early 8.50 with a powerful backhand attack. Smales was able to make his way back into the heat by picking out a gem of a wave and pushing hard on his final maneuver to receive a 7.00 point ride.
Needing only a 6.60 point ride, Smales took off on his next wave with one objective in his mind. He then surfed it with great intent and after smashing another end turn Smales was awarded a 6.80 point ride as well as the win. Campbell placed second with Finn Hill (Avoca Beach, NSW) and Rohnin Henry Micale (Bellambi, NSW) coming in third and fourth.
“It’s been a big couple of days with Bells putting on a show for everyone,” said Landen Smales.
“I’m very proud to be indigenous and be able to come down to this comp and surf with everyone,” added Landen.
Other division winners included Summer Simon (Rainbow Bay, QLD, Open Women), Jasmine McCorquodale (Bateau Bay, NSW, Women Longboard), Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD, Men’s Longboard and Junior Boys), Ocea Curtis (Lennox Heads, NSW, Junior Girls) and Glenn Curtis (Lennox Heads, NSW, Over 50 Men).
1st – Summer Simon (Rainbow Bay, QLD), 15.83
2nd – Kauri Heuston-Connor (Reedy Creek, QLD), 11.53
3rd – Ocea Curtis (Lennox Head, NSW), 8.00
4th – Leihani Zoric (Broken Head, NSW), 0.00
1st – Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD), 13.80
2nd – Jordie Campbell (Torquay, VIC), 13.60
3rd – Finn Hill (Avoca Beach, NSW),13.07
4th – Rohnin Henry Micale (Bellambi, NSW),10.90
1st – Lee Winkler (Coffs Harbour, NSW), 18.07
2nd – Dylan Robertson (Bulli, NSW), 16.50
3rd – Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW), 14.10
4th – Anthony Hume (Torquay, VIC), 5.67
1st – Jasmine McCorquodale (Bateau Bay, NSW), 15.00
2nd – Mali Legge (NSW), 8.10
3rd – Jessi Muir (Ocean Grove, VIC), 2.00
4th – Cassandra Mckechnie (Tweed Heads, NSW), 0.00
1st – Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD), 16.33
2nd – Kaiden Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD), 12.17
3rd – Rhys Collins (Red Hill, VIC), 10.83
4th – Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW), 10.13
1st – Ocea Curtis (Lennox Heads, NSW), 13.34
2nd – Leihani Zoric (Broken Head, NSW), 12.70
3rd – Bohdi Simon (Rainbow Bay, QLD), 9.50
4th – Kauri Heuston-Connor (Reedy Creek, QLD), 8.67
1st – Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD), 19.47
2nd – Hunter Winkler (Coffs Harbour, NSW), 12.24
3rd – Kyroan ODonnell (Tewantin, QLD), 5.17
4th – Tyler Duell (Phillip Island, VIC), 0.00
Over 50 Men
1st – Glenn Curtis (Lennox Heads, NSW), 15.84
2nd – Robbie Page (Kempsey, NSW), 12.66
3rd – Jay Mckenzie (Cronulla, NSW), 10.34
4th – Steffan Krasna (Melbourne, VIC), 8.17
All scores, video and photos from the event can be found at www.australianindigenoussurfingtitles.com
May 26th – May 28th, 2023
Bells Beach / Djarrak
The Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles is presented by Rip Curl and Head Sox supported by the Victorian Government, Surf Coast Events, VicHealth Surfing Australia, Play It Safe by the Water, Wadawurrung Tradional Overseers, Indigi-Print, Space Cubes and Feed Me Surf Coast.