Taking the top off a clean Bell's Beach wave, and the spoils. Pics: Courtesy of Surfing Australia

For the popular Central Coast natural-footer Russell Molony the saying 'good things happen to good people' has rung true in 2012. The former WQS surfer, who gave up full-time competition to be dedicate himself to being the single parent to his boy Zane, won not only the hotly contested Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles at Bells Beach in May, but also the prestigious Open Men's Title at the annual Australian Surf Festival in Port Macquarie in August. Winning the Koori title was no easy task, with quality talent like Joe Hadden and Soli Bailey all making the finals, and his win at Port Macquarie came via a final showdown with dual Australian title winner and highly fancied goofy-footer, Dean Bowen.

Tracks caught up with Russ recently and the interview features in the November issue... Here's a snippet of that interview (as well as clips from both events).

Hey Russ, first of all, congratulations on your recent win at the Australian Titles – I hear you earned a wildcard for the event?

Thanks, yeah I got the wildcard from winning the National Indigenous Titles, which were held in May, and it was pretty special to surf man on man heats in four to six foot at Bells. Joey Haddon came second in the event and is someone who I’ve had a lot of competitive tussles with. He’s super smooth and does crazy aerials, as does Otis Carey. Soli Bailey, a young guy who made the semis, is an awesome prospect for Indigenous surfing. Then you’ve got Lenard Rawlings who is only 13 and went really well for his age. There’s some really good guys coming through and hopefully they can be inspired by my success. Surfing Victoria has a good support base for Indigenous surfing and they seem to be setting the standard for the rest of the country but ongoing support and sponsorship is always needed and appreciated.

Do you think that an Indigenous all-stars team in the National Surf League would be a good idea to showcase Indigenous talent?

There’s definitely enough depth for something like that to help raise the profile of the Indigenous guys.

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Calmly summoning some power on the beach prior to winning the Open Men's title. Pics: Col B

So the Australian Titles were held at Port Macquarie – how did that event unfold?

Well from having the wild card I didn’t feel any pressure and all I had to do was go out and perform and I was just stoked to be representing the Indigenous Community and everyone who helped make the event possible at Bells.

So I heard you were doing some Aboriginal drawing in the sand before you went out and won the final – was this just to calm your nerves or was there something more to it?

Yeah I was just having a play around while I was watching a friend surf his heat and in between waves I flattened out some sand and found a stick which did some nice work. It’s just something that relaxes me which is the same reason I do it here at home also. Col Bernasconi was there for that event and he came past and was interested to know what I was doing. The competition went for a week which is kind of a long time to be away from the family. I guess I could have been calling on some good energy and it seemed to pay off...

To read the full interview get this month's issue of Tracks [page 118]

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