For the first time, The Jim Beam Surftag will be held on the South Coast of NSW and is a mobile event.
Dean Bowen, Team Werri.
Werri Beach will play host for a battle royal this Saturday with 32 clubs raring to compete in the NSW South Regional Titles, with 12 Australian Championship positions on the line.
In one of the most cutthroat regions of the Jim Beam Surftag Series, premiere clubs such as North Narrabeen, Queenscliff, Bronte, Bondi and Ulladulla will face-off in what’s expected to be a scintillating display of competition surfing.
For the first time, The Jim Beam Surftag will be held on the South Coast and is a mobile event between Jones, Kiama, Bombo and Werri Beaches, allowing competition to be held in the best conditions available.
2009 Australian Champions, Werri Boardriders Club, are hungry to rectify their grip on the Series after lacklustre performance since their national win.
Renowned big-wave charger, Dean Bowen, will pull on the Jim Beam rashvest for his beloved Werri club and said both their two teams are flying into the event as underdogs – just like in 2009.
“I feel like we’re underdogs because we’ve got no real big names. The ultimate goal for us is to get to the Australian Championships,” he said.
“We’ve never been big headed, we’ve never thought, ‘we’re definitely going to win this,’ and I think in 2009 we won it because no one else believed we could. What the boys did then was incredible, we just have to try and do it again.”
Bowen, who has had a successful competitive junior career, said his club has fielded younger teams than usual but believed there was certainly no shortage of talent.
“Our team is probably not as strong as some of the other big teams coming into this event, and the young guys might have less experience, but they are young, fit and can do big things in the water.”
“Surfing in a tag-team format is totally different to surfing anywhere else. It’s a team sport, which means anything can happen… Being a part of a team and cheering on your mates is a part of the Australian culture and being able to bring that to surfing is just a huge bonus.”
Ty Watson, Team Ulladulla.
But neighbouring South Coast rival, Ulladulla Boardriders Club, is no stranger to success in the region and is certain to draw on their experience as 2011 NSW Champions.
Leading surfer, Ty Watson, said the team that’ll be on show on Saturday has the goods to go all the way.
“The Ulladulla boys always have a pretty strong team… and I reckon this year we’ve got a really good chance to take out the whole thing,” he said.
“All of us have surfed the waves all around Gerringong and Kiama so, behind the Werri boys, we’ve certainly got a home-town advantage.”
Defending Regional Champions, Bronte, who also won the NSW Championship last year, have registered two teams as they hunt down back-to-back wins.
Perth Standlick, Team Bondi. Pic: Wes Lonergan
Northern Beaches club, Queenscliff Boardriders, have made their intentions for a win clear, registering a staggering three teams for the South Coast qualifier, signifying the depth of their talent pool.
Four-time National Champions, North Narrabeen, have rounded-up the beach’s biggest names including Nathan Webster, Davey Cathels, Cooper Chapman and Nathan Hedge. The club will be desperate to bounce-back from a shock upset last year when they failed to make the Australian Titles at this very event.
BOSCH, Sanuk, Perfect Wave Travel, Tracks and Coastalwatch proudly support the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series.
For results, photos and videos from the event go to www.facebook.com/surftag