Longboarders carve up challenging conditions for Malibu surf

Contenders: The finalists on the day are Phil Coates, Ray Lawrence, Christian Pimm, Dave Prowse, Clancy Mills, Danny Jones. Picture: Merimbula Sailboard Club.
Contenders: The finalists on the day are Phil Coates, Ray Lawrence, Christian Pimm, Dave Prowse, Clancy Mills, Danny Jones. Picture: Merimbula Sailboard Club.

Rain clouds shifted off and a good contingent of surfers enjoyed hitting the waves for the Merimbula Sailboard Club's Malibu event on Saturday morning.

Officials welcomed more than 40 entrants for the 34th annual surf and all greeted by surging swells and a morning sea mist at Merimbula's Main Beach.

A highlight each year is the wide gamut of surfers drawn to the event to show off their wares on the longboard with officials saying entries this year ranged from "pre-teens to over 75s".

Waves were also varied with modest foamy two-footers close to shore, but some elusive three-foot curlers were appearing in the back of the sets, while others rolled over too quickly and became plunging and dumpy.

Officials said the waves were "challenging" on the day and this made wave selection critical during the heats as it could mean the difference between a glassy barrel or getting dunked.

Christian Pimm emerged as the best of the six finalists on the day, taking out the top spot in the open division from runner-up Ray Lawrence with Phil Coates in third.

Rounding out the finalists were Clancy Mills, Dave Prowse and Danny Jones.

Justin Black was the highest placed visitor on the day.

Surfers had to head out to the back of sets in order to find some curling three-footers on Saturday at the 34th annual Malibu event.

Surfers had to head out to the back of sets in order to find some curling three-footers on Saturday at the 34th annual Malibu event.

Jane Hornsby headed up the ladies result after a good day on the board.

Meanwhile, Jess Bennett secured herself a custom-made Jed Done board after winning the under 15s grommet class.

Arabella Tarpey led the charge for 15-18 age group, while the open men's went to Theo Coates.

David Arens took out the masters class, with Chris Platt leading the veterans and Mick Nadin topping the 'Grey Grommit' division for over 60s.

The highly coveted Ben Mills Memorial Award presented by Bushrat for a top performer was taken out by Peter Byard.

For the Sailboard Club, all eyes now turn to the 40th anniversary Merimbula Classic set to go ahead in November with support from Raging Bull Surf.

The maiden Classic was held in 1980 and has run every year except for 2020 with the 2021 surf marking the anniversary event.