Lachlan Cramsie (prone) and Dave Winchester (DK) are your 2014 Dbah Pro champs. *UPDATED VIDEO
Above: BP in the semis. All photos Johnny Sportsmode.
The NMD Dbah Pro, presented by BSC – final day
It was a big day down at Dbah this morning as the waves finally arrived (three-foot-ish) and barely a breath of wind touched the water all day. Grey clouds hung around for most of it, but they couldn’t dampen the show – the comp got underway with the Pro men’s straight away, taking it back up with the stacked quarterfinals.
BP was going HAM.
Gold Coast youngster Calen Jordan impressed.
And if you thought the quarters were stacked, the semis got a whole new level of gnarly. The first saw Joe Clarke get on top of Cramsie this time, with Ben Player falling short in third – a big surprise considering he was looking like the guy to beat for much of the event. Calen Jordan’s run also ended, but he’d have won a lot of fans with his tech surfing and comp nous.
And the ensuing celebrations.
The second semi was a somewhat contentious one and had pretty much the entire Dbah gallery chewing their nails until after the buzzer sounded. Mitch Rawlins put the runs on the board early and left Stoney, Hayato and Sochiro battling it out to catch him. Stoney wrestled second spot with not long in the heat to go and Mitch and Hayato for some reason then went on a 100-metre paddle-battle into the middle of the beach right in the midst of where droves of regular surfers and boogers were freesurfing. Somehow a bomb set arrived with about 20 seconds left in the heat with Mitch taking the first one and Hayato no choice but to turn and catch the following one. The problem, however, was that a stand-up surfer had taken a liking to the wave too so Hayato was forced for the majority of the wave to ride in the dude’s wake, pretty much destroying any chance of him hitting a section. With the wave petering out, the stand-up pulled off the back and somehow the wave hit a shallow bank and offered up a lip and if you’ve been reading our contest coverage so far you’d know it doesn’t take much for Hayato to boost an ARS. He did to the gasps and screams of the crowd, but it was questionable whether he’d scored the seven-and-a-half-odd he needed to jump Stoney into second place. 20 seconds passed and Hayato was left fist-pumping on the beach – it’d been scored in the early eights, leaving Stoney ruing what could have been. Opinions were divided on the beach, but honestly, it was too close to call and a tough one for the judges.
Mitch being Mitch.
The final was a match-up made in heaven. Joe Clarke, Mitch Rawlins, Lachlan Cramsie and Hayato Enokido had all put in dominant displays throughout the contest and any one could’ve taken it out. The heat started slow with a lengthy lull, but it was Hayato who put the first runs on the board with – you guessed it – a solid ARS on a right. The crowd – mostly naturally dividing their support between the three Queenslanders – saw it as an ominous sign of perhaps Hayato taking out the Dbah Pro again after his 2010 win, but Joe and Lachie soon got going – Joe with the deepest pit of the event, which he rolled on exit; and Cramsie with a nice left flip bowl. Hayato wrested back the lead with a boosted invert off a tiny section, but Joe went one better and did an invert off a much bigger closeout section, which he landed sylishly and into the flats. But it was Cramsie down to the wire, who found another flip bowl, this time off a much bigger left and then followed it up with a speedy banked reverse off the foam at the end. He literally couldn’t have surfed it any better and the judges responded in kind with a perfect 10. With Hayato and Mitch officially combo’d, it was left to Joe to find a score in the nines in the final minute or two, but the ocean didn’t deliver, Cramsie becoming the ABA Tour number one.
Joe came tantalisingly close.
Cramsie was just too good.
Just before the prone final, the dropkneers had taken to the water with Matt Lackey arguably the favourite despite not being much of a contest surfer. He’d been out freesurfing a few times during the day smacking lips and doing huge arcing carves that had most people’s money on him. But it was the versatile Dave Winchester who put on the most impressive display, netting two scores around the nine mark – one deep throaty barrel followed by a stomped floater was the pick of the heat. Lackey landed one huuge floater, but couldn’t find a big enough back-up score to catch Lack. Shane Griffiths and Gary Thatcher both surfed super well, linking up clean carves and hacks followed by floaters, but they weren’t as critical or big as those of the other fellas, they finished third and fourth respectively.
Lackey, balls to the wall float.
We’ll bring you the full results list and video as it comes to hand, but for now raise your glass to Cramsie and Winchester and look forward to stop number two at Knights Beach, South Australia (May 10-11).