Steve Rutten is longboarders’ club champion for 2014

01/07/2018 Posted by admin

WILL BE MISSED: Neale Ashby said farewell to the Mollymook Longboarders at their last competition for 2014 on Saturday. Photos: LISA HARDWICK MOLLYMOOK Reef was the venue for the Mollymook LongboardersDecember contest, with nothing breaking at HQ at the usual assembly time.

The Reef wasn’t exactly pumping, but there were enough contestable waves available, and prospects for Sunday didn’t favour a postponement, particularly as the 2014 presentation night was scheduled for Saturday. There was a healthy roll-up that included the club’s first potential junior member in over three years, Louie Pantelic from Broulee, who came with his own supporters group.

The contest also was the last for Neale Ashby, who has been transferred to the mid-North coast.

Young Louie, with grommet enthusiasm to burn, got off to a great start with a clear win in his first round heat.

Rob Maher, Adam Maher, and Steve Rutten were the other heat winners with progression direct to the semis.

In the first repechage round Neale Ashby couldn’t buy a wave in his heat, and he bowed out in his lowest ever finishing position; memorable for the wrong reasons.

Phil Schoer, who suffered similarly in his first round heat, found plenty of waves in his first rep heat and progressed easily to the second round. Tony Loves picked up the highest scored wave of the contest in his first rep round heat, which put him way ahead of the pack.

In the same heat Richard Austen came close to besting Greg Furmage for second place with much improved riding from his earlier heat, but he missed out in a split result, giving Greg passage into the second rep round.

SURF’S UP: Phil Schoer at the Mollymook Longboarders December competition.

In the second rep round, the hard luck stories continued with Ross Tomsen unable to find any decent scoring waves and failing to progress to the semis for the first time since 2012.

Bruce Metham also failed to progress from his heat, but Mike Greentree did, maybe the result of karma after a minor bingle when Bruce’s board skinned Mike Greentree’s leg; the second time in club contests when Mike has come off second best with a fin at the Reef.

In an earlier heat Rod Dale’s dismount in the shore break had shortened his board by about a foot.

Paul Hoyer gave a hint of what was to eventuate when he emulated Tony Loves and scored a “heat winner” wave to easily progress to the semis from his second rep round heat.

Unfortunately Tony couldn’t emulate his earlier self, or Paul, and was eliminated in his heat.

The success story was that of Mike Yule who progressed to his first semi since 2011, and riding a foamy to boot.

The two Phils also made the cut.

The usual late-morning deterioration in conditions that accompanies the finals made its presence felt as the first semi combatants paddled out. The scores in first semi were close with only 1.5 points separating first to sixth, and in a bit of a surprise, both Adam Maher and Steve Rutten were eliminated.

Greg Furmage’s usual waiting strategy paid off and he was clear winner, with Phil Schoer edging out Rod Dale for a berth in the final.

The second semi saw Louie a winner for the second time on the day with another enthusiastic effort and no lack of skill.

Ross Murphy was well ahead of third placed Rob Maher, who just squeezed in ahead of Mike Yule in a split result.

Greg Furmage caught only two waves in the final, but he set the benchmark with a high average score on his first wave, and had a similar score for his second wave that established a lead over the others until Paul Hoyer, in conditions that did not suit his powerful style, managed to find another “heat winner” with his last wave to pip Greg by 0.1 points.

In another blanket finish less than a point separated first to fourth with a wider gap to fifth and sixth.

Louie again went for it but his wave selection let him down.

Thanks to Geoff Barnett for contest administration.

Results: 1. Paul Hoyer, 2. Greg Furmage, 3. Ross Murphy, 4. Phil Schoer, 5. Rob Maher, 6. Louie Pantelic.

WAVE: Mike Greentree at the Mollymook Longboarders December contest.

THE 2014 presentation night was held at the Boardwalk Café in Ulladulla on Saturday, December 20.

Steve Rutten was announced as club champion, winning from Rob Maher by a mere three points, which is the difference between a placing in the top three in one contest final.

The top six for the season were: 1. Steve Rutten, 2. Rob Maher, 3. Ross Tomsen, 4. Neale Ashby, 5. Adam Maher, 6. Phil Cumming.

The Wil Maris memorial trophy for clubman of the year was won by Neale Ashby, who produced many memorable videos of club contests and the Charity Classic.

Southern Man Surf Shop generously donated the prizes, continuing unbroken support for the club since its inception.

THE next contest is scheduled for Saturday, February 21 after the holiday break.

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