Burleigh Boardriders win the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final at home

Published on 10/03/2024

Burleigh Heads has turned it on for the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final with 30,000 spectators lining the famous point-break to watch the home town heroes take the win.

Building four-to-six foot swell, a strong sweep and an increase in heat times gave way to plenty of exciting and dramatic moments.

In the end it was a series of big scores that set Burleigh Boardriders on a path to success. Maddy Job (6.67), Thomas Woods (8.00), Jay “Bottle” Thompson (6.67) and Tom Whitpaine (6.27) forcing Torquay, North Shore, LeBa, Noosa and North Shelly to play catch up throughout the final.

Isla Huppatz was a standout for the winning team, posting an excellent 9.27 ride – the highest wave score of the event – with a strong first turn, that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

“When I came in on the beach and was running up the hill and barely breathing everyone was like come on Isla. It literally got me up the hill. I’m so proud of the club and everything they’ve given me,” she said.

Burleigh’s Open surfer, Thomas Woods said: “It’s been an epic weekend. The whole run is a great aspect even though I’m definitely not built for it these days. My legs are shot, I’m done. Would not be able to do another turn.”

Hughie Vaughan scored an excellent 8.90 with a sequence of strong manoeuvres to keep North Shelly Boardriders in contention. Ellie Harrison from Torquay Boardriders also posted an impressive 8.40, but in the end, it wasn’t enough for either team to overtake Burleigh.

Then in a fitting finale, as Burleigh’s power surfer, Maddy Job made his triumphant ascent up Hyundai Hill, the skies opened up. After struggling in recent years to even make a final, the drought has finally broken for Burleigh.

Earlier in the day, Bryon Bay’s power surfer, Soli Bailey caused controversy when he exited the water over rocks instead of the beach and was handed a penalty, only to double-back and complete the course properly. The penalty was later reversed but it wasn’t enough for the defending champions to make it through to the semis.

There were major upsets too for powerhouse clubs, North Narrabeen and Snapper Rocks, knocked out in the quarterfinals.

World champion surfer, Joel Parkinson, said: “I surf for my club (Snapper Rocks) and that’s about all I do now. I love it. The pressure is intense but you just gotta try push that aside and do the job at hand. Burleigh is the best place for surfing events and being close to home is really special.”

Surfing legend, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, who has lived on the Gold Coast all his life, said: “All our point breaks are world famous and we’re blessed to live here really.

“Burleigh is the king today and I tell you what it’s merciless. There’s always been a run element in the ABB but this year is just next level. You have to have some ironman qualities about you and it’s a big test for everyone.

“Club surfing is really an institution in Australia. A lot of clubs here are 60 years old plus. Surfers representing their club is a big deal. Some surfers seriously grow a foot taller when they put their club colours on.”

The pumping conditions and sunny skies made for an action-packed weekend of surfing and activities for athletes and spectators alike, to enjoy.

Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, said: “Our iconic Burleigh break certainly turned on its magic this weekend, providing the ultimate stage for the nation’s best surfers from 42 clubs around Australia.

“We were thrilled to secure the Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final for the Gold Coast this year and I want to congratulate all the winners and competitors. The best bit… we get to welcome back this exciting competition in 2025 and 2026, with the city locked in to host the Grand Final for three years. Bring it on!”

Specialty Awards:
Electric Air Show Award (individual) – Aaron Kelly
Electric Air Show Award (club) – Noosa BRC
Jim Beam Club Spirit Award – Burleigh Boardriders
Le Tan Breakthrough Award – Tom Woods
Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew Medal – Tully Wylie
Layne Beachley Medal – Isla Huppatz

2024 Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final results:
1st Burleigh BRC – 41.25 pts
2nd North Shelly BRC – 33.17 pts
3rd LeBa BRC – 31.67 pts
4th North Shore BRC – 30.76 pts
5th Noosa BRC – 26.91 pts
6th Torquay BRC – 25.24 pts

The Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final is proudly supported by naming partner Hyundai and major partners ACCIONA, Jim Beam, Le Tan, BC™ Bars and Oakley.

The Hyundai ABB Grand Final is supported by Experience Gold Coast and Destination Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Our other event sponsors include Burleigh Pavilion, QMS Media, Murf Bikes, Surfboard Empire, the Gold Coast Bulletin, Tempus One and Merlo Coffee.

Event website HERE.

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