Byron Bay Boardriders have pulled off a massive upset beating powerhouse clubs to take out the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final presented by Zambrero at Newcastle City Beach.
Byron Bay came out firing with an incredible manoeuvre from Dakoda Walters setting the club on a path to glory. The huge backside tailblow reverse on one of the biggest waves of the whole competition netted the highest score of the day (9.35).
Two massive backhand turns from Soli Bailey and a solid 8.30 score almost solidified Byron Bay’s win before Merewether Surfboard Club fought back. An impressive series of turns from Phillipa Anderson (8.88) took Merewether from fourth to first with just minutes to go.
Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club wasn’t out of the picture either, thanks largely to an in-form Sierra Kerr who posted an 8.00 ride in the final, with three solid turns, perfectly linked.
As the tables kept on turning, Avoca Boardriders Club’s Lennox Chell posted a 7.50 single-wave score and Caleb Tancred a 7.80. But the day belonged to Byron Bay Boardriders, winning by a nail-biting margin of just 0.62.
Byron Bay Boardriders open surfer, Soli Bailey told Surfing Australia: “The team is so stoked. We’ve been here so many times and just really haven’t performed anywhere near where we should be as a team and as a community from Byron. To actually come down here and do this is epic. We’ve all definitely wanted it and dreamed about it for a long time.”
Former World No.2 and Byron Bay Boardriders master surfer, Danny Wills said: “It all came together at the right time. I’m just so proud of them. It’s always so hard to come up against these clubs, the best clubs in Australia. We are a very small, little town.
“We put our best two surfers in early because we knew they were going to get scores, but gave them time and those guys were just exceptional. So we had such a strong lead and then we just fell away a little bit, which was unfortunate. I just had to give Dakoda a chance. I knew that if I gave him five minutes he could come home with the goods and he did. We all played our part and we can’t be any prouder than that. I believe we’re the first team to ever come from round one and take it out. It’s huge. Massive.”
Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final results:
1st – Byron Bay Boardriders Club (31.83)
2nd – Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club (31.21)
3rd – Merewether Surfboard Club (30.13)
4th – Avoca Boardriders Club (22.73)
Wayne Batholomew Medal – Dane Henry, Kingscliff Boardriders Club
Layne Beachley Medal – Sierra Kerr, Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club
Hyundai ‘She’s Electric’ Award – Isi Campbell, Trigg Point Boardriders Club
Hyundai Electric Air Show – Dakoda Walters, Byron Bay Boardriders Club
Reeftip Club Spirit Award – Avoca Boardriders Club
Harvey Norman High Performer Award – Dane Henry, Kingscliff Boardriders Club
Oakley Prizm Performer Award – Ace Buchan, Avoca Boardriders Club
The 2022/23 Australian Boardriders Battle is proudly sponsored by Hyundai, Zambrero, Harvey Norman, ACCIONA, Oakley, Reeftip, Ruffie, City of Newcastle and Destination NSW with support from the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and Steel City.