Morgan Cibilic leads the way for Merewether Surfboard Club at the Australian Boardriders Battle National Final

Published on 04/02/2023

It’s been an action packed start to the Hyundai Australian Boardriders National Final presented by Zambrero at Newcastle City Beach.

Merewether Surfboard Club took out the local Teams Trial with Former World No.5, Morgan Cibilic posting an excellent 8.13 single-wave score to secure their spot in the top 24.

He told Surfing Australia: “It was pretty tricky in the tag team. If you got a lull it was stressful but we were just stoked all our surfers did pretty well.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good chance of taking it out tomorrow. We’ve got a good team. Mike Clayton Brown has moved up from the Junior to the Open and he’s so solid, so he’ll probably be our rock for the team I reckon and hopefully bring us home.”

Merewether Surfboard Club Team Manager, Tim Ryan said: “Morgs just went out nailed it, so it was great. In the end, we were lucky enough to combo the field. It’s nerve racking having to come through the local trials. Tomorrow more than half the teams could win. It’s really competitive. There are no favourites and you just gotta have a great day. Today is important because the first eight skip the first round so it’s a great start for us.”

In the Zambrero Open Men’s, Joe Van Dijk from Phillip Island Boardriders Club caused an upset when he beat World Junior Champion, Jarvis Earle in his heat.

Van Dijk told Surfing Australia: “It was good fun. I only caught one wave. In any other contest I probably wouldn’t have made the heat, so this format is pretty sick. Just need one good one. Jarvis is on another level. It’s good to just share a heat with surfers like that, it’s inspirational.”

Jayke Sharp from Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club carved his way to the highest-scoring wave (8.50) in the Zambrero Open Men’s division while Sierra Kerr, representing Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club, won her heat in Hyundai Open Women.

“I’ve never done an ABB so I’m just frothing to be with the team and hopefully have some fun,” Kerr said.

Nic Squires from Scarborough Boardriders Club secured the day’s highest heat score with a 9.33 in Acciona Masters.

He told Surfing Australia: “It was pretty tricky out there. I knew those two to three turners were there. I just tried to be patient and relax. I saw that wave about three waves out and tried to not make it obvious it was coming and yeah just lucky. Squeezed it in.”

The Harvey Norman Juniors capped off an incredible day of surfing. Lennix Smith posted an 8.63 single-wave score giving Jones Beach Boardriders a win.

The top eight clubs will be seeded into the second round of the teams event tomorrow.

Contest Director Glen Elliott said: “Day one of the ABB National Final at Newcastle City Beach showcased the best of Australian surfing.

“The top surfers from each division went head to head in classic battles in highly rippable conditions. Tomorrow we’re expecting a slight increase in swell and light winds when the all important teams hit the water to fight for their share of $88,000 in prize money.”

A range of specialty awards are also up for grabs including the Wayne Bartholomew & Layne Beachley Medal and Reeftip Club Spirit Award.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the series, which is broadcast live and free on the Seven Network’s digital streaming platform, 7plus.

Hyundai ABB National Final Leaderboard – Top 8:
1. Scarborough Boardriders Club
2. Torquay Boardriders 
3. North Shore Boardriders Club
4. Jones Beach Boardriders Club
5. Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club
6. Merewether Surfboard Club
7.  North Narrabeen Boardriders
8. Noosa 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.

Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle 10-year anniversary series schedule:

EVENT 1: Gold Coast, Qld – Sept 3, 2022
EVENT 2: Trigg, WA – Sept 10, 2022
EVENT 3: Fleurieu Peninsula, SA – Sept 24, 2022
EVENT 4: Clifton Beach, Tas – Oct 22, 2022
EVENT 5: Coffs Harbour, NSW North – Oct 29, 2022
EVENT 6: Phillip Island, Vic – Nov 6, 2022
EVENT 7: North Narrabeen, NSW Central – Nov 19, 2022
EVENT 8: Kiama, NSW South – Nov 26, 2022
GRAND FINAL: Newcastle Beach, NSW – Feb 4-5, 2023

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