New format tests surfers at the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle Grand Final – Day 1

Published on 09/03/2024

The new format for the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle has tested athletes on Day 1 of competition at Burleigh Heads. The morning started with three to four foot waves offering plenty of opportunities for Australia’s best surfers to perform big manoeuvres and power turns.

Byron Bay Boardriders showed why they’re the defending champions, winning Heat 1 despite their first surfer, 11-year-old Leihani Zoric, having to run the course twice.

“I went out there and didn’t realise I got a wave before the heat had started. So I came in after that wave and had to do another lap and somehow I got back. I thought I’d wasted so much time,” Zoric said.

The run up Burleigh Hill proved a challenge for almost every athlete, except a small few like Nathan Hedge (North Narrabeen Boardriders) who was able to sprint and overtake another surfer.

Byron Bay’s power surfer, Dakoda Walters, said:”It was horrible! I used to be alright at cross country at school so I thought I’d be alright at this, but I’m stuffed. I feel like the first 30 metres is the hard part, all your lactic build up, you’re just so fatigued from catching a wave and gotta try get a trod on straight away. It’s crazy.”

Ex-pro surfer, Josh Kerr (Snapper Rocks Surfriders) said: “I haven’t run that far and that fast probably since high school. It definitely took the gas out of me for sure. I’ve still got a cramp in my left leg and it’s an hour later!

“It’s going to really make a difference tomorrow when we have to do multiple heats. Surfing another heat right now sounds like torture to me. So, having to do possibly three heats tomorrow, we might have to really pace ourselves.”

Snapper finished third behind Scarborough BRC and Byron Bay to make it through to the quarterfinals.

“Burleigh is an amphitheatre. It’s such a great spot to watch the waves just for the crowd to enjoy it, obviously it puts another whole element of surprise with the marathon run up and the rock jump. Luckily they’ve given us a bit more time to get through the heats,” Kerr said.

But it wasn’t always enough time for the power surfers… Arch Whiteman (NASA) only just made it up Hyundai Hill while Kobi Clements (Long Reef SRA) was among those who left it too late, catching his last wave with less than a minute to go. Lucas Wrice (Sandon Point BRC) was also unlucky, the power surfer within striking distance of the Oakley exchange.

Other heat winners included LeBa BRC, North Shelly BRC, Torquay BRC, Burleigh Heads BRC, Cabarita BRC and North Shore BRC.

Fresh from her win at the Central Coast Pro QS 3000, Macy Callaghan (North Shelly Boardriders) posted one of the highest single-wave scores of the day, a 7.83 (out of a possible 10). While Ace Buchan (Avoca BRC) scored an excellent 8.67 (out of a possible 10).
“This event always gets the nerves going and with the rocks and the run and everything else involved this year the pressure is on. I’m really happy with the way we performed, it was fun,” Callaghan said.

Jarvis Earle (Elouera Boardriders Club), who also took out the Central Coast Pro QS 3000, said: “It’s sick doing team events like this, just having all your crew down here supporting you, it’s always really competitive and comes down to the wire. It’s a pretty sick event.”

The winning team tomorrow takes home $20,000 as well as the prestigious title of being Australia’s best boardrider club.

Watch all the action LIVE on Fox Sports 507, Kayo Sports and the mySURFtv YouTubechannel, with commentary from Vaughan Blakey, Sean Doherty, Stace Galbraith, Jesse Starling and Reggae Ellis.

All the scores and results via LiveHeats.

Live stream HERE.

Quarterfinal: Heat 1
North Shore BRC
Cabarita BRC
Scarborough BRC
North Narrabeen BRC
Peninsula SRC
Maroubra United BRC

Quarterfinal: Heat 2
Burleigh BRC
Torquay BRC
Coffs Harbour BRC
North End BRC
Kawana BRC 

Quarterfinal: Heat 3
North Shelly BRC
North Steyne BRC
Snapper Rocks SRC
Avoca BRC
Yallingup BRC

Quarterfinal: Heat 4
Bryon Bay BRC
Ulladulla BRC
Jones Beach BRC
Trigg Point BRC
Margaret River BRC
Noosa BRC

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.

My Profile

Login to your profile or Sign up to our new Surfing Portal.


Head to your Surfing Portal to purchase or renew memberships

Events & Courses

Head to your Surfing Portal to enter events and courses.


Other News

Jack Robinson wins second CT event at home

Jack Robinson wins second CT event at home

Jack Robinson has taken out the Margaret River Pro, Stop No. 5 on the WSL Championship Tour, in six-to-eight-foot waves at Main Break.Robinson built through the day and, in the Final against John John Florence (HAW),...

read more