Jarrod Snow and Ashley Brunette Claim National Titles

Friday the 21stof February marked the first day of competition at the 2020 Torquay Wave Nationals with all heats and finals, Friday offered the best day in the forecast, so event organisers were on the front foot to get underway. The event kicked off at 10am sharp, with Councillor David Bell from the Surf Coast Shire opening proceedings and welcoming all those present to Torquay.

The rider's briefing followed with head judge Andre Cater outlining a revised shortened format to accommodate predicted conditions through the event window. The action kicked off with the masters out at point danger, with tricky onshore conditions keeping it difficult to get out behind the waves. Despite the wind direction, Brett Croucher (NSW) and Bayside legend Jeff Steele (Vic) lead the charge, with Brett Croucher's combined score of 12.00 eventually proving to be the highest heat total of the event.

Following the masters, the women also performed strongly in challenging conditions, with Louise Bieniara taking out the first heat. The juniors then took to the ocean with Melbourne rider Woodley Hall's 7.00 just edging past Luca Duffin's 6.93 in a strong showing from all the junior competitors, especially from Ashley Brunette (NSW) who battled it out in back to back heats - competing all day in both the juniors and women's competition.

After some entertaining guest commentary from Queensland charger Nathan Katterns, his interstate status became apparent in the first men's open heat as the Victorian contingent of Aaron Kenny and Jarrod Snow got over the top of him. Although it was the other Queensland rider in Jack Bailey who ripped it up early with two 5-point rides seeing him dominate the heat.

Event organisers ran a significant amount of heats before a dropping tide, the appearance of the reef and the rapidly dwindling supply of fins caused the judges and organisers to move the event 200m down the beach to a stretch better suited for competition.

Although soon after, as the women's semi-final got underway conditions deteriorated. It became quickly apparent the heat would need a restart and the event was put on hold. It was announced that a final call for the day would be made in a few hours at 6pm, in the hope an afternoon kick in the wind would come through just as it had the day before.

The hours passed, spectators and competitors were kept entertained watching the groms on the beach. Then eventually, just on 6pm the stars aligned. A few kite surfers had taken to the water and proved the organisers suspicions correct of better evening conditions.

Anything Nathan Katterns had lacked earlier he brought out in the evening as he topped the men's semi-finals, surpassing local ripper Jarrod Snow and fellow Queensland jet Jack Bailey with a strong heat total of 9.00 First up was the junior final, it was incredible to have Ashley Brunette from Merimbula in the final ripping, although it was ultimately Luca Duffin who took out the national junior title.

Then Brett Croucher matched his earlier performance with another 12 point heat and took out the masters title. The women then fought it out and ultimately young gun Ashley Brunette won the women's title. To complete a great competition the open men's final was ultimately completed in exciting fashion under the incredible deep orange sky of a Torquay sunset.

A very tight contest with only 0.03 points separating first and second place. All riders tore it up, but it was Jarrod Snow with his local knowledge combined with great speed, power and flow who came to the beach the champion, just getting over Jack Bailey who rode with impressive power through his turns.

Kiteboarding Australia extends a huge thank you to all sponsors who without, this incredible national event would not be possible. Sponsors include the Surf Coast Shire Council, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Cabrinha, SHQ Boardsports, North Kiteboarding, Mystic Boarding and event partner Kiteboarding Victoria.

Please try to support the sponsors where possible.

Full Results: Men 1. Jarrod Snow 2. Jack Bailey 3. Aaron Kenny Women 1. Ashley Brunette 2. Louise Bieniara 3. Kirsteen Roberts Juniors 1. Luca Duffin 2. Patrick Smyth 3. Woodley Hall Masters 1. Brett Croucher 2. David Spink 3. Martyn Bone

Talent Award Matt Ward