Held at Petit Port, Corbiere, Sunday 06 January 2013
Clint Loake has been crowned overall champion of the Jersey Bodyboarders 2012/13 4Season Series following a second place finish in the last event of the series held in good solid surf at Petit Port reef on Sunday; an event won by Scott Harben on his return to competitive bodyboarding.
Despite the waves being a bit smaller than expected, the waves were still pumping with 4-6ft sets; a fitting finale to a series.
The first of the semi-finals saw Loake up against Andy de la Mare, Simon Watkins and junior James Lawrence. This heat will be remembered for Loake’s big ARS attempt which he came so close to completing, but come unstuck on the landing. Loake did follow this wave up though with some solid scoring waves to advance through to the final.
Also advancing was Watkins who found some good long rides with forward and reverse spin combos to edge de la Mare into 3rd spot, with Lawrence in 4th. Overall it was a great first year of competition for Lawrence which bodes well for the future.
The second semi-final saw the long awaited return of Harben who took no time at all to get back into the swing of things by finding a big left hand barrel to open up a good lead. This was backed up with a solid roll on another left, giving Harben the heat win.
Also battling it out in the heat was Colin Crowther, who went into this event in 2nd place overall in the series; winner of the previous event Darreth Morison from South Africa; and big wave charger James Manners. Manners and Morison both exchanged good rides with Manners just having the edge to take 2nd spot. Crowther opted for a different peak missing out on the better waves to finish in 4th spot which opened the door for Morison to jump above him in the ratings.
It was Harben who had the better of the early wave exchanges in the 45 minute final, finding a brief cover up on a hollow right and falling just short of completing what would have been a good scoring reverse re-entry on another. He then opened up a lead with another solid roll on another left. Watkins also started well again finding the longer waves that wrapped all the way down the reef.
The middle of the heat saw little action with no big sets coming in and the finalists scrambling for waves that really didn’t offer much. Sensing that he had no real scoring waves under his belt and perhaps feeling a little pressure Loake tried desperately to make something happen and started to make very rare errors for him. This all changed though when he paddled for an average looking wave that suddenly jacked way up giving him a perfect opportunity to bust a big scoring roll; comfortably the highest scoring wave of the heat. However, without a high scoring second wave the competition was still wide open.
What followed was a flurry of action with a run of good sets hitting the inside reef. Watkins threw in a speedy reverse to build on his earlier good score, Manners then found two waves in quick succession landing two good rolls over the shallowest section to put himself right into contention. Harben rounded off his challenge with a left that promised much but then fizzled out. It was evident to all watching on that the final was too close to call, and when the 4 judges sheets were tallied it needed a count-back to split the riders. In the end it was Harben who took the win, marginally ahead of Loake and Manners in 2nd and 3rd respectively, and Watkins not far behind in 4th.
Event pictures by Carol Hopkins