Russell Molony Wins Australian Indigenous Surfing Title
Tuesday, 29 May 2012Russell Molony (Central Coast NSW/North Entrance) is the Australian Indigenous Surfing Champion for 2012 after defeating Joe Haddon (Forster/Tuncurry NSW) in excellent two-metre surf at Bells Beach today.
It is the first time the title has been surfed for in 16 years and the previous champion Scott Rotumah (Byron Bay) was on-hand to pass over the title to the new Australian Champion.
“It’s been such a special week at Bells Beach and I’m really proud to win this title,” Molony said. “The surfing has been fantastic and the standard just incredible and to come away with the win is amazing. It’s very emotional right now and I feel really honoured to win such an event.”
Joe Haddon’s impeccable wave selection throughout the event deserted him in today’s final but the stylish and powerful mid north coast NSW surfer was elated to make the final.
“In such great waves today was all about celebrating Indigenous surfing and I was just happy to make the final and really enjoy the event,” Haddon said.
Haddon peaked his performance in the semi-finals where he defeated one of the standouts throughout the event in Soli Bailey (Byron Bay) in a high scoring performance with Haddon taking the semi on two excellent eight-point rides.
Molony also won a high scoring semi-final in an epic battle against Robbie Page (Wollongong/Crescent Head). With the lead changing on multiple occasions, Molony delivered the winning ride late in the semi when he scored a 9.3 to advance and go on to win the final.
Former Pipeline Masters Champion Robbie Page, at 46 years-of-age was still delighted in his third-place finish.
“That was such a great semi-final and to be edged out by Russell on that last wave was just great sport,” Page said. “Russell knew he had to score big to beat me on that final wave and he went for the big moves and pulled them off so full credit to him and to all the other Indigenous surfers here who have really displayed just how great surfing is in our culture. It’s been an outstanding week.”
A highlight of the day was an expression session before the final which saw a number of excellent waves from Dale Richards (Tweed Heads), Steve Parker (Victoria), Anthony Hume (Victoria) and Tom Avery (Lismore) – Tom highlighted the session riding waves on his stand-up paddleboard and flying the Indigenous Flag from his paddle to the cheers of the large crowd gathered at Bells.
Tom made the quarter-finals of this event and finished in equal fifth place with Dale Richards from Tweed Heads.
Final Day Placings –
1st Russell Molony (NSW/Central Coast)
2nd Joe Haddon (NSW/Forster-Tuncurry)
=3rd Soli Bailey (Byron Bay) and Robbie Page (Wollongong)
=5th Tom Avery (Lismore) and Dale Richards (Tweed Heads)
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