Ray White take out the 2018 Surfaid Cup
All photos taken by Leah Light.
The 2018 SurfAid Cup Gold Coast brought a spectacular close to the 2018 SurfAid Cup series, with 8 teams surfing in support of SurfAid. The event has raised over $500,000 this year to support SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programmes, ensuring access to clean water & sanitation, basic healthcare and improved nutrition. Each of these factors have been proven to reduce maternal and child mortality rates by as much as 70%. “Surfing is at the heart of SurfAid, we were founded by surfers. The SurfAid Cup brings the surfing community together to surf sick waves for healthy villages. Giving back to villages near Greenbush, Telescopes, Macaronis, Occy's Left, Lakey Peak, and Periscopes - places that surfers holiday and can positively impact, is incredibly powerful” said SurfAid Founder, Dr Dave Jenkins.
Longtime ambassador for SurfAid, Mark Occhilupo set the tone for the day: “the waves are small but really fun, the sun is out and we have some good surfers, it’s going to be a great day”. Despite the gusty nor-easters making the conditions less than favourable, all competitors stepped up and shredded the sections on offer. A line up of local legends and pros stayed light on their feet in the smaller waves, including 13-year-old Ty Richardson who tore apart the right-handers on offer, along with WQS tour surfer Dimity Stoyle helping their team Ray White bring home the Surfing Champions trophy for the second year in a row. Posting standout scores all day and riding their wave of confidence into the final, Ray White defeated fellow finalists Surfing Queensland, Balter, Komune and the Surfing Lawyers.
The combination of competitive nous and youthful flair amongst the pro surfers boosted team results, with each team drafting a pro surfer as their fifth competitor. Teams vied for the likes of WSL tour veterans Occy and Jay Phillips, also in the pro-pool some of the hottest local talent: Tane Bowden, Mitch Parkinson, Oscar Berry, Kobie Enright, Dimity Stoyle and Ellie Brooks. Further affirmation of the class of surfing on display, as guest appearances were made by Bede Durbidge, Sage Erickson and Dean ‘Dingo’ Morrison who helped team Komune take 3rd place in the final.
Whilst the onshore conditions appeared bleak to many, they were turned to advantage by the highly skilled pros who participated in the event, like Mitch Parkinson who pulled a complete 360, and Quinn Bruce who stomped a series of air reverses early in the day. Some of the world’s best female surfers gave a whole new meaning to girl power, with Dimity Stoyle, Sage Erickson and Kobie Enright turning in strong scores all day which saw all of them advance to the finals, taking down a number of all-male teams on the way. Current Australian Champion Jay Phillips could do no wrong, putting on a clinic worthy of his title and vindicating Team Komune’s decision to draft him as their pro. World Champion, Mark Occhilupo, laid down his trademark backhand attack, whilst up-and-coming Billabong team rider, Tane Bowden, was glued to his board, delivering some clutch performances in support of his team.
Running for the second year, the community vibe was at an all-time high with local teams from Rose Litigation, Vissla, ALSA, Ray White, Balter, Komune, and Surfing Queensland battling on their home break, with team Procore joining us for the second time this year after competing in the SurfAid Cup Manly just a month earlier. SurfAid proudly partnered with Surfing Queensland to deliver this event. Major hospitality support came from Hotel Komune and Balter. Thanks to all other partners that made the SurfAid Cup Gold Coast a huge success.