Team DaFin take the title, Bondi lifeguards take the wooden spoon
What a weekend. Rikki Gilbey, the founder of WAW Hand-planes and the organizer of the world’s largest team body-surfing competition has once again managed to exceed every expectation. Organizing an event of such a large scale, with teams arriving from all over the globe was no easy task, but Rikki has nailed it once again.
There was little that could get in the way of having an epic time for the 140 like minded body-surfers that gathered on Maroubra beach. Not the rain, not the wind not even the thunder that temporarily closed the beach just before the first heat was about to take place. ‘Stoke levels’ were simply at an all time high, and as the first of the competitors hit the waves, the good times rolled.
As the heats progressed it became clear that Team Dafin and The Cobras were simply a class above the rest of the competition. Team DaFin was stacked with experience and were lead by the legendary Mark Cunningham, along with Keali’i Punley, Wyhaat, Dane Torres and Aussie Corey Sains who was on loan from the Bate Bay Body Bashers. On the other side, Cobras also stuck to their main guns with the likes of Dylan Kelly, Lachie Rombouts and another legend of the sport Don McCredie. It turned out that the winner was to be decided in the very last event of the competition, the famous ‘Fin Sprint’. The Hawaiian team managed to defeat The Bate Bay Body Bashers in a photo finish, and thus taking the title back to Hawaii for a second year in a row.
East Sydney Body-Surfers, who have managed to have a podium finish on every occasion so far, were once again a top-3 team. Jake Rosenbrock managed not only to find a barrel which was a rare sight, given the surf conditions on the day but also managed to make his way out of it, sending the crowds in to a state delirium and disbelief. Meanwhile, Robin Cooiman, lived up to his nickname ‘The Flying Dutchman’ and managed to score one of the longest rides in the competition and thus securing a bronze medal for his team.
The most pleasant surprise of the competition were the Goldie Sliders, who went from finishing last in 2018 all the way up to a very respectable 5th place. The Goldie Sliders had their own superstars who stole the show and the hearts of everyone on the beach. 9 year old Ace Davies along with Makeisha (12) and Allana (14), were fearlessly charging down the waves despite being in the line up with much older and experienced competition.
2017 Premiers Bate Bay Body-Bashers finished with a solid 6th place and proved that they are the fastest fin sprinting team in Australia. Team captain Matt Schway, came up with the most creative trick of the day, managing to take his swimwear off mid wave, swinging them towards the crowd, who were going crazy at this rare sight.
The biggest losers of the day were the Bondi Life Guards who without notice, left mid-competition. The crowd cheered as the team were awarded with the Wooden Spoon at the official award presentation. A truly disappointing move by the Bondi Lifeguards, whom disrespecting both the competitors and the event organizers.
At the end a truly fantastic event that will without a doubt live in the memory of those who attended for many years to come. There has been a lot more brilliant moments that we simply could not put into words. So next year you have no excuse, see you at Whomp Off Australia 2020!
The official results that will include full scoring system will be uploaded shortly as we await the event organizers to release it for public.