Eight New State Champions Crowned including Husband and Wife Duo

Published on 26/06/2023
The huge weekend of bodyboard competition has wrapped up with eight new champions including a husband and wife duo!

The two day event, run with the support of the Newcastle Bodyboard Club, was challenging with very small conditions. However, it showed the true greatness of the athletes who made the most of every opportunity.

Newcastle Bodyboard Club was proud to have multiple champion Jimmy Leayr dominate in the Open Men’s and Dropknee divisions yet again, as well as a back-to-back champion in the Under 12’s Hardy Fletcher.

“The State Titles had a great turn out and the atmosphere was great with crowds cheering every wave,” said competitor and Newcastle Bodyboard Club’s Johnny Cruickshank, who also scored a perfect 10-point-ride on Saturday.

“We score off shore winds and sunny skies but there wasn’t much swell around but all the competitors made the most of the conditions and we saw some great scores. Team NSW has a really strong team for the National Titles,” he said.

Mauricio Abrunhosa was one standout performer of the weekend with five of the top 10 excellent scores, including the highest heat total of the event with 17.17 in the Over 45’s division.

Abrunhosa a two-times State Champion (2018 and 2021) said, ” it was an excellent weekend. I always enjoy competing in this event. The sport of bodyboarding is everything to me. I’ve been doing it since I was nine-years-old and I’m 48 now,” he said.

The sport has given the Brazilian-Australian lifelong friendships and opportunities to travel the world as well as helping him find a community after migrating to Australia.

“It made me part of the community and helped make me feel like I belong here,” he said.

Matt Menzies (2012 State Champion) got in the way of Abrunhosa’s double-up win, while his wife Mariko also took out the Open Women’s division.

He said “getting through the heads was a little bit cold and windy but if you got the sets it was great. I was happy to get some good waves and make some nice clean maneuvers. I was aiming to get a second to Mauricio, I never thought I’d be able to take it out.”

Ryan Hill-Smith from Coffs Harbour won his first State Title this weekend in the Under 18’s and as well as representing Team NSW at the Australian Titles, he’s heading to the Maldives to compete in the World Junior Tour.

A stoked Ollie Williams also won his first title today in the Under 14’s. He started out when he was just five-years-old. The Forster athlete said it win was even greater because it was a sibling rivalry.

“Last year I got a third place and my brothers got second and first place.” And when asked how it felt to take the win he said, “It’s bloody amazing.”


Photos by Bosko

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