Surfing NSW – New Chair and Deputy Chair (July 2024)

Surfing NSW today announced the election of Ben Rolleston as its new Chair, and Lyndel Gray as Deputy Chair. This follows the resignation of John O’Neill and Harry Hodge from the Board of Directors after almost 15 years of esteemed service.

Ben Sawyer (Cronulla) has been crowned the champion in the 2024 Shark Island Challenge held in Cronulla, near Sydney, New South Wales. This prestigious bodyboarding competition returned to the shallow waters of Cronulla after a six-year hiatus.

The highly anticipated event drew the world’s best bodyboarders, including Jacob Romero, Jase Finlay, Tanner McDaniel, Lewy Finnegan, Pierre-Louis Costes, Jeff Hubbard, Jared Houston, Lily Pollard, Mike Stewart, Dave Winchester, and many other renowned names. Notably, shortboard surfer Noa Deane competed alongside the world champions and slab-riding specialists.

Despite a less-than-epic alignment between wind and swell, Shark Island delivered thrilling performances. The contest, held in eight-to-ten-foot surf generated by a low-pressure system from Tasmania, was organised by a dedicated team of riders and sponsors.

Thousands of fans and spectators watched the reef break showdown from the Cronulla Esplanade, while others enjoyed a prime view from the break’s channel.

The final featured four local experts (Andrew Lester, Ben Sawyer, and Marli Dunn) and one outsider (Michael Ostler). Ben Sawyer clinched the top spot, earning his first Shark Island Challenge crown, with former champion Andrew Lester, Ostler, and Dunn following in the rankings. Sawyer also received the Best Barrel award.

A worthy mention also goes out to runner-up Andrew Lester who broke his shoulder in the Semi-Finals and continued into the Final where he faced the big waves and secured a second place.

The Shark Island Challenge, first held in 1997, has become a symbol of extreme bodyboarding in challenging conditions. There is hope that this iconic event will continue to thrive in the years to come.

A massive congratulations goes out to everyone involved for a great day of competition.

For all event photos, please see here

Check out the official highlight video here

For more information about the Shark Island Challenge, see here

2024 Shark Island Challenge | Final

  1. Ben Sawyer
  2. Andrew Lester
  3. Michael Ostler
  4. Marli Dunn

Mark Windon
OAM Executive Director

Felicity Conlan
Board Member

Francis Coady
Board Member

David Gyngell
Patron

Mike Baird
Patron

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