Kennedy scores a breakthrough win
LENNOX Head’s Stuart Kennedy won the biggest event of his emerging career in Tasmania, taking out the prestigious Association of Surfing Professionals 6-Star Rated O’Neill Cold Water Classic last weekend.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win an event like this in waves that have been so good – it won’t sink in for some time but I feel amazing right now,” said Kennedy.
“The waves really suited me and every heat I’d simply say to myself to forget about competing and just go out and surf these great waves, which is what I did.
“When I scored that 9.5 ride early in the final, I became really nervous knowing I was in such a winning situation and then I just opened up and surfed that next wave and I felt on top of the world when I heard the 8.5 score.”
Kennedy’s two-wave final total of 18 out of a possible 20 was the highest of the event and he won the final emphatically, with Brazilian Wigolly Dantas a distant second on 12.57.
The other Ballina Shire surfers did well, with James Wood finishing in equal 9th, Anthony Walsh in equal 49th and Stephen Walsh in equal 73rd.
Stuart is now at Bells Beach, having been allocated a sponsor wild card for the ASP World Tour event which began on Tuesday and runs right through Easter.
“I’ll go to Bells full of confidence and it’s a chance of a lifetime to take on the very best surfers in the world,” he said.
Stuart is now rated at 28th. He ill be joined at Bells by fellow Lennox Head surfers Owen Wright and Adam Melling in the men’s draw.
Tyler Wright from Lennox Head won the trials and came second to Stephanie Gilmore in her round one heat.
She will now surf against Gilmore in round three.
Noel Graham from Lennox Head had another solid result on his SUP board at the Malfunction event at Kingscliff on the weekend.
Graham finished in third place in the final after winning all his heats.
Andy Davies also from Lennox Head finished in fourth.