The HUMAN Cronulla Shark Island Challenge

Source: www.ibaworldtour.com

posted by Mark Fordham on 8th June 2004

World Super Tour (WST)
Shark Island – Cronulla - Australia
June 28th · July 28th

The first event on the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) World Super Tour (WST)

The US$35,000 Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge will gather the world's best bodyboarders, including current 2003 WST World Champion and 2001 Cronulla Shark Island Champion Damian King (Australia), defending event champion Guilherme Tamega (Brazil), Hawaiian Jeff Hubbard, Australian’s Sean Virtue and Mitch Rawlins.

Human (Shoes and accessories) has expressed its support of Australia’s richest bodyboarding event this year by adding an additional $15,000 USD to the original prize purse of $20,000 USD making it the most lucrative bodyboarding event in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 31 day waiting period enables the organizers to select the optimum wave and weather conditions at the Australia’s most famous bodyboarding wave – Shark Island, considered by many as one of the heaviest reef breaks in the world. Shark Island is renowned for its thick end section the infamous Surge, breaking on a shallow sandstone shelf, incrusted with cunje and sharp gouging barnacles that leaves any unlucky competitor that bounces of the reef with a good flogging to remember. Waves reach heights of up to 8 -10 ft, as the wave jacks up on the reef it seems to have a mind of its own. Often defying gravity, the pitching lip or curl of the wave can be up to 4ft thick.

Its victims are never in control, the island makes all the moves. As the wave wraps and bends down the reef, the face of the wave becomes littered with lumps and steps from the shallows contour of the reef, just inches below the waters surface. It’s only the determination and skill of the competitor that will define a true champion.

Many a local and competitor will stand by the old saying - Shark Island always has the final say. The question is who will step up for the challenge in 2004?

IBA WST World Champion, Damian King, winner of the 2004 Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro, 2003 Human Teahupoo Challenge and past 2001 Shark Island Challenge champion would have to be one of the red hot favourites.

“It’s been pretty busy since the win of the IBA World Super Tour (WST) world title. I have been doing a lot of main stream media using a media kit that I got made up. I changed board sponsors and now have signed up with Rheopaipo for the next for years which I’m stoked about. I also have found a few really nuts wave that I have been attempting to surf, but yeah generally just taking it all in and capitalizing on the win” King explains.

Leading up into the first event King has been on a full training mission. “Preparing for the contest I have been on a low carb, high protein diet and I am now in Western Australia training on right handers as Western Australia is full of them and the first event at Shark Island is a right.

The whole field of World Super Tour riders could win...but I’m going to take them down...nah kidding, however I am really looking forward to the contest and competing....cant wait.”

Guilherme Tamega (Brz), who has won back to back events in 2002 and 2003, he will definitely be looking for a record third title especially after losing his WST crown to King in the last event at Pipeline in January.

“Since loosing the 2003 IBA WST crown in Hawaii I have just been spending some time at home. I have been hanging out with my girlfriend and enjoying every minute with her. I went to Puerto Escondido for a photo shoot for Wave Rebel bodyboards and score some big swell there, easy 10' to 12 ft waves. That was great. I am totally amped for the start of this year’s IBA World Super Tour. I will do my best to get my title back.” expressed Tamega. “Kingy plus all the other Aussies are the ones to look out for sure, the Island event is going to be sick mate.”

Hawaiian Jeff Hubbard, who will be head over from Chile will be also be keen to improve from his second placing in last years event, “At the moment I have a pretty busy schedule, I am on my way to California to do a few promos and some premiere’s on the east coast, then I will be making my way down to Chile to meet up with Australians Mitch Rawlins and Ryan Hardy. Conditions in Chile are kind of similar to those in Sydney during the waiting period, solid waves and cold water. I’m just hoping to score some good waves before the start of the waiting period. The event should go off; I am just looking forward to competing out there again.” When asked about the new competitors on this year’s WST he added, “It’s always good to have new talent on board, the Shark Island event is no different, it brings the best out in everyone. Not only do you have the world best bodyboarders to compete against, you also have to compete against the locals who surf the place 24 / 7. They can be the real dark horse’s; they know the wave inside and out. The event is always great; I’m looking forward to it”

The Wildcard entrants will consist of six Cronulla Shark Island locals. Wildcards for the event have been given out to the following athletes:

IBA Wildcards
  • Christian Riguccini · Australia
  • Dave Ballard · Australia
  • Warren Feinbier · Australia
  • Ryan McKinnon · Australia
  • Steve McKenzie · Australia
  • TBC

Sponsors Wildcards (Human / Endless)
  • John Showell · Australia
  • Doug Showell · Australia
  • Brendan Newton · Australia

The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge is sponsored by Human on the 2004 IBA World Super Tour. This event will take competitors to Australia’s most premier bodyboarding location, Shark Island, known for its big barrels and heavy wipe outs.

Additional prizes include;-

Best Barrel award – A boat trip to the Mentawai Islands donated by Surf Travel Co + $1000 USD from Endless

Best Move award – A boat trip to the Mentawai Islands donated by Surf Travel Co + $1000 USD from Endless

The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge (June 28th · July 28th).

Competitors for The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge are as follows
Top 24 Competitors   
1G. TAMEGA - Brazil 13G. MILLER - Australia
2A. LESTER - Australia 14T. PLAYER - Australia
3S. VIRTUE - Australia 15M. STEWART - Hawaii
4J. HUBBARD - Hawaii 16T. WILLIAM - Australia
5B. DAY - Australia 17J. KIRKMAN - Australia
6B. PLAYER - Australia 18M. RAWLINS - Australia
7P. BARCELLOS - Brazil 19D. WINCHESTER - Australia
8R. BRUNO - Brazil 20U. VALADAO - Brazil (OUT)
9D. KING - Australia 21L. VILLAR - Brazil (OUT)
10S. COOPER - Australia 22R. HARDY - Australia (OUT)
11J. HAZLE - Australia 23N. CAPDEVILLE - France (OUT)
12M. CHAPPLE - Australia 24H. PINHEIRO - Portugal (OUT)
Wildcards   
1C. RIGUCCINI - Australia 5D. SHOWELL - Australia
2D. BALLARD - Australia 6J. SHOWELL - Australia
3W. FEINBIER - Australia 7B. NEWTON - Australia
4R. McKINNON - Australia 8S. McKenzie - Australia

Please note - one wildcard to be determined

Further information stay tuned to www.ibatour.com

SPONSORS:

The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge

Is proudly sponsored by -

www.human.net.au

In partnership with / Affiliated Sponsors of the Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge-

www.surftravel.com.au
www.manta.com.au
Endless
www.stingbar.com
www.fluidzone.com
Sutherland Shire Council
www.biancacharters.com.au/fish.html

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