The Heat Draw is set - Riders are amped to take on the Beast.

posted by Mark Fordham on 7th July 2009

The 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge is officially underway. Riders were on hand at a huge in store promotion for Emerald Surf City before getting down to business for the official contest and briefing night. As per normal SIC ethics, due to the "no knockout system" the names were drawn from a hat to ensure a fair and non-bias draw was achieved.

Riders were briefed on all rules and criteria for this unique event with the point being that there is only going to be one winner. As the riders passed around the cheque for $10,000 it was put to them plain and simple - the rider who successfully rides the best waves, executes the most powerful/most radical moves in the most critical part of the wave and who pulls into the biggest/deepest barrels, exiting in a clean fashion with style will be deemed the winner.

It all sounds too easy; the only on thing standing between the athletes and the cash is Shark Island.

Ask any local or previous champion, Shark Island can be a hell of a bitch and it's fair to say "The Beast always has the last laugh".

So, The Challenge has been set, the waiting game is on; who will be the 2009 Nomad Shark Island Challenge Champion?

At this stage all riders will be on call from Thursday July 9th onwards, pending a solid easterly swell predicted for the weekend. More news to follow - stay tuned.


Heat 1
Jose Marquina
Jason Finlay
Christian Riguccini
Glen Thurston
Shaun Peterson

Heat 2
Doug Showell
Alex Bunting
Nick Ormerod
Ewan Donnachie
Adam Luehman

Heat 3
Chris James
Brendan Ryan
Dave Ballard
Jared Houston
Mike Murphy

Heat 4
Alex Leon
Glen Sullivan
Ben Sawyer
Kira Llewellyn
Josh Pollard


As mentioned this years Prize Purse is one of the most exciting to date; cash / exotic trips and mind blowing adrenalin. Nomad Bodyboards and Emerald Surf City have led the way by injecting $10,000 AUD for the "winner takes all" format. Secret Sumatra, The Surf Travel Company and Red Bull have also jumped on board.

First Prize - $10,000 winner takes all
Best Barrel - 2 weeks stay at The Secret Sumatra - Surf Camp
Best Move - 2 week boat trip courtesy of The Surf Travel Company
Best Wipe Out - $500 - if you want it, it's all yours
Longest tube time - Buzzing over Sydney in the world renowned Red Bull Stunt Plane

So in 2009 the Shark Island Challenge returns - "The Beast Has Been Unleashed" - the original concept where a champion of champions is crowned. 20 riders have know been confirmed to tackle one of Mother Nature's most feared waves.


1. Heats will be five (5) people, maximum of 30 minutes.
2. There will be one (1) horn to start, two (2) to finish. A green flag signifies the heat has started; Yellow - 10 minutes to go; Red to finish.
3. Heat draw will be done prior to the competition on the briefing night.
4. You will be scored on the total of your top two waves each heat, with the grand total of your 4 waves{best 2 in each heat} to determine the final placings. There is a maximum of twelve (12) waves for each competitor per heat. If you catch a wave between heats or more than twelve (12) waves it will score 0 unless this wave deprives another competitor of a scoring wave. Then it will be deemed interference. Ties will be broken by count back.
5. Two rounds will be held. The first round one will consist of four (4) heats of five (5) riders, with the second round following immediately after, with heat order the same as the first round.
6. Judging will be according to the attached criteria and riders will be scored between 0 and 10 according to the conditions in their heat. Scoring will be adjusted with changing conditions so that the full range of scores may be
used in each heat.
7. Interference rules as per the attached criteria with an interference call by the majority of the judges resulting in the loss of half your second highest scoring wave from your total. The wave that created the interference call will not count as a scoring wave. You must leave the water after two (2) interferences in your heat.
8. There will be no board caddies. A buoy will be situated in the channel for riders to attach a spare set of fins and boards.
9. During your heat you may not get any assistance from the Jet Ski unless you are injured. If you do get assistance no more scores will be counted in that heat.


A bodyboarder must execute the most radical manoeuvres in the critical section of a wave, with the fluid linking and combination of manoeuvres, combining speed and power throughout. The bodyboarder who executes such manoeuvres on the biggest or best waves for the longest functional distance shall be deemed the winner".

A completed tube ride, with long travel time and clean exit will score very highly. If the tube ride is not complete, travel time will be taken into account for the 'Overall Longest Tube Time Prize' but it will still be scored as an incomplete manoeuvre.


1. Basic Rule

(a) The first rider to gain momentum from the wave shall be deemed to have unconditional wave possession. The rider must have an unimpeded path across the face of the wave in the direction they have chosen to ride. If the riders gain momentum at the same time the rider on the inside shall have wave priority.

2. Right-of-way in Four Man Heat

Wave possession or right of way in these situations will vary slightly under the following categories as determined by the nature of the contest venue but basically it is the responsibility of the judge to determine which bodyboarder has the inside position based on whether the wave is a superior right or left. If at the initial point of take off neither the right nor left can be deemed superior, then the right of way will go to the first bodyboarder who makes a definite turn in his chosen direction.

(a) Point Break:

When there is only one available direction on any given wave the bodyboarder on the inside shall have unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that wave, unless another rider is considered to have momentum first.

(b) One Peak Break (Reef):

If there is a single well defined peak with both a left and right available, at the initial point of take off and neither the right not left can be deemed superior then the right to way will go to the first bodyboarder who makes a definite turn in his chosen direction (by making an obvious right or left turn). A second bodyboarder may go in the opposite direction on the same wave without incurring a penalty, providing he does not interfere with the first bodyboarder who has established right of way (he may not cross the path of the first bodyboarder in order to gain the opposite side of the peak unless he does so without hindering the inside bodyboarder).

3. Snaking

(a) The rider on the wave first, that is the rider who reaches the wave first, begins paddling and dropping into it first, has possession of that wave, even if a rider who subsequently takes off later is closer to the breaking part of the wave or takes off in the white water behind him. The second rider will receive a snaking interference penalty.

(b) If a bodyboarder has possession of a wave and another bodyboarder subsequently paddles around him to attempt to gain priority, and interferes with the first bodyboarder, he will also be called for snaking interference and receive the appropriate penalty. ("S"=symbol of snaking interference will be marked on the line dividing the 2 scoring boxes following the score for the previous wave).

4. Paddling Interference

A bodyboarder who has inside position should not be excessively hindered by another bodyboarder paddling for the same wave. Paddling interference may be called if:-

(i) The offending bodyboarder makes contact with or forces the inside bodyboarder to change his line while paddling to catch the wave causing possible loss of scoring potential.

(ii) The offending bodyboarder obviously causes a section to break down in front of the inside bodyboarder which would not normally have done so causing a loss of scoring potential.

(iii) when a bodyboarder is put in a position while paddling out that he cannot get out of the way and a collision happens due to this it is up to a majority of the judges to call interference based on whether it is felt to be accidental or not.

(iv) The offending bodyboarder continues to paddle for the same wave after the inside bodyboarder is riding.

5. Paddling Collisions

In cases where two Bodyboarders are both paddling for the same wave and attempting to go in opposite directions, one bodyboarder must give way:-

(i) It is the responsibility of the judge to determine which bodyboarder has the insider position based on whether the wave is a superior right or left. If at the initial point of take-off neither the right or left can be deemed superior, the right of way will go to the first bodyboarder to execute a manoeuvre or to make an obvious turn, and may elect to go left or right. The other rider, to avoid interference penalty, will either quickly pull off or elect to go in the opposite direction to the other rider.

(ii) If at any time there is contact between two Bodyboarders, whether riding or paddling, interference must be called on one or both.

(iii) The bodyboarder who is judged not to have the right of way may be called for paddling interference, even though neither bodyboarder catches the wave. ("P" = symbol of paddling interference will be marked on the line dividing the 2 scoring boxes following the score for the previous wave).


1. Nomad Bodyboards
2. Emerald Surf City
3. Riptide Bodyboard Magazine
4. Secret Sumatra
5. Surf Travel
6. Human
7. Limited Edition Fins
8. Red Bull Australia
9. Dunes Wetsuits

Event info please email -

Media Updates @
Live event cam feed @
Twitter alerts @

The 2009 NOMAD Shark Island Challenge 2009



11th July 2009 15:52

"Please be advised that all competitors should be at the Shark Island check pole at 8.00am this coming Sunday. High tide is approximately 11.30 am 1.34m. Depending on the conditions I will be looking at a 9.00 / 9.30am kick off."

I've just spoken with Mark and the call for what is happening will be made by 8.30 at the latest. Keep an eye the twitter feeds:

Limited Edition at:

Riptide mag at:

Confirming the event will be webcasted LIVE at:

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