5 Ways Longboard Competition – Freshwater Beach 2019
This year saw the 5 Ways Longboard Competition held at Freshwater Beach. Competitors were greeted with a light offshore and nice waves in the 2-3ft range. The Freshwater Longboard club hosted a great day that was well organised and run smoothly throughout the day. The first few heats of the day saw some really good surfing, kicking off with some friendly competition between all clubs. The Team from Long Reef were eager for a win, having never taken the trophy home the pressure was really on, and they delivered with three first place finishes in the first three heats, putting them only slightly in front of the reigning champions of Manly that have won the 5 ways competition 15 times in the past 20 years.
The BBQ was cooking up a feast and everyone was hanging out, snacking on some delicious bacon & egg rolls, watching and cheering on their team, mingling with other clubs and discussing all things surfing and surfboards. The friendly environment was alive with positivity and banter but there was an underlying pressure and excitement for your team to take home that trophy.
As the day progressed the wind got more intense and the waves got smaller, but the positive vibes amongst the 5 longboard clubs remained at a high. Long Reef and Manly were neck and neck throughout the day in the top spots with Freshwater, Palm Beach and Curl Curl closely behind only separated by a few points, all teams battling it out the top spot on the podium. As the score board was tucked away for the last remaining heats it looked like Manly might be adding another plaque to the trophy, It all came down to getting that one good wave as the conditions slowly changed and became a little harder to surf, the strong offshore making it really difficult to paddle into the waves.
As the last heat wrapped up it was time for the tag team family fun event. It was decided that the points from the final round wouldn’t count towards any point score to keep it strictly friendly and fun. Clubs nominated a family team, father & daughter or brother & sister would surf together with another member of the club that was either female or a junior. 40min heat 3 waves each and your best two count. Once you’ve got your waves you needed to run up the beach and tag the next person in. This was a great way to finish off the day and helped take the edge off the completion for a minute.
The score sheets took a little longer to add up as Freshwater organisers double checked everything before announcing the close scores with all the clubs eagerly awaiting the results. A great day of friendly competition was had by all and despite the motivation from team leader, Mr Tim Reily at the end of the day Curl Curl took home the wooden spoon with a 5th place finish. Freshwater took out the 4th place position and as Palm Beach was called out as 3rd place you could feel the tension in the air waiting to find out if Manly had finally been beaten and if the Reef Riders were going to take home their first win. But it wasn’t as simple as that. Every year the 5 ways contest is only separated by a few points and this year was no exception. Reef Riders and Manly landed on a tie which meant a countback was in order, and with more first place finishes the Reef Riders were announced as the winners finally taking home the win and leaving Manly in 2nd place.
A big thank you to all the crew at Freshwater all the behind the scenes organisation helped the day run so smoothly, and to all the sponsors of each club. A great day was had by all. Also a massive thank you to Adam Albertini (@wetsurfpix) for sending us through the photos he shot on the day, that have been used in this edition of the bulletin. Next year will see the contest move to Manly beach as they host the event. They will be feeling the pressure to win on home turf, and it should make for another fun day filled with surfing and banter.