Postcards from Down Under!

Surfing with Chris 'Guts' Griffiths

My son Connor is spending another yeari n the land of Oz and is having a fantastic time. Here he updates us with his latest news explaining the experiences he had competing in his first surfing competition for quite some while

Since my last postcard I have been granted my second year visa, so I have another year in paradise. I have moved into my own house in Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast (about 100km north of Brisbane), with my lovely girlfriend Rachael, which is only a 4 minute drive to the beach and 5 minutes to a perfect point (the Bluff). I manage to surf every day before or after work. Yes that’s right, WORK!, it ain’t all glamour over here but then again the weather does sort of out-weigh the whole situation! The water temp is currently 20 degrees, and I’m wearing my boardies and a wetsuit top, and it’s the middle of winter!

So after years of doing competitions almost every weekend at home, I’ve only done 3 contests in the last year and a half over here, which has actually been really nice. It’s made me lose a bit of my competitive drive but this has made me surf better in the contests that I’ve done – there’s been no pressure.

The Alex Malibu Winter Classic, is a club contest held at “The Bluff”, the south end of Alexandra Beach, on the Sunshine Coast. I had hoped to enter the logger division (as that’s the only over 9ft board I have) but I had left my entry too late so ended up in the 9ft open. First heat was at 7:00am on the dot, unlike contests back home. Conditions were small and perfect – ideal for the log. My first heat consisted of Ashley Opelt, Adam Whitby oh and Josh Constable (ASP World Longboard Champion). Everyone opted to ride their high performance boards apart from me, the waves were about waist high and perfect. I managed to snag a few waves in the very inconsistent but perfect conditions and got myself 2nd place to Josh Constable which put me into the semis.

My semi final was again at 7:00am on the Sunday morning, this time I was up against Damien Coulter, Dan Potter and Ashley Opelt. Once again they were opting to ride their high performance boards in the small tricky conditions. These waves suited the board I was riding, however the judges wanted to see some progressive surfing although the waves wouldn’t allow it. I got 2nd again in my semi final to Damien Coulter, a true local at the Bluff and an all round good surfer. I was so stoked to make the final.

The final was at 1:30pm or so it said on the running order, so I got down to the beach just after 1pm to watch the logger final and get ready for my heat to find out my heat was about to start. Luckily enough I only had to put my wet suit jacket on and rash vest over the top. The heat started as I was 3/4s of the way out, I was really relaxed and excited to be in the final. The wind had come onshore and pretty much killed the face of the waves which made the 30 minute final very tricky. I managed to get 3 or 4 really good waves that I was happy with, but didn’t quite cut it. I got 4th place, I was really happy to make my first final over here in Australia and put on a good show getting to the final.

Congrats to Josh Constable for taking the win.


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