The seventh Hurley Winter Classic was run on Saturday 8th June at Parsons Beach in the Newland Head Conservation Park.
A dropping swell provided some nervous moments at sunrise, yet the call was made to begin the arduous task of lugging the several tonne of equipment down the goat track. Five marquees, four trestle tables, monitors, tablets, one generator, multiple flags, umbrellas and other paraphernalia that is required to run an aesthetically pleasing surf contest were laboured into position.
Heat one was underway soon after, which set the tone for the day with Blake Levett of Manly scoring one of the best waves of the day in clean two foot conditions. The swell may have been smaller than previous years, but the light offshore was very much welcomed along with the warmth that the winter sunshine provided.
A glorious bank provided consistent rights and lefts all day with some excellent scores dropping. Tayla Hanak (Streaky Bay), Imi Elliott (Seaford), Lily Macdonald (Freshwater, NSW) and Amy Gore (Christies Beach) all progressed through to the final. Imi was keeping busy all heat improving her situation, while Tayla was threatening to unleash her power surfing, however the ocean was not cooperating. Lily and Amy traded rights and lefts be out in front. It was the combination of Amy's consistent and smooth backhand attack on the left that provided the scores she needed to edge out Lily Macdonald.
In the men's first semi, the mayor of Seaford, Clayton Howse battled North Steyne Boardriders poster boy, Blake Levett. Both surfers were busy trading blows on the left-hander with plenty of waves being ridden. Clayton had a chance in the final minutes as the ocean sent a set through the line up, however it was the consistent New South Welshman and 2017 winner Blake, who edged him out to reserve his spot in the final. The second semi final saw local South Coast Boardriders duo Khai Adams and Max Longhurst duke it out for the remaining final spot. Max got what he wished for at the beginning of the day, surfing a man on man heat against his good friend for the first time, however Khai's explosive backhand hacks won out.
The final was the best display of surfing the crowd had witnessed all day. As the heat progressed the two in form surfers of the day traded excellent scores with the lead changing several times. The South Coast Boardriders were in full voice hurling screams ocean bound with every trademark blow tail turn. At the buzzer it was Fleurieu's own Khai Adams taking out his third Hurley Winter Classic victory adding to his triumphs in 2013 and 2016.
Congratulations to all competitors who displayed such a high level of surfing that was thoroughly enjoyed by all on the beach.
Surfing South Australia tanked all staff and support crew as well as the event sponsors Hurley, The Surf Shop, Electric, Skullcandy, Stacey, Beach Burrito and Pirate Life.
Open Women's Results:
1st Amy Gore
2nd Lily Macdonald
3rd Imi Elliott
4th Tayla Hanak
Open Men's Results:
1st Khai Adams
2nd Blake Levett
3rd Clayton Howse, Max Longhurst