Two Noosa surfers have been chosen in the elite squad of eight invitees to contest the first ever Jeep Waterman Challenge at the Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing next March. 2006 world longboard champion Josh Constable and reigning Noosa logger champion Harrison Roach have been selected in a field that includes three former world champions, while Noosa’s Matt Cuddihy and Maroochydore’s Nic Jones are first and second reserves.
The invitees for the $2,500 winner take all multi-discipline event are, in order of selection:
Harrison Roach (Qld): all-round winning performances on short, long and finless over past five years, plus second placing at this year’s Deus Womp Comp bodysurf event.
Taylor Jensen (USA): Two-times ASP world longboard champion and current number 9, plus recent results in WQS shortboard and acknowledged finless exponent.
Harley Ingleby (NSW): Former ASP world longboard champion and current number 3, former WQS shortboarder, well-known finless performer.
Jared Neal (NSW): Currently ranked 13 on ASP world longboard tour, consistent high finisher in recent years as well as highly-rated on shortboard and finless.
Bryce Young (NSW): Former high-ranked ASP world longboard tour surfer and acknowledged as one of the most versatile surfers on the planet.
Ryan Burch (USA): Regarded as one of the most outstanding free surfers in the world, able to perform on virtually any platform.
Josh Constable (Qld): Former ASP world longboard champion, former WQS shortboarder, veteran competitor.
Dave Rastovich (NSW): World class free surfer and environmental activist, recognised by his peers as one of the greatest all-round watermen ever produced in Australia.
Matt Cuddihy (Qld): Popular and very talented all-boarder who divides his time between Noosa and California, competing when he feels like it, ripping whenever he hits the water.
Nic Jones (QLD): Up-and-coming world class waterman with good recent finishes in ASP longboard and shortboard, and a big Sunny Coast reputation on finless.
The Jeep Waterman Challenge will be held on one day in the best conditions on offer between March 6 and 8, preceding the Cricks Noosa Festival of Surfing, at a remote location on Noosa’s North Shore (permissions pending). The eight invitees will compete in longboard, shortboard, finless surfing and body surfing, with the winner being the surfer with the highest cumulative score. The call on surfing will be made at 6pm prior to each day of the window, with competitors, judges, officials and media being ferried to the event site by a fleet of Jeeps at dawn on the day of the event.
Noosa Festival of Surfing contest director Alan Atkins will direct the Challenge, with Festival head judge Zippy Pearson leading a specialist judging team that will include multiple world bodysurf champion Mark Cunningham of Hawaii.
The Challenge will be filmed for inclusion in the Festival webcast and the four finalists will perform all disciplines during a demonstration heat on the afternoon of Saturday 8 March 2014.
Noosa Festival director Phil Jarratt said that the Jeep Challenge had generated an incredible amount of interest amongst watermen from around the world. “This concept is a world first and people really seem to be excited by it. Of course there are many more all-boarders who also deserve to be invited, but we had to keep this first one limited so that we could complete it in one day in a remote surf location, creating the smallest footprint we could.”