A SURFING team from Wonthaggi Secondary College has taken home the gold medal in the School Sport Victoria surfing titles for the eighth time in a row.
Students travelled more than 230km to Jan Juc, about 25km south of Geelong, to participate in the state tag-team surfing titles.
The college entered a mixed team and, for the first time, a girls’ team.
In the girls’ team were Shayla Paterson, Lainie Paterson, Mia Goldsbury and Amelie Wragg.
The girls’ surfed strongly in the first heat with a total score of 30.50, which was the second highest overall.
But Surf Coast Secondary College was the reigning state champion and scored a lot higher than the girls in the first round.
The girls’ progressed to the final, but struggled to find the scoring waves, ending up finishing third overall on 17.6, with Surf Coast receiving first place on 36.8.
Wonthaggi Secondary College teacher Travis Osmond said it was a great result.
The mixed team consisted of Kyle Ross, Josh Bracher, Taj Sleeman, Chad Garrett, Codie Jeffery, Jake Bill and also Shayla Paterson who participated in the girls’ team.
In the first round, Wonthaggi dominated the heat with Josh Bracher, nominated as the power surfer, scoring a perfect 10 on his second wave.
The score set the scene for the team and they ended up winning the heat by 43 points.
“In the final it was always going to be a tight contest with the Surf Coast Secondary College posting a higher score in the heats than Wonthaggi Secondary College,” Mr Osmond said.
“The Surf Coast got off to a great start with the first two surfers finding some excellent scoring waves putting the pressure on the Wonthaggi team.
“With time getting away, Jake Bill was able to get the first scores on the board with some excellent surfing.
“Josh Bracher then hit the water and with his powerful backhand style he was able to once again impress the judges with some big backhand hits.”
Due to the time limits in the heats, the three surfers following him had to work extremely hard to find good quality scoring waves in a short amount of time.
“Taj Sleeman, Chad Garrett and Codie Jeffery all put in 110 per cent effort into scoring great waves that had the crowd hooting from the beach,” Mr Osmond said.
The last two surfers to enter the water were Kyle Ross and Shayla Paterson. Both Kyle and Shayla had a very limited time to score the last remaining points.
“After the event had finished, the team felt that they may not have got the win, but luckily on the day the judges saw that Wonthaggi was the better team and they scored a total of 82.8 points, just ahead of Surf Coast Secondary on a total of 76.2.”
In third place was Dromana Secondary College on 35.8, followed by Lorne P-12 on 29.40.
Mr Osmond said the team was extremely excited about the win and he believed winning eight in a row in the event might have broken a record.
The college would like to thank all those that helped out on the day and those who helped get the students to the state finals, including Adrian Sorati, Travis Osmond, Greg Bill and Henry Rushford.