Longboard champs kick off
FORMER world champion, Australian Harley Ingleby has blitzed the start of the 2012 Surftech Kingscliff Australian Longboard Surfing Open.
In shifting two-to-three-foot swells Ingleby, from Emerald Beach, locked in 8.5 and 9.43 scores inside the opening three minutes of his heat.
He gained a commanding score of 17.93 and was never worried by Coolangatta's Matt Aldridge, who gained 12.67, Clinton Guest from the US, 10.77, and Bowie Pollard from the Sunshine Coast, with 6.77.
Ingleby's was the day's highest heat score.
"I basically got those two waves off the bat, they hit the bank and walled up and I really didn't really have to work that hard for the scores," he said.
"I sat around for most of the heat after that as there wasn't much coming through.
"It was typical Kingscliff with such a wide bank and it's pretty easy to get lost out there."
The open features both men's and women's Association of Surfing Professionals Longboard Qualifying Series divisions with $20,000 total prize money.
Other big names to ease into the quarter-finals were current world champion and defending event champion Taylor Jensen from California, three-time Malfunction champion Dane Pioli from Tweed Heads and former world champion Josh Constable from Peregian Beach.
A surprise elimination on day one was current Australian longboard champion Jackson Close from Currumbin, who finished third in the first heat of the day behind Jensen and Lennox Heads' Ben Dickens.
In the women's division Tweed's Chelsea Williams was the standout performer in the round of 24 scoring 11.10 to set up a quarter-final against 2010 world champion Jen Smith of the US and Aussie Tessa Davidson.
Other winners included Wini Paul from New Zealand Ballina's Melissa Combo and Claire Norman from Randwick.
Competition also started in the Pacific Finance eight foot division.
Green Aussie Cleaner Pro men's round of 32:
Heat 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) 15.00, Ben Dickens (Aus) 11.60, Jackson Close (Aus) 10.43;
Heat 2: Dane Pioli (AUS) 12.33, Ruben Roxburgh (AUS) 9.04, Matty Cook (AUS) 7.97, Oliver Shaw (AUS) 7.26;
Heat 3: Thomas Kibblewhite (NZL) 12.50, Beau Nixon (AUS) 11.84, Armando Colucci (ITA) 5.94;
Heat 4: Jared Neal (AUS) 14.10, Nic Jones (AUS) 9.46, Jake Baldry (AUS) 5.50;
Heat 5: Josh Constable (AUS) 11.86, Scott Channon (AUS) 7.80, Nick Farago (AUS) 7.13;
Heat 6: Dane Wilson (AUS) 14.17, Patrick O'Leary (AUS) 9.30, Daniel Corbett (AUS) 9.26, Michael Cottier (AUS) 7.16;
Heat 7: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 17.93, Matt Aldridge (AUS) 12.67, Clinton Guest (AUS) 10.77;
Heat 8: Heath Norrish (AUS) 13.40, Ray Lawrence (AUS) 11.76, Mitch Surman (AUS) 9.46, Rahn Goddard (AUS) 7.86;
Cancer Institute NSW Pro Women Round of 24:
Heat 1: Chelsea Williams (AUS) 11.10, Geodee Clark (HAW) 8.27, Molly Powell (AUS) 6.94;
Heat 2: Wini Paul (NZL) 8.23, Victoria Vergara (FRA) 5.57, Lisa Nicholson (AUS) 6.47;
Jodie Barsby (AUS) 0.0) ;
Heat 3: Melissa Combo (AUS) 9.87, Sam Egan (AUS) 9.20, Samantha Suendermann (AUS) 7.60;
Heat 4: Claire Norman (AUS) 9.17, Candice Appleby (HAW) 7.46, Emily Ballard (CAN) 2.80;
About Australian Longboard Surfing Open features ASP LQS men's and women's divisions, a noserider event, SUP surfing and racing and amateur surfing divisions.
On land there will be a music festival, lifestyle market stalls, art, cooking demonstration by Eoin Shoemark, head chef from the award winning Fins Restaurant at Salt, and movies.
It is presented by Surftech and supported by Tweed Shire Council, Destination NSW, Green Aussie Cleaner, Cancer Institute NSW, Australian Longboarding Magazine, Pacific Longboarder, ASP Australasia, Mohawk Wax and My Daily News.