Queenslander. The State of Origin call to arms made famous by rugby league legend Billy Moore would not have been out of place at Coolum Beach last weekend when Queensland and New South Wales went head to head in surfing’s Oakley State Teams Challenge
After almost eight hours of surfing, the result came down to just two points.
And like all good State Of Origin battles, this one came down to the final minutes.
After two days of competition, the Maroons consolidated last year’s victory over New South Wales with a 278.7 to 276.6 win at Coolum Beach.
The Queensland team – Chris Friend (Twin Waters), Blake Wilson (Alexandra Headland), Brent Dorrington (Coolangatta), Blake Ainsworth (Coolangatta) and Lincoln Taylor (North Stradbroke Island), just got home in the final round, holding out a gallant New South Wales in the event-closing expression session.
The home side took a slender 144.27 to 144.04 lead into Saturday’s round, having snatched the lead in the final-round expression session.
Revisiting Saturday’s form, the Queensland lads continued to apply the heat on their foes from the opening siren, extending their lead across the tandem and doubles division periods.
In the tricky one-metre beach break, Coast products Wilson and Friend both turned in solid performances to help the team to the 2008 title.
Wilson pushed Queensland further into the lead, trouncing NSW’s Garrett Parkes in the singles division with a formidable showing of competitive surfing.
But NSW answered back swiftly with an impressive singles victory to Curl Curl’s Matt Bemrose, setting up a thrilling finale in the expression period format.
Trailing by less than six points in the last period, the NSW pairing of Davey Cathels (Narrabeen) and Parkes gave it their best shot, unleashing a series of high-flying innovative manoeuvres.
Despite the Blues’ best efforts, it was the Coolangatta duo of Dorrington and Ainsworth who stayed cool under pressure, defying a last minute wave attack to wrap up the two-point victory and back-to-back titles.
“We’re over the moon,” Dorrington said.
“It was great that it stayed so close throughout the two days of competition.
“Everyone was able to show off their finest surfing and the best team won on the day,” he said.
The victory also ensures Queensland retains the hosting rights for the 2009 tournament.
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