Coolum’s Eli Criaco finished third in the open men’s division. of the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival. Photo: Michael Tyrpenou/Surfing NSW
Coolum’s Eli Criaco finished third in the open men’s division. of the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival. Photo: Michael Tyrpenou/Surfing NSW

Top finish at Lighthouse

Coast surfers did well in last week’s Country Energy Australian Surf Festival at Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie.

Coolum’s Eli Criaco finished third in the men’s open behind Mark Richardson from Palm Beach and Victoria’s Josh Johnson-Baxter.

It was Richardson’s third Australian title in the open men’s division.

“I’m lost for words,” the 37-year-old said. “To have beaten the likes of my fellow finalists is something I’ll remember forever.”

Sunshine Coast surfer Dimity Stoyle put in a commanding performance to win her maiden crown.

“I can’t believe I won my first Australian title,” the 17-year-old said.

“It’s such an amazing feeling.”

Having been locked into a see-sawing battle during the entire final, Stoyle pulled out all the stops.

“The conditions were really tricky out there, but I managed to find the right wave at the right time,” she said.

Stoyle secured the winning wave with just a minute remaining and received a nine-point ride to defeat fellow Sunshine Coaster Tara Christie and Jess Hickson and Skye Burgess.


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