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Wave of talent carves it up

Samba Mann rides the lip on his way to winning the fourth round of the Queensland Championship Circuit at Coolum last weeken.
Samba Mann rides the lip on his way to winning the fourth round of the Queensland Championship Circuit at Coolum last weeken. Contributed

Tweed Heads surfer Samba Mann won the battle but lost the war last weekend in the fourth round of the Queensland Championship Circuit at Coolum Beach.

Mann did enough to win the round but not enough to deny the Gold Coast's Nick Vasicek the series' win.

Vasicek took out the circuit with a margin of only 10 points and earned himself a spot in the 2010 ASP Quiksilver Pro trials.

He could manage only fourth place in the series' fourth and final round, the Coolum and Alex Surf Sunny Coast Pro, but stole the show with the wave of the weekend in the quarter-finals, a 9.73.

“It was a really exciting event to be part of, especially with both the younger boys and all the past champions going toe-to-toe right to the very end,” Vasicek said.

“Winning the series is definitely something I didn't expect, so I'm lost for words ... to get a shot at the Quiksilver Trials next year just tops off a crazy series and it's a dream come true.”

Coolum Beach provided ideal conditions for the last round of the QCC series, with a shifting one-metre beach break.

Billed as a blockbuster showdown between a new wave of youngsters and a host of celebrated champions, the competition lived up to its billing by throwing up one of the closest finishes in years as Vasicek edged out his rivals.

Chris Friend was the Sunshine Coast's best performer, reaching the semi-finals.

Mann seemed unperturbed after being narrowly beaten for the series title, instead choosing to dwell on his round win.

The 2004 QCC Champion proved too strong in the final, beating New Zealand's Jay Quinn, Main Beach's Chris Bennetts and Vasicek.

After taking the decider with an impressive 16.34 out of 20, he said he was “frothing” over the result.

“Everyone was just cheering for each other and it was a great vibe out in the water,” he said.

“So I'm stoked with the event win and proud of Nick for winning the series.

“I can't believe it was only 10 ratings points difference that separated the overall series champion in the end, but it was a great series and great event either way.”

Bennetts, who took out third place in round four, also finished third in the overall standings, behind Quinn in second spot.

RESULTS   ■ 2009 Queensland Championship Circuit: 1st: Nick Vasicek (Coolangatta) 2nd: Samba Mann (Tweed Heads) 3rd: Chris Bennetts (Main Beach)   ■ Coolum & Alex Surf - Sunny Coast Pro: 1st: Samba Mann (Tweed Heads) 2nd: Jay Quinn (New Zealand/Bilinga) 3rd: Chris Bennetts (Main Beach) 4th: Nick Vasicek (Coolangatta)

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