North Shore ready for battle in national final
SURFING: North Shore stalwart Shane Bevan believes his team is fitter than others at the Australian Boardriders Battle and they're determined to press on from their third placing last year.
Teams representing 23 clubs will converge on Newcastle for the final this weekend, after progressing through qualifying rounds.
Sunshine Coast clubs North Shore and Noosa will be in action, and the former is intent on doing well.
"We came third last year and I think our team is as good, if not stronger," former world tour surfer Bevan said.
"We'll give ourselves every chance to do well and I think we've got a good enough team to do well."
Bevan is the team's over-35 representative, while brothers Alister and Jack Reginato are the open male competitors, Sophie McCulloch is the open female surfer and Taj Stokes is the junior contender.
"Not many clubs are strong in every division like we are. That's what makes you have a solid team. We're lucky," Bevan said.
"It (the final) is a bit of an ironman event and I think we are probably the fittest team.
"We have a young team who are highly ranked on the junior series and WQS (world Qualifying Series), and I'm a lifeguard so I'm always training."
The team has an hour to compete against other teams, with one surfer in the water at a time.
After the surfer scores a wave, he or she runs up the beach to tag a teammate and at the end of the hour scores are tallied.
"Last year, all we had to do was get 5.5 points with five minutes to go and not a wave came through," Bevan recalled.
"Everyone in the team is driven to go better.
"But we've just got to take each heat as it comes."
He expected Noosa to cause some headaches for opposing teams too.
Their line-up consists of Dean Brady (over-35), Thomas and Hayden Cervi (open male), Vittoria Farmer (open female) and Noah Stocca (junior).
"They've got a pretty strong team," he said.
"They're a bit like we were last year, a bit underground.
"But they all surf really well so they will be a team to watch."