AYE AYE, SAILOR
Le-Ba one to watch in Surftag final
LENNOX-Ballina Boardriders will be one of the favourites in the national final of the Sailor Jerry Surftag event at Duranbah Beach, Tweed Heads.
Defending champions North Shelly Boardriders (Central Coast) will go into the event as the top seeds after taking out the Newcastle Qualifier in January.
Le-Ba looked set to win its qualifier at Cabarita on Sunday before the Snapper Rocks team stormed home late to restrict them to second.
They had one of their stronger teams with Marcus Aboody, Stu Kennedy, Adam Melling, Zac Wightman, James Wood and Finley James.
Wood was a stand-out on Saturday and his presence was missed the following day after he left for a flight to Bali.
Le-Ba are no strangers to the event and last won it at Lennox Head in 2012 with a powerhouse team which included World Championship Tour surfer Owen Wright.
Kennedy and Melling have since come off the WCT and will make Le-Ba a formidable outfit at the national final on April 2728.
“We have a good team and the (Cabarita) weekend we showed what we are capable of doing”, Kennedy said.
“It's great to be representing the club alongside a few new guys that are coming through.
“We are really concentrating on growing the club and creating a strong competitive culture.”
Le-Ba were unable to compete at all in the Surftag last year due to flooding and road closures caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
The club has plenty of depth this year and have called Zac Wightman into the team with the 19-year-old back in action after suffering a knee injury last year.
“Stoked to get the call-up to represent Le-Ba,” Wightman said.
“I really enjoy surfing in team events, especially with those guys as they have a ton of experience and really push my surfing.”
Meanwhile, former Le-Ba members Mikey and Owen Wright have reached the third round of the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.
Sister Tyler Wright has reached the quarter-finals of the women’s event while Byron Bay’s Matt Wilkinson was eliminated in the second round.
RIDE ON: Stu Kennedy surfing for Le-Ba in the Sailor Jerry Surftag team competition.