News | Features  
 

ARCHIVES
03.05.04 - JESUS PRO AM

Ex Peter Hunt, Jesus Pro Am Media
Action photos courtesy of Matt Johnson, other photos courtesy of Jackie Beresford.
The 20th Jesus Pro Am surfing competition was once again blessed with awesome waves and pristine weather at Bendalong on the beautiful NSW South Coast.

Kable Rowlinson
Kable Rowlinson

Saturday 1st May saw a crisp offshore wind airbrushing very contestable clean 2-3 foot A-frame peaks. All preliminary rounds were completed by the day’s end with all 96 elite surfers seeing action on day 1. The 2004 field was very strong across all divisions and included former Jesus Pro Am title holders Kurt Nyholm (2000 Open Men’s winner) and Khy Vaughan (1999 Cadets winner) in the Open Men’s division, Sandra English (1998, 1999 and 2002 Women’s winner) in the Women’s and Kable Rowinson (2002 Air winner) in the Air division. 1992 Coke Classic winner and 1988 Jesus Pro Am Runner-up Shane Herring (Dee Why) also competed, coming out of retirement to do so.

Kurt Nyholm
Kurt Nyholm

Some amazing surfing was seen on Day 1 with standout performances by Kurt Nyholm (Mollymook), Kirk Flintoff (Cronulla), Blake Thorton (Maroubra) and Khy Vaughan (Ulludulla) in the Open’s; Sandra English (NSW Central Coast) in the Women’s, Ashley King (Ulladulla) in the Cadets and Khy Vaughan again in the Air division.

Kurt Nyholm
Kurt Nyholm

Sunday 2nd May again saw a cold SW wind this time trying to clean up the new 3-5 foot S swell that has come up over night. The early lumpy conditions made early heats a little tough going but Sam Brown (Allambie Heights) and Keelan Veitch (Cronulla) still managed some good scores to progress through Round 2 of the Cadets while Kurt Nyholm and Kirk Flintoff continued their good form through Round 3 of the Open’s. The Air Division however, did not far so well with suitable launch ramps hard to come by.

Kirk Flintoff
Kirk Flintoff

The Open Men’s Quarter-Finals saw Man-on-man heats produce even better surfing as the choice of waves per surfer widened. Guy Bartlett (Manyana) and Dean McColl (Dee Why) surfed brilliantly but were unable to post the extra 1.25 and 1.375 scores that they required respectively to progress to the Semi Finals.

Kirk Flintoff
Kirk Flintoff

The highly entertaining Family Tag-Team division saw some very innovative ‘head slaps’ by each team to signify the change over was won by the Father-Son combination of Phil and Keelan Veitch over Jonathon and Ethan Woods.

Lyndsay Noyes
Lyndsay Noyes

The Semi Finals saw some great surfing with the ever-improving conditions allowing competitors to defy gravity with vertical turns and even the odd barrel. In the Women’s, Tara Ryan (Dee Why) surfed well but missed a berth in the Final by a mere 0.25 of a point. The Cadets Semi was no exception with Seb Kesby (Maroubra) missing out on the Final by only 1 point. In the Open’s, Nyholm and Flintoff continued their undefeated form by defeating Khy Vaughan and Blake Thorton respectively.

Kirk Flintoff
Kirk Flintoff

The Finals saw the best conditions of the event with classic 3-5 foot waves that had cleaned right up with the slight wind change to the west (directly offshore). The Air Division saw more aerials landed with Kable Rowlison (Dee Why) continuing his good form to win from Runner-up Ty Hunt (Stanwell Park), Mike Hayes (Freshwater) and Ben McDonald. In the Women’s, it was Lyndsay Noyes (Cronulla), who, after picking up a couple of very nice right-handers off the main bank, took home the Gold bracelet from Dallas Designer Jewellery defeating Runner-up Tracy Brown (Phillip Island), Melissa Sherringham (Terrigal) and Michelle Richens (VIC). The Cadets Final was very close with only 4 points separating 1st and 4th place. Ashley King was the eventual winner from Runner-up Luke Northey (Maroubra), Sam Brown and Jay Buckingham (Manyana). For the efforts, Ashley took home a brand new SSS Surfboard from SSS Surfco.

Contest Site
Contest Site

The Climax of the event was the Open’s Final between Kurt Nyholm and Kirk Flintoff. It will be long remembered by those in attendance as being absolutely mind blowing with tactics playing a big part with Kurt choosing to sit on the bank in front of the judging tower just south of the main bank. This decision proved very successful with Kurt picking off 2 excellent rides including a super long left-hander that left the crowd gasping after he emerged from a very deep barrel only to continue smashing the wave all the way to shore with his powerful forehand attack. Kirk, sitting on the main bank that hadn’t let him down all day, could only watch as the high scoring waves reeled off just south of him.

Contest Site
Contest Site

To his credit, he picked up a nice right-hander, landing a huge backside floater to remain within reach. However it was not enough in the end with Nyholm claiming the 10-day boat trip to the Mentawii Islands from the Surf Travel Company. In his acceptance speech, Kurt thanked all the contest organisers for running such a “professional event” and that “it is great that the event is held down here because there aren’t many big surfing comps held down the coast”.

Contest Site
Contest Site

Aside from the awesome surfing, the 2004 Jesus Pro Am again provided what the event has become known for: a professionally run event that still maintains a warm, friendly atmosphere. Adding immensely to this was the awesome hospitality that was provided by the devoted catering team. The team worked tirelessly the whole weekend serving up bacon and egg rolls and pancakes for breakfast; sausage sandwiches for lunch; and tea, coffee, hot chocolate and a huge selection of cakes, slices and muffins, all generously donated by many supporting churches.