Daniel Carr better know on Instagram as @Captain_Kookman showed up as a spectator for the Flatrock Bodysurfing Invitationalin NewCastle Australia on April 26th. That quickly changed after a competitor bailed and Daniel jumped into cover.
As the competition flyer states Flatrock invitational is not for beginners… or even kooks.
The freehand (no handplanes allowed) event, is Australia’s only bodysurfing contest to be held on a wicked reef break. The previous competitors list includes Iron men, lifeguards, triathletes, and Olympic swimmers.
In general, the right-hander reef break works on all tides, but is best on high tide and a south-east to east swell. If it’s any more to the north it barrels too fast for bodysurfers and is prone to closeouts. However, it also holds up to 6ft nicely, any bigger it closes out.
The conditions for the 2015 competition were a clean early at around 3ft and 4ft+ on the sets. The sets slowed down a little as the day went on so picking the a clean wave was important during the heats.
Most of the competitors (35 in total) were from Newcastle area, so knew the break well as well, as where to negotiate the rocks and channels when heading out, though other competitors had come for Sydney, Central Coast as well as a couple from Queensland.
One competitor, Tom Marr, had recently won the Deus Womp Comp at the Noosa Festival of Surfing. As well as Jethro James whom is a lifeguard on the hit TV show Bondi Rescue. Other competitors we previous comp winners, Peter Sperling, Greg Meyers (who organized it and is the local legend) as well as Grant Schofield who caught epic rides on his Slyde hardboard in Fiji.
The way the competition ran was two rounds of 7 heats (20min heat). Your position at the end of the heats was tallied together and the sliders with the lowest 6 scores went in to the final.
@Captain_kookman came in 2nd in his first heat and 1st in his second heat, finishing with 3 points. Riders were scored on wave selection, take off point, length of ride and maneuvers (originality, positioning of the move & variation).
Peter Sperling won the final and had great wave selection. it was his 3rd win at the event in the 10yrs its been run. Peter is well known in the bodysurfing fraternity in Oz, bodysurfing breaks like Ours (Cape Fear), Middles, Voodoo and understand he has competed at Pipeline.
@Captain_kookman landed 3rd place over all in the gnarly competition, scoring a pair of Da Fins, a Sweet Crystal Trophy, prize fighting reef scrapes.
Congrats to Daniel and all those who entered the Flatrock Invitational!
Stoked on the future of Bodysurfing!