Wildcard rises to the top

Keaton WhiteBusselton Dunsborough Times
Jack Thomas took out the top prize at the Boogers Surf Off on New Year’s Eve.
Camera IconJack Thomas took out the top prize at the Boogers Surf Off on New Year’s Eve. Credit: Supplied: Pace Photography, Pace Photography

With Huey in our corner and Coastalwatch’s Dan Wyer on the pulse, the last day of 2016 never looked in doubt to host the eighth annual Boogers Surf Off presented by the Yallingup Boardriders.

The day kicked off with the wildcard trials heat, a new addition program giving two surfers the chance to get into the prestigious invite-only event.

After much heated debate it was decided wildcard spots would be awarded to international big-wave surfers Mick Corbett and Jarryd Foster.

Fresh from slaying giants at Nazare, Portugal, they would be joined by Corbett’s twin brother, Dan “Telo” Corbett and Yallingup’s own recently crowned Australian National Junior Champion, 17-year-old Jack Thomas.

After a ruthless heat in testing low tide conditions it was Jack Thomas and State longboarding champ-turned-big-wave-Dave Jarryd Foster who would advance to the money rounds with sick pits and massive hits, setting the tone for the remainder of the day.

With the wildcards decided, the main event kicked off and 32 local and international surfers battled it out in four-man, best wave wins heats at the critical reef break for a chance to take home the $2000 first prize and perpetual trophy the Boogers Ship.

Californian import Skylar Sausser was on fire early, throwing his wallet at Caves House bar all morning long with jug-spilling Knox-esque power carves, proving himself a worthy invitee and one to watch.

Unfortunately the wallet became the purse when past event champion Matt Wiseman sunk in the bugle screws and decked himself a spot in the quarterfinals.

Livid Skateboards’ wave of the day went to local goofy-footer and Boogers stalwart Nathan Kikiros, who edged out local legend Lang “The Lang” Langsford with a steep and deep backdoor tube that left both judges and crowd gasping in disbelief.

The final featured Perth ex-pat Jack Bestall up against locals Matt Wiseman, Julian Nott and Thomas.

With his technical skill and his history, Wiseman was short odds to take the win but Huey had other plans and delivered the finalists a howling sea-breeze, threatening the veteran leadfoot game and giving the young gun a slight edge.

In a see-sawing final, it was Thomas who prevailed, clinching the win and engraving his name in history alongside last year’s champion Taj Burrow.

He took home $2000 through blue-ribbon sponsor Peko-Peko Sushi, while the day also raised $1500 for the Yallingup Boardriders club.

Special mention goes to Sydney socialite and the day’s MC Matt Baker, We Are Feel Good Inc, Tim Dixon, Peter Mac and the Yallingup Boardriders, Gage Roads, Sunnieside.com.au and Lay-Day, Dunsorough Signs and Graphics, Vissla, Livid Skateboards, The Board Store, and Peko-Peko Sushi.

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