South African Kneelo Takes Out the 36th Annual Title

Lester Sweetman took out the 36th annual PHILLIP ISLAND Kneeboard Pro in “classic” island conditions, beating a top field of competitors including a number of former World Champions. Lester joins an elite field of 11 previous winners, and is the first overseas competitor to do so. This years contest had a great field, including former World Champions, Baden Smith, Kyle Bryant, and Albert Munoz, along with competitors from Portugal, and a very good team of 6 from South Africa. Saturdays heats were clled for Flynns, with a solid swell and cross shore wind. Most first round heats went as expected, except for Heat 7 which saw Dean Bould pushed back into 4th place , and into B Grade for the first time. 15 year old Owen Fairweather , fresh from taking out the “World Junior Title” was in red hot form and continued a long way into the comp. The top Australians , along with the top South Africans were all still in form after the recent World Titles held at Dunedin, New Zealand. South Africans, Lester, Jedd McNeillage, and Steve Vanderwatt were all surfing brilliantly, along with Australians, Baden, Kyle, Albert, Paul O’Neill, Pete Fairweather, and Justin Stevens, who were also comfortably taking out there heats. With the surf pumping, it was decided to continue with the Open through to the Semi Final stage.

In a strange quirk of fate we were left with 2 semi finals. 3 south Africans in one, and 3 australians in the other. Sunday morning and the call was made to head to Woolamai. The open semi’s would be in early, and we ended up with a cracker of a final set up. Two Australians with four world titles, against two South Africans who showed their talent in New Zealand. In a very close, split decision we had a new champion. LESTER SWEETMAN. Lester joins an elite list of previous winners, and is the first overseas champion. Our Portugese and South African visitors had a wonderful time and have already promised to return to “the island” for its fantastic beaches, and friendly atmosphere.

A Grade was taken out by longtime competitor Pete Simmons form Newcastle. He finally has a “Dave Fincher” trophy. 2nd was Paul “turtle” Mannix, 3rd was Kev Ross, and 4th Mark Abel.

B Grade was won by Dean Bould, from Terry Day. 3rd was Rod Paarlberg and 4th John Meyer.

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