Home' Air Force News : April 28th 2011 Contents 27
April 28, 2011
Thank goodness for the cavalry,
or in this case the tournament's Navy
organisers who answered their SOS
by sending another bus from Nowra to
pick them up.
After five or six hours, the Air
Force surfers were on their way again,
headed to Nowra via the back roads.
By the early hours of the morning
they had reached their destination after
17 hours on, or on the side of the road.
At 8am they were on Bendalong
Beach, 45 minutes south of Nowra,
ready for competition, along with the
other half of their team members who
arrived in private cars any way they
So SGT Stabler did get to the
boiling waves (the wild weather also
brought big waves), but it was hardly a
SGT Stabler is well known among
ADF surfers. He is one of the chief
organisers of the Air Force team
and also one of the Williamtown
Boardriders Club's best surfers.
In the past he had contested both
the longboard and the shortboard sec-
tions, but longboard was where he
tasted most success. For the past three
years, he had won the NSW longboard
title.This year, however, he decided
to concentrate on the faster, more
manoeuvrable shortboard. Organising
and competing in both events was
proving a bit taxing on his time.
He was in good form, having won
the shortboard title at the Air Force
trials at Catherine Hill Bay, south of
Newcastle, on March 3. He was pushed
by CPL Liam Baster and CPL Brendan
Lawrence who produced some radical,
progressive, competitive surfing.
FSGT Martin Johns won the Air
Force longboard trial with hot competi-
tion from CPL Stuart Johnson.
Fast forward to the tri-service titles,
and SGT Stabler and CPL Baster both
made the shortboard final.
SGT Stabler said that CPL Baster,
competing in the tri-service titles for
the first time, surfed well all week but
struggled to find quality waves in the
final and finished fifth.
"I was fortunate to find the larger
waves during the final and somehow
produced enough points to take out the
final," he said.
Other Air Force shortboarders
who stood out included CPL Richard
Goldshaf and CPL Lawrence.
FSGT Johns mixed classic moves
with raw talent to get through to the
longboard final where he had a neck-
and-neck tussle with eventual winner
LCDR Steve Johnson.
CPL Stuart Johnson also surfed
well and finished fifth.
SQNLDR Mark Evans was consid-
ered unlucky to miss out on a place in
FLGOFF Samantha Hearne and
FLGOFF Jackie Grosvenor were the
Air Force's sole female surfers.
"Both showed a lot of courage tak-
ing on the big waves and were unlucky
to miss out on the finals," SGT Stabler
said. "Both are keen to come back
again next year."
If SGT Stabler gets his way they
won't come alone either.
"We need more women surfers."
A case in point is the teams com-
petition, which was won by Navy with
170 points. Air Force was second with
Last year Air Force was seven
points adrift, this year it was four
points -- and that was with a team two
women short of the proper comple-
ment, which gave Navy a minimum of
a three-point start.
"This is the closest the Air Force
has come to winning the event and
hopefully, if we can keep our team
together and gain a bit more support,
we will knock them off next year,"
SGT Stabler said.
For more information, contact SGT
(02) 4034 5322.
ALL THE GANG'S HERE: The Air Force team high and dry at
Bendalong Beach and, right, CPL Liam Baster takes on the challenging
surf conditions during the shortboard finals.
Photos: AB Justin Brown
It's all above board though. After being
rescued by the Navy, SGT Murray Stabler
ends their long time at the top.
From Back Page
"A one-inch plastic board is equivalent
to two inches of pine timber. The plas-
tic boards are harder to break because
you have to strike them dead centre,
whereas timber can still break if you
don't strike centre."
SGT Van Beelen competed in the
seniors event in New Zealand but don't
be fooled by that, either. Seniors is for
anyone over 18, so SGT Van Beelen
was competing against people half his
age.He managed to break 10 boards in
total in New Zealand, and missed the
silver medal by one point -- so he was
He only took up the sport 15 years
ago and that was accidental.
He started taking his nine-year-old
son Scott to training and got hooked
Scott retired two years later, but
dad went on to compete in five world
championships around the world every
two years. His first was in Poland,
where he misjudged a kick and broke a
bone in his foot.
JUST SMASHING: SGT Van
Beelen launches a kick; and right,
triumphant at the medal ceremony.
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