Scores of spectators flocked to the resort to watch the action on the artificial surfing wave, one of only a handful in the country. With temperatures soaring, the stage was set for a fantastic showdown by some of the best FlowRiders in Europe, all aiming to prove they had what it takes to win the first leg of the Flow Tour.
Open winner Adam May performs an impressive stunt
The hotly-contested categories, which included a women’s event, a body boarding event and the open contest, each saw some spectacular riding with jaw-dropping stunts. The winner of the women’s category was the first to be decided, with local rider Meelie Barrett taking first place.
The body boarders were up next with a nail biting final that saw former Retallack Resort employee Gethin Walters triumph over the other finalists. Gethin, who represented Europe in last year’s World FlowRiding Games in South Africa and is hoping for success again in this year’s finals in August, said: “I’m really stoked to win the event here at The Loop. I ride here all the time and it was a really fun day.”
The open event formed the grande finale of the day, with an intensely fought contest between the four top-qualifying riders; Retallack’s own Luke Hopper and Ben Jones, as well as 17-year-old Sam Atkins from The Flow House (Bedford) and Retallack regular Adam May.
The open finalists with Chairman of Council Council, Pat Harvey, who presented the medals.
The top prize was eventually won by Adam May, who also took home the Trick of the Day title. Prizes were donated by The Loop’s main sponsor, O’Neill, who presented each of the winners with a brand new wetsuit. Other sponsors of the event included DC, who presented a prize to each of the runners-up.
Adam said: “I can’t believe I won! I didn’t think I had done enough to beat the other guys. It was such a hard final with everyone putting together some really high scoring runs. I am looking forward to the finals in August and hopefully making the Europe team to compete in the Worlds.”
Familiar faces competing in the event included European Longboard Champion Ben Skinner, who progressed to the semi-final of the event and fellow O’Neill team rider Adam Griffiths, who came second on last year’s European Longboard Tour. Ben, who is a keen supporter of the FlowRider at Retallack, said: “It’s been an amazing event – the sun’s been out, the beers have been flowing and everyone has had a great day!”
The women’s finalists (L-R) Mellie Barrett, Sophie Collins and Kerry Lee Campbell with Chairman of Council Council, Pat Harvey.
Ben Jones, FlowRider Operations and Marketing Manager at Retallack, said: “It was a fantastic event. The crowd really got behind all of the competitors and the standard of the riding was some of the best we’ve seen to date. Thanks to some great entertainment from several local bands and DJs, as well as a barbecue and a guest bar from Skinner’s Brewery, the party atmosphere went on long into the evening.”