February 20, 2024

Surfers dazzle

More than 160 Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people gathered to celebrate culture on country at the Woorangalook Victorian Koori Surf Titles last weekend.

The event took place across two days at Point Roadknight and Urquhart Bluff along the Great Ocean Road and featured both first time surfers and the state’s elite.

The Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast, Phillip Island, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Yarra Valley, Metropolitan Melbourne, East Gippsland, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton in Southwest Victoria were all represented at the event.

Saturday’s action included a traditional smoking ceremony and mixing of the waters, before surf coaches and volunteers took groups of novice surfers through a few sessions.

The competitive women’s divisions followed, with Belle Gee and Corrina Eccles claiming the Open Women’s and Masters Women’s titles respectively.

Sunday’s competition was moved to Urquhart Bluff to take advantage of better conditions.

Anthony Hume was victorious in the Master’s Men’s category, before Torquay’s Joseph Murray ripped to his first ever Open Men’s title.

For his efforts, Mr Murray and women’s winner Bell Gee will represent the Victorian Indigenous surfing community in the 2024 Rip Curl Pro Trials at Bells Beach next month.

“It was such a rewarding weekend to have communities come from across the state and be able to take them surfing,” Mr Murray said.

“It was topped off by being able to surf the final with all my new friends, it’s been an extra special weekend.”

Read full Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: Masters Men’s champion Anthony Hume and Open Men’s champion Joe Murray. Photos: ELLEY HARRISON/SURFING VICTORIA.

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