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Celebrating two decades of surfing at the Koori Surf Titles

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Young Aboriginal child in black shorts and white shirt stands on a surfboard riding a half-metre high wave.
Mischa Purcell from Macarthur in the South West of Victoria riding a wave of fun at Urquhart Bluff. Photo courtesy of Surfing Victoria.
21 Feb 2018

The Woorrangalook Victorian Koori Surf Titles were held on the weekend of 18-19 February at Urquhart Bluff on the Great Ocean Road.

More than 120 Indigenous surfers from across the state gathered to celebrate the 20th annual event, which brings together Indigenous communities in a fun weekend of surfing and Indigenous culture.

Communities represented at the event included East Gippsland, Portland and the South West, Koroit, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton, Metropolitan Melbourne, Bass Coast, Mornington Peninsula as well as Geelong and the Surf Coast.

The event was opened on Saturday by Corrina Eccles and the Deadly Dancers Troupe who cleansed the event with a traditional smoking ceremony. This was followed by ‘learn to surf’ sessions where all of the participants were given a skills and a water safety lesson.

An Aboriginal woman in dark clothing squats on grassy ground and holds a piece of wood with burning leaves on top. In the background are 6 Aboriginal dancers dressed in traditional dance wear and holding small branches.
Corrina Eccles opening the event. Photo courtesy of Surfing Victoria.

On Saturday, the surfers enjoyed pumping conditions with light offshore winds and sunny skies. In the afternoon the junior competitive divisions were finalised along with the Open Women and Masters Women.

Sunday saw slightly smaller waves when both Open and Masters men’s divisions were contesting. Jordie Campbell of Sandy Point won his 10th consecutive Open Men’s Title and gained a wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Trials at Bells Beach.

“This event is such a fun weekend” said Jordie.

“It’s awesome to see so many communities gather together and spend the weekend at the beach enjoying the ocean.”

Under 13 Girls Champion Fenella Collins from Pt Leo, Joe Hayes-Griggs from the Latrobe Valley and Blade Butler of Geelong were awarded surfboards donated by Strong Brother, Strong Sister and painted with traditional Indigenous artwork by Cormach Evans.

The Good Sports Award was awarded to Alla Purcell from Macarthur in South West Victoria.

Winners:

  • U/6 Mixed: Jarven Hume (Healsville)
  • U/10 Girls: Sapphira Mobourne (Latrobe Valley)
  • U/10 Boys: Isaac Boney (Hamilton)
  • U/13 Girls: Fenella Collins (Pt Leo)
  • U/13 Boys: Donshay Bonney (Hamilton)
  • U/16 Girls: Amber Harrison (Lakes Entrance)
  • U/16 Boys: Zade Kennedy (Geelong)
  • U/18 Girls: Sonya Graham (Geelong)
  • U/18 Boys: Aaron Wunungmurra (Melbourne)
  • Open Women: Corrina Eccles (Torquay)
  • Open Men: Jordie Campbell (Sandy Point)
  • Masters Women: Corrina Eccles (Torquay)
  • Masters Men: Rhys Collins (Pt Leo)

Story adapted from Surfing Victoria's media release.

Find out more

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet supported the surf titles through the Safety and Wellbeing programme.

The titles were presented by VicHealth and Play It Safe by the Water and supported by Wathaurong Co-Op, Wathaurong Glass, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, CFMEU, Parks Victoria, Strong Brother Strong Sister, Department of Justice, ONABAC, Cancer Council Sunscreen, Strapper, Modom, Patagonia, VACSAL, Surf Coast Bin Hire and Farm Foods.

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