SOME of the world’s best longboarders will be battling it out this weekend in the 20th annual Whalebone Longboard Classic at Cottesloe’s “Isolators” reef break.
The Whalebone competition is the sixth stop on the World Longboarding Tour featuring pro riders as well as men’s and women’s divisions from under 18’s through to over 60’s.
The Whalebone Classic started in 1997 when Cottesloe local Peter Dunn discovered a
whalebone immersed in the surf at Isolators reef and hosted a longboarding competition in memory of the whale’s spirit.
Twenty years later, the competition has grown to become a much-loved tradition with the local and international riders.
A wide range of talented longboarders will gather at Isolators this Friday to Sunday including reigning Whalebone Champion, Taylor Jensen from America, who is returning to defend his title.
Japan’s Natsumi Taoka who claimed first place at stop number one on the tour in March this year, is also set to attend and will compete against Cottesloe local and four-time whalebone champion, Georgia Young.
Young’s experience at her local break should give her a competitive edge, but she said she is confident the competition will bring good vibes no matter what the result.
“The vibe in incredible, such a great social atmosphere,” Young said.
“Everyone gets together to enjoy the live music and surf. I'm always proud of the way that everyone welcomes the international and interstate competitors.
“This competition attracts the best longboarders in the world, we have had multiple Australian and world champions showcasing the highest level of our sport.
“It's a really great opportunity for West Australian longboarders to fine tune their skills against the best,” she said.
With competitors ranging from age 15 through 68, even the most junior competitor Jacob McIvor agreed the community and camaraderie of the event is an attraction for competitors across the board.
“There is a great camaraderie between the older guys, they are always willing to give me tips and to encourage my surfing,” McIvor said.
The Whalebone Classic is one-of-ten professional longboarding events globally, with Cottesloe the second of two Australian events,
with the other being held in March at Kingscliff in New South Wales.
Thursday will have a solid three-metre swell and SW winds with similar conditions on Friday but a larger 3.5m swell.
The winds shift into the south-south-westerly on Saturday and 2.8m swell while Sunday looks the best with light offshore ENE winds and a fun 1.7m swell.
3 Bears on Sunday.