Winter has been long and cold, tans have faded, bellies have grown and it’s getting harder and harder to get up in the morning for training. BUT FEAR NOT, SUMMER IS ON THE WAY and the Summer of Surf aint far behind.
But before we can move forward, we need to look back at the 2022/23 Shaw and Partners Summer of Surf season and recap what we learnt from one of the best seasons the sport has ever seen.
Build it and they will come.
Record numbers at Manly, boys going “hand to hand on the sand” at Alex and more broken hearts than a Taylor Swift record – The Summer of Surf set the stage but the athletes must work for amazon…. Cos they delivered.
It’s only going to get better this time around.
If you think you can pick winners, you can’t.
I thought I knew who was going to win every round and even the overall series before the season started….. but as usual the Shaw and Partners Summer of Surf manages to throw out upset after upset; Stats wise the favourites won 9% of the time… don’t ask who did the numbers…
The kids are coming, and you better watch out.
The masses spoke and the SOS crew listened, the Junior format, prizes and competition needed more support and this summer they’re going to get it. Racing junior irons in the main arena was always special but this summer looks like its going to be even bigger for the Next Generation of superstars…
And with names like Rayward, Maggs, Waller, Brennan and Te Pania on the way, the futures so bright we have to wear shades.
To win the MVP, you can’t just be an allrounder, you’ve got to be young and hungry…. Or Dani McKenzie.
The men’s MVP race ended up looking like the Northcliffe club championships… But it was the young boys leading the way on top with a couple of the Morris Boys followed by Joe Collins then probably 3 or 4 Morris boys (who knows) but the point is you have to race everywhere and in everything if you want to be the MVP – and that’s easier if you’re young and hungry, rather than a seasoned vet like your Bevilacqua’s, Day, Louis and Taylor.
Or as I said in the heading just be the supremely talented and chronically underrated Kiwi Danielle McKenzie.
Winning a title is hard, defending your title is next level.
Just Northcliffe’s Hannah Sculley in the women’s board and North Bondi’s Noah Havard in the Men’s ski were able to go back to back and defend their overall titles last summer; with the increase in prizemoney and extra rounds this year it’s going to even tougher for the defending champs to hold onto the crown. My prediction is only one of this year’s winners is still on the top step in February.
Go out hard and hold on….
All the Summer of Surf series champions, except Courtney Hancock in the Ironwoman, finished on the podium in the season opener at Woolgoolga in late 2022. (Courtney didn’t race there for the record).
You have to get off the line fast if you want to be the champ.
To win a bonus, you must be better than good.
Only one $25,000 bonus was paid out last summer to the princess of the pool Lani Pallister, after she claimed 5 wins from 5 starts, which is phenomenal.
The Alex Heads superfish is also THE WORLD CHAMPION over 400, 800 and 1500…
My vote is she races the boys next year and wins $100 for every man she beats.
The point is in this sport, in that surf and with this level of competition and prizemoney on the line, collecting a bonus is almost impossible if you’re not an all time great; BUT there is a chance.
Stay tuned for our next segment of the Call where Josh breaks down “How to win a title.”