Albany surfing veteran Paul Dupuy capped off a dazzling weekend by claiming top spot in the 2022 Wavefest open men’s division.
Albany Boardriders hosted the event at Nanarup point as south-westerly winds left the organisers with limited beach options.
There were 14 heats in the open men’s division on Saturday, including the quarterfinals, with the other finals taking place on the Sunday.
Dupuy pipped last year’s winner Daniel Bolt in a close final after more than 30 competitors tackled the waves across the two-day competition.
Dupuy is now a four-time winner of the event, also finishing first in last year’s over-50 division.
The veteran surfer said he was delighted with the win and predicted it might be his last taste of victory in the competition.
“Obviously Daniel (Bolt) won last year and the two other young blokes are very talented . . . I think I was pretty lucky to find a couple of good ones and get over the top of them,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be doing that again; it might be my last time I’d say because they’re just getting harder and harder to beat.
“They were tricky conditions really, but they were tricky for everyone, I think it was probably the right decision to have it at Nanarup given what was thrown at us.”
Last year’s winner Bolt (second), Zen Shepherd (third) and young gun Oscar Jol (fourth) rounded out the top four.
Jol, who hails from Victoria, made his debut in this year’s Wavefest and on top of finishing fourth, the promising talent won the award for “most outstanding manoeuvrerer” in the final.
Albany Boardriders president David Beeck finished ahead of Dupuy in the over-45 men’s division but could not replicate his success in the open men’s division.
“I had an absolute blitzer final in the over-45s and a few people said to all the guys in the open final, ‘lucky I wasn’t in that’,” he said.
“I was on song for about half an hour, I got four in a row to the beach, and ran around and jumped back in the rip and went back out the point.
“I was in sync but I got bombed out in the open men’s division in the semis.”
Meanwhile, talented young gun Sascha Roberts notched her first Wavefest win in the open women’s division, finishing ahead of Holly Minter, Sarah Shanahan and Gemma Moir in that order.
Roberts surfed exceptionally, pulling off several magnificent turns in an entertaining final against Minter.
Beeck said despite unfavourable conditions, it was still a hotly contested and successful edition of the event.
“It was still quite contestable surf and even though they weren’t perfect conditions, there was plenty of size and plenty of faces, it was definitely a success,” he said.
Dupuy, Gary Connell and Adam Wheeler finished second, third and fourth respectively behind Beeck in the over-45’s men’s division.
In the over-30 women’s division, Karina Hick took top spot, ahead of Sarah Shanahan, Vanessa Oostdam and Narelle Wakefield.
In the over-35 men’s division, Josh Coummans grabbed first place with Bolt, Matt Hick and Brendan Williams rounding out the top four.