Champion, Bennett Top PBS Lighthouse Challenge

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Champion, Bennett Top PBS Lighthouse Challenge

Surfer Richard Champion came first in the open men category of the Pacific Building Solutions (PBS) Lighthouse Challenge in Suva yesterday. Also retaining her title was Hannah Bennett in the open women’s category.

Suva Reef Surfers Fiji official Blair Robertson said conditions were a little cloudy but rumours of a solid ground swell-filtered back from those already at the reef.

“Competitors arrived from all over Fiji with strong showings from Suva, Coral Coast and Nadi with many new faces among the junior competitors,” he said.

“It wasn’t long before a flotilla of boats was seen storming out to the reef to vie for the best viewing positions.”

He said while the wind was up and the seas choppy, this didn’t quell the enthusiasm of the surfers and spectators.

“The challenging conditions suited the sturdier built surfers; surfers that were able to slice through the choppy seas in full control of their boards.”

Robertson said it was a stronger contingent of junior surfers compared to last year; a great sign for future development.

A couple of local businesses including Latham Construction, Denis Millard– a volunteer anaesthetist and recognised surfing doctor, along with Fijian Surf Co, raised over $5000 for boards and equipment so the junior surfers are best equipped for the World Junior Titles in Japan.

He said a massive thanks to event sponsors: Pacific Building Solutions; Richard De Beer for supplying the catamaran Grazia for use as the judging boat and for housing the media representatives; Chair in the Air hammocks; and Donut King.

“With this kind of support the Fiji team will be well-positioned to take on the world in the upcoming International Surfing Association World Junior Titles 2017, and the 2020 Olympics beyond.

The World Junior team has just been announced: Api Camaro (15- years-old and 4th in the Open), Kalani Wakeham (15 and 4th in the Open), Kiesha Wakeman (11 and 3rd in the unisex under 16).

Fiji Sun, July 30, 2017

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