Twenty-eight-year old Glenn “Micro’ Hall racked up his first win on the world surfing tour today when he defeated South African Brandon Jackson to claim the $US85000 Association of Surfing Professionals 4-star Burton Toyota Pro at Merewether beach in Newcastle.
The Umina (New South Wales) surfer, who competes under an Irish passport for ease of competing in European surfing competitions, contested his first ever world tour event at Newcastle 14 years ago when he was just a grommet with a dream.
“I won $300 here when I was 14 and convinced Mum to let me use it to enter the QS the next week. I stayed at Warren Smith’s house with Rhys and a heap of other groms. Newcastle has great memories for me,” he said.
And after today’s convincing win where Micro’s surfing ability was never in doubt, Newcastle will no doubt provide great plenty of great memories for the future too. After a week of mostly ordinary conditions affected by onshore winds and average surf, Merewether turned it on today with blue skies and offshore winds.
The morning offered clean 1-1.5 metre waves and provided contestants with the opportunity to get some of the best scores of the week. Thousands of locals and visitors descended onto Merewether to witness the final of the Burton Toyota Pro.
“I’ve never really been on the podium all that much and it’s a real honour to be here when I think about all the great surfers that have won this competition. Mark Richards has always been a hero to me and to have him here today when I won is just terrific,” he said.
Hall never looked in doubt once he’d etched a 9.17 on the final’s tally-sheet and his total of 16.67 ensured his South African opponent was always going to be struggling to better him. Jackson could only muster a 9.43.
“I was happy to make the final. This is a great start to my Aussie leg and well done to Glenn,” the Capetown surfer said.
Hall had to leave Newcastle almost immediately to get to Sydney airport and catch an evening flight to Perth to line up in the Margaret River Drug Aware Pro. He’s then off to Tasmania and then back to his Ireland base to compete on the European tour.
But Hall assured organisers he’d be back in 2011 to defend the title he won today. “Newcastle’s a great contest and great fun. I’ll be here for sure.”
The 2010 Burton Toyota Surfest (March 2-14) is based at Merewether beach in Newcastle, New South Wales. It has attracted more than 650 competitors from 12 different countries. The main event is the WQS 4-star $US85,000 Burton Toyota Pro (March 9-14).