Stab Magazine | Ethan Ewing Wins The Burleigh Single Fin Festival

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Ethan Ewing Wins The Burleigh Single Fin Festival

Ethan snatches the trophy from two time winner and one time World Champ, Joel Parkinson.

news // Jan 12, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Regardless of surf quality, the Burleigh Single Fin Festival is always going to be a good time. Last year we were fortunate enough to cop a head high swell and decent banks, but despite the marginally worse conditions, this year was still a two-day blast. 

As the final started it looked as if Joel Parkinson might have gone back-to-back, but the recently re-qualified Ethan Ewing pipped him to the post and took home the number one spot come the final horn. Ethan copping a 7.27 and a 6.33 back-up was too much for the World Champ to catch up with a pair of 6’s. 

“The surf wasn’t pumping, but it picked up and started to get fun as the tide ran out in the afternoon.” Harrison Roach told Stab from Burleigh point.

“I was stoked to make the quarters, it’s a fun day regardless of the surf and how you go yourself. “

The final wasn’t exactly a two sided affair, Mitch Crews, Louie Hynde, Liam O’Brien, and Oney Anwar were all within striking distance, but the high-performance ability and classic style of both Ethan and Joel was too much to tackle at the day’s end. 

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Ethan Ewing relishing the win.

“By the end of the day you could really see the difference between how Parko and Ethan surf those boards compared to other guys.” Harrison continued. “It wasn’t just that his board was dialled, or more suited to performance surfing, he and Ethan know how to surf those types of boards. You can’t force it, and when you do it’s pretty obvious.

“Ethan and Joel surfed those boards how they’re meant to be surfed. Joel was riding the same board as last year—a single with channel bottoms—and Ethan’s board also looked great under his feet.”

In addition to the men’s heats, the women also took a more stylish approach to the waist-high grinders on the point. The final was a six person affair, but from the first wave onwards it was clear that Dimity Stoyle’s approach was likely to be unchallenged. Riding the first wave for a 6.50 and accepting a 5.83 later in the heat Dimity put herself well ahead of the group and was nearly three points ahead of second placed Felicity Palmateer at conclusion. 

“Dimity had a sort of classic approach.” Harrison continued. “She wasn’t forcing anything and rode stylishly. I wasn’t judging, but it stood out.”

The waves obviously weren’t ideal, but Dimity had enough class to make her way through and win the final.


Occy prepping the final winning craft.

The juniors, despite having little experience with these pre-80’s craft received some of the highest scores for the final. Ty Richo came out on top with a total of 15.83—the highest score of the day—and only just nudged past second placed Toi Tanaka. Prior to watching you would imagine that these under 18’s would be inexperienced with pre-85′ craft and struggle without that added drive, but clearly the youth aren’t entirely disengaged from the sport’s roots. There mightn’t have been any air reverses, which typically dominate grom comps, but the surfing was entertaining nonetheless.

In contrast to the groms, the Burleigh Single Fin Fest also held a heritage heat. Stacked with Mark Occhilupo, Brad Gerlach, Guy Ormerod, Luke Egan, Brendan ‘Margo’ Margieson, and Peter Harris, it was always going to be a tight affair. But despite smallish swell, the 53-year old Occy brought his backhand to the point and put his competitors behind from the first wave. 

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Parko milking the point for all its worth.

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Ethan persisting right to the shore in the earlier rounds.

Getting a 6.93 and a 7.40 for a flurry of backhand wipers and carves proved why Occy is the ’99 World Champion and why he’s still a favourite of ours to watch.

After the event wrapped, both competitors and spectators resorted to the point for a few tins and some live entertainment.

“Burleigh point is busy on the an average day, so it’s easy to imagine what today was like.” Harrison told Stab. “There was a cool collection of people from different backgrounds too. You have your active-wear wearing girls, muscle dudes, and then the typical sort of surf scene. They all gel together well but and it’s nice to see everyone just having a good time without any cliques.” 

“I just peeled out for a bit but the party is still going now.” Harrison continued. “It’s one of the best days at Burleigh, regardless of what the waves are like.”

Next year the same will be happening again, and if you weren’t there this time we recommend you make an appearance the following year. Even if you don’t watch the surfing, there’s nothing to complain about when sinking a few tins to live music on the Gold Coast’s finest point.


The point filling in post-event.


The eventual event winner, Ethan Ewing. Hopefully this is a premonition of his year to come on the CT.


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