Coolangatta surfing sensation Luke Dorrington rests atop of his throne as the new ‘King of Cooly’ after taking out the prestigious Rip Curl MP Classic title at Duranbah Beach today. In its sixth year, the $5000 tournament honours Gold Coast surfing legend Michael ‘MP’ Peterson, who was without doubt the greatest competitive surfer of the 1970’s.
In the absence of defending titleholder Dave Reardon-Smith (Yaroomba, Qld) and three time winner Shaun Gossmann (Snapper Rocks, Qld), the stylish natural footer registered his first professional surfing victory since his Australian Grommet title win in 2000. “It’s about time I won a contest,” he said.
“I knew I had half an hour so I didn’t have to rush to get my scoring waves. I went down the beach and sat by myself and picked the right ones….I’m stoked to do it at home in front of my friends and family.”
Trailing behind foe’s; Matt Hoar (Currumbin), Chris Friend (Maroochydore) and Jock Barnes (Lennox Head) for most of the 30-minute final, Dorrington waited to the 20th minute to post the final’s highest individual wave score, a super impressive 8.25 ride. He sealed the deal with a 7.00 point ride in the final two minutes to finish with a heat total of 15.25 (out of a possible twenty) to Hoar’s 15.1.
In doing so, Dorrington walked away with a $2,000 winner’s cheque as well as a personally signed surfboard by MP himself. Executing a procession of full-power cutbacks, 21-year-old Dorrington bared a distinct resemblance to the legendary MP, who set the standard for performance surfing.
A still of MP frozen mid-cutback remains one of surfing’s most classic images. “ A lot of great surfers have won this event,” he said. “I’m just stoked to have my name on the list with them.” Sunshine Coast’s Chris Friend (12.7) and Lenox Head’s Jock Barnes (10.75) finished third and fourth respectively.
Although falling short of the winner’s dias, Friend walked away with the Tracks Rising Star Award for being the highest placed junior (under 18) competitor. Surfing Australia’s Team Australia Selection Camp utilised the tournament as the perfect battleground for selecting the Australian Team to compete at the ISA World Junior Championships in Portugal in May, 2007.
An 80-strong field of World Qualifying Series (WQS) hopefuls, rising junior stars and contest savvy internationals (South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia) donned competition rash vests to pay tribute to the iconic surfing star. The two day specialty tournament ran from Saturday 3rd February through to Sunday 4th February, 2007. The ‘07 Rip Curl MP Classic is mobile from Kirra through to Duranbah Beach.