Waves caught in honour of mate

The inaugural John’s Joke Legend surf competition was held on Sunday May 29 at Port MacDonnell to honour local surfer and beloved community member John Hunt.

Hunt discovered the surf spot named ‘John’s Joke’ near Port MacDonnell over 50 years ago.

As legend would have it he was always out there surfing, but his friends laughed and thought the spot was a joke creating its infamous name.

The event was attended by 46 competitors all of whom knew Hunt before his unexpected passing four years ago.

The day was made up of three classes: the men’s division, women’s division and an all-craft final which was a highlight of the day according to contest director Jeremy Ievins.

“The all-craft final was made up of people who do not surf on standard boards such as kneeboarders, wave ski riders and body boarders,” he said.

“Generally, you never have a competition where that group of people are all in the water together in a free for all.

“They all put so much effort into their sport which made for an entertaining performance for spectators.

“The Hunt family judged this division, getting them involved in the competition, which was the whole point of the day.”

In the all-craft final Scotty Maxwell scored first place on his standup paddle board while kneeboarders Phil Riley and Craig Smith powered themselves into second and third place.

Wade Gyns paddled home with first place in the men’s division and Darcy Crouch – who first came up with the idea for the competition – finished in second place, in front of third and fourth place winners Andre Carison and Ben Jones.

The women’s division was won by Bec Hall with Anna Whitehead finishing second and Zariah Fulham and Neel Eastough grinding it out for third and fourth place respectively.

Also worthy of mention was Max Lockwood who was the highest placed under 25-year-old and recipient of Best Wipeout Gavin Clarke.

Long-time family friend Andrew Ripper won the lucky door prize- a repaired and redecorated board made by Hunt – much to the delight of the Hunt family.

Ievins said it felt like John’s spirit was there on the day.

“The weather has been terrible lately, but it was a really perfect day with no rain and it felt like it was John blessing us with the ideal weather,” he said.

“The competition showed character for what John was all about and the person he was.

“It was excellent, pretty much everyone who was there said it was an enjoyable day.

“The community spirit at the event was palpable with people travelling from as far away as Sydney to make it on the day.”

Ievins said he would like to thank the Hunt family for their support of the event and the many businesses, sponsors and volunteers who contributed.

- Buying, renting or selling? Don't go past -