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Hunter Johnston wins Aussie title on the Sunshine Coast


Hunter Johnston wins Aussie title on the Sunshine Coast

July 21, 2022

By Grace Knight

Messy conditions and a scoring accident nearly robbed Hunter Johnston of victory in the Men’s Open Longboard final of the 2022 Australian Uni Games of Surfing last week.

The Bond University student had an undefeated run in the race at Coolum Beach, impressing with his smooth style, but a disparity on his final lap gave Sunshine Coast local Riley Thomson the win.

“It was quite an interesting final to say the least. When the horn blew the Sunshine Coast, college student Riley Thomson was actually called the winner until they called a judgment gap after a wave of mine was mis-scored by one judge,” Johnston said.

“I was really confused because I just caught a really good wave that I thought would have definitely put me in the lead.”

Two judges scored Johnston’s standout wave a 7.5 and an 8.5 (out of 10), but the third judge gave a 3.5. Because of this discrepancy, Hunter’s wave was re-evaluated in accordance with Surfing Australia’s rulebook and Hunter was crowned the winner.

Johnston dominated his final with the highest total score of the competition, a 13.9 (out of 20).

“Despite the hairy finish in the final, the whole event was just a true display of the spirit of surfing. Just having fun with your friends, catching waves, and supporting each other,” Hunter said.

“We had really average surf conditions, so I just wanted to surf as best I could with what I got,” said Hunter.

One of the most anticipated parts of the Uni Games of Surfing is the ‘teams challenge’. In this event, five surfers from each university participate in a tag team surf.

This challenge brings a special sense of camaraderie and team spirit to a sport that is generally regarded as an individual pursuit.

Hunter was one of only two Bond students to compete in the Uni Games this year, meaning there weren’t enough surfers to form an official team.

“It’s a real shame we haven’t been able to get more Bond students for the event this year,” said Hunter.

“Other universities like UQ had huge numbers and such a great team spirit, so I hope in the coming years we can get more participants for Bond to take part in this fun event.”

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