Lennox Head's Mikey McDonagh took out the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. The competition forms part of the reinvigorated Australian Open of Surfing. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Lennox Head's Mikey McDonagh took out the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. The competition forms part of the reinvigorated Australian Open of Surfing. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Magic Mikey: Le-Ba maestro takes out Coffs Open

LENNOX Head's Mikey McDonagh has taken out the inaugural Coffs Harbour open, capping off a fantastic weekend of surfing.

McDonagh and Philippa Anderson (Merewether, NSW) won the stop six of the Australian Open of Surfing series after a day of exciting action in picturesque two-to-three foot conditions at Diggers Beach.

Hot off a win with his local Le-Ba Boardriders at the recent nudie Australian Boardriders Battle, McDonagh capped off a giant long weekend of massive results taking out the Open Men's division.

Lennox Head's Mikey McDonagh took out the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Lennox Head's Mikey McDonagh took out the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

 

McDonagh started off slow, only posting tiny scores in the opening stages of the heat, but was able to capitalise when punchy waves arose, notching up an 8.33 and 7.83 to post a decent 16.16 two-wave heat total.

Runner-up Chris Zaffis (Angourie, NSW) showed moments of flair in the heat, holding down the lead for portions of the final, but was pipped by McDonagh by a 0.53 point margin.

"It was a gigantic long weekend of surfing here in Coffs and I was pretty cooked yesterday from a giant day on Saturday at the Boardriders Battle, but I came here this morning pretty fired up to compete," McDonagh said.

Merewether's Philippa Anderson (second left) took out the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. She is pictured here with Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh, Ellia Smith (Coolum, Qld), Carly Shanahan and Bonnie Hills. The competition forms part of the reinvigorated Australian Open of Surfing. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Merewether's Philippa Anderson (second left) took out the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. She is pictured here with Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh, Ellia Smith (Coolum, Qld), Carly Shanahan and Bonnie Hills. The competition forms part of the reinvigorated Australian Open of Surfing. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

"After the first heat this morning, the conditions changed so much and I found that it really suited me as the heats went on. I'm just stoked to have taken this out."

Philippa Anderson showed she had copious amounts of experience surfing at a high-level, taking down her younger fancied competition in the Open Women's final.

Anderson made her mark on the final early in the exchange, posting a 7.67 and a 6.33 to take her two-wave heat total to 14.00.

Local surfers Bonnie Hills and Rosie Smart at the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Local surfers Bonnie Hills and Rosie Smart at the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

The seasoned competitor executed a handful of beautiful snaps on the tricky low-tide sandbank to gain the upper hand in the final and as a result, left her closest rival, runner-up Ellia Smith (Coolum Beach, Qld) needing a solid 7.94 wave score to take away her lead.

"After getting third-place finishes in the Cronulla Open and the Mattara event, it definitely feels good to get the win," Anderson said.

Angourie's Chris Zaffis came a close second at the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Angourie's Chris Zaffis came a close second at the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

 

"My coach and I had developed a game plan to get in two decent turns on a wave as I knew it was going to be a hard feat with the lower tide.

"Those younger girls definitely keep you on your toes, so I definitely wanted to get the win ahead of them."

The Coffs Harbour Open saw approximately 100 competitors surfing across the male and female divisions and formed the sixth of eight events on the Australian Open of Surfing Series.

Carly Shanahan at the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. The competition forms part of the reinvigorated Australian Open of Surfing. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW
Carly Shanahan at the inaugural Coffs Harbour Open at Diggers Beach. The competition forms part of the reinvigorated Australian Open of Surfing. Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Of the local contingent, Wooli ace Carly Shanahan came third in the Open Women, closely followed by Mullaway surfer Bonnie Hills in fourth.

It was a huge weekend for surfing in the region as Coffs Harbour also played host to the Australian Boardriders Battle North Coast finals on Saturday.


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