:: Cam Relaxed Before The Snowy
Local Lifeguard and 9 times Manly Mal Club Champion Cameron Gray has won the coveted "Snowy" a couple of times before. With a world-class field and some young guns coming through the ranks, it'll be a tough ran to the finals this weekend. We catch up for a chat with Cam before the 25th Snowy McAlister.
MF: Any special preparations ahead of the contest this weekend mate?
CG: I love the "hour of power" on a Friday arvo by I'm going to give myself a red card today and not go anywhere near headquarters (The Round Bar at The Steyne). I have too much fun down there (laughs). I always think I'll just have one more and then all of a sudden it's too late. I can't do it like I used too do it.
MF: The Snowy is in memory of CJ "Snowy" McAlister a Manly original, what does Snowy mean to Surfing Manly.
CG: If I think of Snowy well he's like one of the pioneering surfers in Manly, probably the Northern Beaches. But I just love that at the first boardriding contest he went in up at Newcastle, he caught a wave in and there were all these people on the same wave and he wanted to do something different. So, he stood on his head and took it all the way to the beach and the judges came up and shook his hand while he was still upside down and said "well done, Mr McAlister you've won the contest standing on your head" (laughs). So he was an innovator and obviously loved a laugh!
MF: You're a 9 time Manly Mal Club Champion, this is your home break, how are you feeling about the contest?
CG: You always think you might have a bit of an advantage at your home break but when the surf changes every single day I think it's fair game. Especially with this line up. It's not like your surfing against people with not much ability, they're all really good competitors.
MF: We've had a few waves over the last couple of days and you've been surfing the contest bank, how's it shaping up out there?
CG: It's hard to say. It's saying the waves are getting small but the wave period is getting longer. I just reckon it'll be 3-4 foot over the weekend which will be pretty good contest conditions. The banks are pretty good now but if the swell goes around to the South might get a bit straight. But anything can happen.
MF: What's your take on the new log category?
CG: I think it's a good thing. Well it's a bit more arty, it's a bit more old school and that's where longboarding started and that's how these new guys are riding their logs and its great to keep that tradition alive. It's great that there's some prize money up for these guys because they're going to get recognised along with the pros.
MF: There's been some criticism recently that the Log Division has been judged just like performance surfing just on heavy single fins. Have you taken a look at this years judging criteria?
CG: Nah I keep meaning to but I keep forgetting to check that out. I dare say that they won't be judging it like a pro division, that'd be just stupid. I'm guessing they'll be judging it on traditional surfing, I guess like an Old Mal division.
MF: Thanks for your time mate and good luck on the weekend - we'll be cheering for ya!