With the early Sunday morning sky blanketed by a thick grey cloud and the wind howling into Wategos Beach from the north, folks were skeptical to say the least! Nonetheless our invitees to the 2018 McTavish Trim trickled in throughout the morning with stoked grins from ear to ear, and by the time they’d all signed on and collected their tees the clouds had parted, and the sun was well and truly saturating the bay.
For our third year running we gathered the Trimmers for the group portrait and quickly realised just how incredible this lineup was. As the biggest Trim to date we had a field of 18 Trimmers - featuring 9 of our favourite female surfers and 9 of our favourite male surfers from all across the globe. We had an eclectic bunch and knew that regardless of the conditions awaiting them we would be in for a spectacular show.
The event kicked off at 9am and our first talent-packed heat hit the water. Jared Mell took the first win of the day with an incredible 362m wave in Heat 1 - Wispy landing shy with a 341m to snag 2nd place as they both progressed to the final later in the day. Next up in Heat 2 Alex Knost trimmed his way to victory with his 360m ride over second place getter Bryce Young – who trimmed a respectably lengthy 348m. Accompanying them in the final was California’s own Kassia Meador (371m), and Gold Coast Golden Girl Ivy Thomas (353m) progressing from Heat 3. Kassia wound up all the way down on the rocks in the far corner of the beach during her winning ride, clocking up the longest wave of the entire day. Heat 3 also saw the arrival of a mystery masked bandit hover-trimming high above the waterline across the bay! Byron local and soft-top shredder Ari Browne had snuck his Foil into the lineup and put on an incredible display, proving just how far you can trim without a big board!
Soon enough the 6 trim finalists lined up on the beach to duke it out for the coveted ‘Doyen of Trim’ title. Knost got the jump on the Le Mans style running start and quickly nabbed Jared’s beloved twin-fin glider that he shaped with Bob last year, the spirit if the Trim was in full swing!! The stoke level in the water was high as the Trimmers waited for the right wave to roll through. Alex and Jared were going wave for wave, swapping boards in between, one-upping each other by a few metres each time as they exchanged the lead. In knee high waves, and with the aim to simply go as far up the beach as possible, it was incredible to see the entire crowd on the edge of their seats during the final, cheering on as each contestant stepped off their vessels onto the sand (or occasionally onto the dry rocks). "We pretty much ran out of sand when Alex, Wispy, Jared and Kassia got furthest up the beach" said Bob. In the end it was Alex Knost who took out the event with a wave that carried him all the way into the far corner of the beach where he sat perched on his borrowed McTavish on top of the rocks, clocking up a 347m wave. Wispy then snagged a late buzzer-beater to narrowly out-trim Jared and secure 2nd position with a 344m ride, a mere 2 metres further along the beach than Mell’s best 342m wave.
The crowd rejoiced, and it was noted as not only the biggest Trim so far, but also the best!! A huge thanks to all our invited Trimmers, to the Byron Bay Surf Festival crew for hosting us, and to all the fans who came down to take in the spectacle that is the McTavish Trim! See you all in 2019.
1st Place - Doyen of Trim - Alex Knost – 347m
2nd Place - Devotee of Trim - Christian ‘Wispy’ Barker – 344m
3rd Place - Disciple of Trim - Jared Mell – 342m
Photography by Hunter Thomson, Dave Thew, Jess Parkes and Matt Ireland