No matter how hard Ollie Hudson tried, he couldn't convince Mother Nature to flatten out the surf for five lousy minutes.
That was how close the 13-year-old came to progressing to the second round of the Port Macquarie NSW Open at Town Beach on November 14.
In 20 minutes, the teenager learned more than he had in numerous surf lessons leading up to the event - the fourth of an eight-event surf series held around NSW.
"I went better than I thought I was going to go; I caught a couple of waves and surfed my best," he said.
"It was amazing; it was a good experience getting to surf against guys that are a lot older than me.
"They paddle a lot faster and are stronger than me, but it was all worth it."
The Port Macquarie grommet was sitting in second position as the clock wound down, only for an inopportune set of waves to roll in and dash his hopes of making it to the next round.
"It made it more nerve-wracking knowing that a set would come through and the other guy in red could come through which did happen, but it was alright," Hudson said.
"Leading up to it I wasn't too nervous, I was really excited to get out there and surf with the older boys, but when I was coming second through the heat I got a bit shaky.
"There was five minutes left in my heat and I was just saying 'please go flat, please go flat' but it didn't happen unfortunately."
There was five minutes left in my heat and I was just saying 'please go flat, please go flat' but it didn't happen unfortunately.Ollie Hudson
While a second-round berth escaped him, he managed to win a week's worth of chocolate milkshakes courtesy of winning a bet against father Wayne.
Mr Hudson finished fourth in his heat, while his teenage son managed third.
"He went a lot better than his father surfed this morning so he's got one over me and it probably won't be the last one he gets over me," Mr Hudson said.
"He knows he can compete and stay in the fight for three-quarters of the heat so now he just needs to develop his skills, his power and confidence.
"It's a great start."
The 13-year-old showed enough in a heat against some of Australia's best surfers that he possesses the attributes to compete on the surfing tour in coming years.
"He'll develop his technique with coaching and if he's scoring four-point rides as a 13-year-old, as he ages and develops, he'll progress to fives, sixes and sevens," Mr Hudson said.
"He needed a five and next year you would expect him to be at that level so dedication is the key."
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