Six new State Champions have been crowned in powerful surf at Flat Rocks, south of Geraldton in an exciting conclusion to the Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart.
Western Australia's newest breed of surfing stars lit up the Batavia coastline over the weekend, battling through testing conditions in hopes of claiming a prestigious State Title and representing WA at the Surf Dive ‘n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Margaret River in December.
Utilising two separate locations in as many days, Geraldton provided some great options as a large groundswell battered WA over the weekend. Surfers who could adapt the varying conditions and breaks put themselves in the best position taste triumph.
Margaret River’s Finn Cox captured his maiden Under-18 State Championship Title with victory in the blue-ribbon Junior Boys final. Cox found the best waves like a bee finds nectar, posting an impressive two-wave combined total of 15.00 (from a possible 20), which included an 8.25 and 6.75 (from a possible 10).
Cox’s razor sharp backhand attack, left close mate Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) chasing a 7.51 for the win. Jack Mickle (Trigg) and George Simpson (Gracetown) impressed surfing up an age division to finish third and fourth respectively.
“I’m stoked to have won and to be the State Champ is the cherry on top. Flat Rocks is such a fun comp wave,” said Cox. “I’m looking forward to surfing the Aussie Titles at home in Margaret River it’s going to be sick.”
Red Bluff’s Coral Durant was arguably the standout surfer of the event, oozing a new confidence in her surfing and offering up an improved menu of manoeuvres on her way the top of the podium in the Under-18 Junior Girls.
Displaying power and grace, Durant dropped a heat high score of 8.50 (from a possible 10) and finished on a combined two-wave total of 13.00 (from a possible 20), edging out Emma Cattlin (Yallingup), Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River) and Mylee Grant (Geraldton).
“I’m really happy with the win and finish the series off with a bang is great,” said Durant. “I’ve just been surfing a lot and I’d like to thank Mike McAuliffe for all his help and support.”
Although finishing in second place, Emma Cattlin defended her Under-18 Girls State Championship Title, with a consistent performance and top three finishes in Margaret River, Mandurah and Geraldton.
“It feels really good to be State Champ again, it was really tight between Coral and I and I think I let the pressure get to me a little bit,” said Cattlin. “But I’m just happy to surf in good waves today and have a home National Titles will be amazing as well.”
The Under-16 Cadet Boys final was a pleasure to watch, with some critical and flashy surfing offered up by all four finalists.
Dylan Vernon (Yallingup) shone brightest during the 25-minute final, scoring a combined total 16.40 (from a possible 20), to take down in form surfers Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown), Jack Mickle (Trigg) and George Simpson (Gracetown).
Vernon displayed hallmarks of a champion, dropping an excellent 8.90 and backing it up with a 7.50 for flawless top to bottom backhand surfing.
“This is place is really fun and I can’t wait to surf at my first Australian Junior Titles,” said Vernon.
A third place finish for Jack Mickle combined with his win at the opening event of the series saw him claim a hard fought maiden State Championship by the narrowest of margins over Solomon Pogue-Englert.
“I can’t really believe it to be honest, I’m so excited and happy with my performance,” said Mickle.
In other results from the weekend, Willow Hardy (Margaret River) showed he’s continuing to improve at an exciting rate, winning the Under-16 Cadet Girls final. Picking off great waves and using her powerful rail game to full effect, taking down Shekya Hagan (Geraldton), Lilli Cox (Margaret River), and Milla Clifford (Margaret River).
“I’m so excited to have won and it’s been a really fun event with some great waves,” said Hardy. “It’s been great to surf in two divisions and compete against all the girls who have been ripping.”
Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) was a popular winner in the hotly contested Under-14 Grommet Boys division, overcoming some of WA’s rising stars to win a well-earned State Championship Title.
Flynn used his precise and high speed backhand turns to post a combined total of 12.95 (from a possible 20) leaving Cruz Sheridan (Gracetown), Maverick Wilson (Wannanup) and Jesse Seidmiogrodzki (City Beach) leaving good-to-excellent scores to change the result.
“It’s great to have surfed a fun final and come away on top,” said Flynn. “It’s going to be great fun having the Aussie’s in WA this year I can’t wait.”
Ruby Berry (Augusta) was over the moon to win her first State Title with victory in the Under-14 Grommet Girls division. Surfing with maturity beyond her years, Berry was pushed all the way by a pack of exciting young female surfers including Willow Hardy (Margaret River), Isi Campbell (Denmark) and Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River).
Okie Fraser (Margaret River) claimed his first win at State level competition, winning the Under-12 Micro Groms division. Fraser couldn't wipe the smile off his face with a close fought win over Maverick Wilson (Wannanup), Remy North (Yallingup) and Ace Flynn (Cowaramup).
“This is a day I’m not going to forget for a while,” said Fraser, “I’m really happy and want to thank my mum and dad for all their help.”
Maverick Wilson (Mandurah) claimed back-to-back Micro-Grom State Titles with a super consistent campaign that included a win and two seconds from the three event series.
“After three great events in Margaret River, Mandurah and here in Geraldton, after hundreds of heats and thousands of waves ridden, I’d like to congratulate our 2019 WA Junior Champions and wish them the best of luck on home soil in Margaret River this year," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. “This event has certainly shown the depth of talent we have in WA at the moment and we look forward to preparing the WA Junior Surfing Team for the Surf Dive ‘n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles.”
The upcoming SunSmart School Surfing Titles will provide surfers from metropolitan and regional WA the opportunity to compete in a team and represent their school and their state at the National Titles in inter school divisions.
Future Australian surfing champions will receive further help to ride the wave to success, with Woolworths expanding its commitment to the sport to include Surfing Australia’s six affiliated State branches Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles, with 18 events to be run nationally across 6 States in 2019/20.
Stay tuned to www.surfingwa.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the event.
FINAL RESULTS - WA JUNIOR SURFING TITLES - ROUND # 3 GERALDTON
Under-12 Micro Groms:
1. Okie Fraser (Margaret River) – 10.65
2. Maverick Wilson (Wannnup) – 10.25
3. Remy North (Yallingup) – 8.50
4. Ace Flynn (Cowaramup) – 0.00
2019 State Champion – Maverick Wilson
Under-14 Grom Girls:
1. Ruby Berry (Augusta) – 12.15
2. Willow Hardy (Margaret River) – 10.75
3. Isi Campbell (Denmark) – 7.70
4. Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River) – 7.25
2018 State Champion – Ruby Berry
Under-14 Grom Boys:
1. Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) – 12.95
2. Cruz Sheridan (Gracetown) – 9.35
3. Maverick Wilson (Wannanup) – 9.20
4. Jesse Seidmiogrodzki (City Beach) – 8.60
2019 State Champion – Macklin Flynn
Under-16 Cadet Girls:
1. Willow Hardy (Margaret River) – 13.00
2. Shekya Hagan (Geraldton) – 10.60
3. Lilli Cox (Margaret River) – 7.45
4. Milla Clifford (Margaret River) – 4.90
2019 State Champion – Zali Hewson
Under-16 Cadet Boys:
1. Dylan Vernon (Yallingup) – 16.40
2. Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown) – 13.50
3. Jack Mickle (Trigg) – 12.30
4. George Simpson Gracetown) – 11.50
2019 State Champion – Jack Mickle
Under-18 Junior Girls:
1. Coral Durant (Red Bluff) – 13.00
2. Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) – 11.50
3. Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River) – 11.15
4. Mylee Grant (Geraldton) – 7.25
2019 State Champion – Emma Cattlin
Under-18 Junior Boys:
1. Finn Cox (Margaret River) – 15.00
2. Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) – 12.45
3. Jack Mickle (Trigg) – 12.40
4. George Simpson (Gracetown) – 10.75
2019 State Champion – Finn Cox