TRIGG BEACH, WA/AUS (Monday 29th April 2019), Over 100 of Western Australia's best young surfing stars have shone brightly in small, challenging, but highly contestable waves at Pyramids Beach, south of Mandurah over the weekend at the second stop of the Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart.
Pyramids provided 1-2 feet (0.5-1.0m) peaks that allowed boys and girls aged between 8 and 17 years of age to display a full array of high performance manoeuvres across all seven divisions that the water.
A star-studded field of competitors converged from all corners of the state to compete, but it was Peel locals and surfers from the South-West that dominated, winning six of the seven divisions on offer across the weekend.
Surfers battled hard for their chance to represent WA at the Surf Dive ‘N Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles scheduled to take place in Margaret River in December.
Margaret River's Finn Cox surfed with speed and precision, taking out the blue ribbon Under-18 Junior Boys final. A razor sharp backhand attack saw Cox post a combined total of 14.83 (from a possible 20), claiming victory ahead of Jahnu Packer (Gracetown), Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) and Aidan Flynn (Cowaramup).
“It's a great confidence boost to win here in tough conditions,” said Cox. “I'm off to Costa Rica for the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final next month so it's great to get a win under the belt before heading away.”
Yallingup's Emma Cattlin overcame a painful Cobbler sting to capture victory in the Under-18 Junior Girls division. Finding the two best waves on offer during the final, Cattlin posted a competitive combined total of 12.84 (from a possible 20), to take down Coral Durant (Red Bluff), Zali Hewson (Margaret River) and Maddie Cawood (Margaret River).
“I'm so stoked to take the win today,” said Cattlin. “The waves were definitely testing, but to win any event ahead of tough opposition is always rewarding, I'm definitely looking forward to this years Aussie Titles, but I'm just taking it one event at a time.”
Jake Hagan (Geraldton) used powerful carves and stylish top turns to win the Under-16 Cadet Boys final. In arguably the most hotly contested division of the event, Hagan's two-wave combined total of 15.60 (from a possible 20) was enough to take down three inform surfers; Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown), Danny Benedetti (Margaret River) and Jack Mitchell (Margaret River), who were all left chasing excellent scores to snatch victory off Hagan.
“It feels pretty good to have a win,” said Hagan. “I surf waves like this back home in Geraldton a bit so I felt pretty confident out there, thanks to the boys for a great heat.”
Margaret River's Zali Hewson was too strong in the Under-16 Cadet Girls division, winning the final on the strength of her two-wave total of 12.00 (from a possible 20). The win was Hewson second of the series and saw her capture the first State Championship for 2019. Hewson triumphed over Skyla Tothill (Margaret River), Willow Hardy (Margaret River) and Isi Campbell (Denmark).
“I'm so happy to have won the State Title,” said Hewson. “To know I've done enough to make the State Team which is really cool and I can't wait to compete at Nationals in my hometown in December.”
Maverick Wilson (Wannanup) proved he's a star on the rise, winning the Under-14 Grommet Boys and Under-12 Micro Groms division in an impressive performance on his home break. Wilson took down Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup), Otis North (Yallingup) and his brother Phoenix Wilson (Wannanup) in the Under-14 Boys final.
While Wilson was too good for Ace Flynn (Cowaramup), Remy North (Yallingup) and Okie Fraser (Margaret River) in the Under-12 Micro Groms final.
“I've been away in Bali surfing all school holidays so it was strange surfing with a wetsuit on and with all this seaweed” said Wilson. “I'm happy the waves turned up for finals day and I'm stoked to put in a good performance on local break.”
In other results from the weekend, Ruby Berry (Augusta) won the Under-14 Grommet Girls division, using her competition smarts to edge out Isi Campbell (Denmark), Willow Hardy (Margaret River) and Paige Sanders (Mandurah). Berry surfed a smart heat in a slow final to win on a combined total of 8.74 (from a possible 20).
“I was a bit nervous out there,” said Berry. “None of us could find a good wave and anyone could have won it if they found a good one, so I'm really relieved to come away with the win.”
Surfing Western Australia’s Events Manager Justin Majeks acknowledged the efforts of all the competitors, parents, officials and supporters who made the weekend a resounding success.
“It’s been another great opportunity to watch some of the awesome young talent that is emerging here in WA,” said Majeks. “The waves at Pyramids have really brought out the best in some of our young chargers and I’d like to congratulate our all winners and finalists for their efforts.”
All attentions now turn to the third and final event of the Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart, which will be head north to Geraldton on the 20th - 21st July.
This event will decide the remaining State Championship Titles as well as the final positions for the WA Junior Surfing Team, who will take on the best junior surfers in the country in Margaret River in December.
Woolworths are committed to encouraging healthy eating habits amongst Aussie kids and gave away over 25 million pieces of free fruit last year as part of their free fruit for kids program.
For more information on this or any other WA event be sure to log onto www.surfingwa.com.au and check out all the Surfing WA social media platforms for event updates and information.
Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles - Round # 2 Final Results:
Under 12 Micro Groms:
1. Maverick Wilson (Wannanup) - 12.17
2. Ace Flynn (Cowaramup) - 8.77
3. Remy North (Yallingup) - 8.67
4. Okie Fraser (Margaret River) - 7.86
Under 14 Grom Girls:
1. Ruby Berry (Augusta) - 8.74
2. Isi Campbell (Denmark) - 6.33
3. Willow Hardy (Margaret River) - 6.17
4. Paige Sanders (Mandurah) - 5.40
Under 14 Grom Boys:
1. Maverick Wilson (Wannanup) - 12.00
2. Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) - 10.33
3. Otis North (Yallingup) - 9.30
4. Phoenix Wilson (Wannanup) - 8.07
Under 16 Cadet Girls:
1. Zali Hewson (Margaret River) - 12.00
2. Skyla Tothill (Margaret River) - 9.67
3. Willow Hardy (Margaret River) - 6.97
4. Isi Campbell (Denmark) - 3.23
2019 State Champion – Zali Hewson
Under 16 Cadet Boys:
1. Jack Hagan (Geraldton) - 15.60
2. Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown) - 13.93
3. Daniel Benedetti (Margaret River) - 13.44
4. Jack Mitchell (Margaret River) - 11.60
Under 18 Junior Girls:
1. Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) - 12.84
2. Coral Durant (Red Bluff) - 11.53
3. Zali Hewson (Margaret River) - 8.13
4. Maddie Cawood (Margaret River) - 4.97
Under 18 Junior Boys:
1. Finn Cox (Margaret River) - 14.83
2. Jahnu Packer (Gracetown) - 13.80
3. Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) - 10.34
4. Aidan Flynn (Cowaramup) - 9.93
Woolworths is Australia’s largest supermarket chain. Operating 995 stores across Australia, Woolworths relies on the 115,000 team members in stores, distribution centres and support offices to provide their customers with superior service, range, value and convenience. Sourcing 96% of all fresh fruit and vegetables and 100% of fresh meat from Australian farmers and growers. This makes Woolworths Australia’s Fresh Food People. www.woolworths.com.au