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Best in the West? That would be Margaret River

Margaret River SHS Claim Ninth Straight SunSmart School Surfing Title
Jacob Wilcox & Jed Mattison © Surfing WA/Woolacott




SunSmart School Surfing Titles

Surfing Western Australia
Trigg Beach, Western Australia
22 - 23 August 2014

Margaret River SHS Claim Ninth Straight SunSmart School Surfing Title 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 August, 2014 - Trigg Beach - Solid surf and all-star performances highlighted an action packed State Final of the SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles held at Trigg Beach last Friday, with a star studded team from Margaret River Senior High School again proving too strong taking top honours for their ninth consecutive year.

The conclusion to a two-week long state-wide search for WA's best school surfing talent saw a total of 26 regional and metropolitan high schools, over 130 competitors, and 60 teams of surfers and bodyboarders converge on Trigg Beach as they battled it out for the prestigious title of 'Champion Surfing School' for 2014.

A building swell and easing winds provided the perfect setting for surfers looking to represent Western Australia in the Australian School Surfing Association (ASSA) divisions at the upcoming Australian Junior Surfing Titles to be held in Yallingup in December. 

Whilst challenged, Margaret River Senior High School showed their depth of talent by reaching four out of eight divisional finals and winning two of those in style. Margaret River had all bases covered with current U/18 State Champion and former ISA World Junior Champion Jacob Willcox spearheading a team dripping with experience and expertise including; Bailee Hastie, Jed Mattinson, Mia McCarthy, Annabelle Jones, Finn Haslau, Lewis Becker and Jamaica Selby. 

Jacob Willcox and Jed Mattinson defeated local hopes from Carine Senior High School Pascal Hutchinson and Kash Cook to win the highly competitive Senior Boys surfing final. Willcox's flowing style and Mattinson's powerful attack couldn't be matched as the pair tore apart anything that came their way and in turn qualifying for the U/19 MR Shield at Nationals in December. 

"I'm stoked to be surfing as an individual and now also for my school at Nationals," said Willcox. "I'm really excited to compete on home soil in the South-West, I can't wait." 

U/18 State Champion Bailee Hastie and U/16 State Champion Mia McCarthy had to settle for second place in the Senior Girls surfing final behind McKillop Catholic College pairing of Eliza Greene and Phoebe McGregor. In an exciting match up Greene proved to be the difference, dropping two excellent scores to push her team into qualification for the Australian Junior Titles. 

"I've had an injury plagued year so this means the world to me," said Greene. "Both Phoebe and I are from Yallingup so to surf our home breaks in December will be a dream come true."

In a surprise all metropolitan match up in the Junior Boys surfing division, CBC Fremantle's Alex McGuffin and Tom Corrie defeated Jack Merson and Lachie Taylor from Newman College to qualify for their maiden National Titles. In a seesawing clash McGuffin pulled out some powerful forehand and backhand surfing to drag his team total above that of Newman's.

"It has been a crazy day for Tom and I," said McGuffin. "If you told me I would be heading to the National Titles two weeks ago I wouldn't have believed it." 

Margaret River's Annabelle Jones and Jamaica Selby proved to be an unstoppable pair, taking out the Junior Girls surfing final over Mandurah Catholic College. Picking off the best waves on offer Jones and Selby were fearless tackling some bigger set waves and surfing them all the way to shore.

"I'd like to thank Mr Cameron, Mr McTaggart and all the team it's great to win our division and overall for the school." Jones said.

Mindarie Senior College's Daniel Steel and Blake Gerrard made the most of the conditions to take out the Senior Boys division over Margaret River Senior High School. Both Steel and Gerrard competed at the Australian Bodyboard Titles in Coffs Harbour just days before claiming victory at the SunSmart Schools Titles.

"The Nationals was a perfect warm up for this event," said Gerrard. "Thanks to all the competitors and schools here today it's been a blast."

In other bodyboarding results, Bunbury Senior High School won the Senior Girls bodyboard division ahead of Mandurah Catholic College, while Georgiana Molloy Anglican School were successful in the Junior Girls bodyboard wining ahead of Mandurah Catholic College. 

The Junior Boys bodyboarding division was taken out by St Stephens Duncraig, with James Marais and Josh Peters edging out Lachie Breakey and Charlie Wise from Georgiana Molloy Anglican School.

"After an exciting two weeks of competition which included ten qualification events held in six separate locations, a total of 52 regional and metropolitan high schools from Kalbarri in the north to Esperance in the south have taken part in this truly unique event series," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks, who was wrapped with how the 2014 SunSmart School Surfing Titles concluded. "Margaret River were always going to be hard to beat, but to see some stiff opposition from schools right around the state this year was impressive."

As surfing and bodyboarding continues to grow in popularity, more and more high schools are incorporating the sport into their outdoor and physical education programs. In turn, the standard of competition at the SunSmart WA School Titles has increased with more and more students ditching the traditional school sports and picking up surfboards and bodyboards to take part in a remarkable state-wide inter-school sporting event.

Attention now turns to a series of training clinics to best prepare the WA Junior Surfing Team for the upcoming National Titles in Yallingup in December, with six remaining 'Allstars' competitors to be named by Surfing WA in the coming days.

The WA School Surfing Titles are made possible thanks to Surfing WA's long-term partner SunSmart, who have been integral to the development of surfing programs and events throughout the state through the delivery of a key health message to Western Australian surfers.

If you missed any of the action from the 2014 SunSmart School Surfing Titles State Final at Trigg Beach, you can watch a highlight package in the coming days via the Surfing WA Vimeo Channel

Champion School Results:

Champion School:     Margaret River Senior High
Runner Up School:    Mandurah Catholic College
Third Place School:   Georgiana Molloy Anglican School
Senior Boys Surfing:
Champion School:      Margaret River Senior High (Jacob Willcox & Jed Mattinson)
Runner Up School:     Carine Senior High School (Pascal Hutchinson & Kash Cook)
Senior Girls Surfing:

Champion School :     McKillop Catholic College (Eliza Greene & Phoebe McGregor)
Runner Up School:     Margaret River Senior High (Bailee Hastie & Mia McCarthy)
Junior Boys Surfing:

Champion School:      CBC Fremantle (Alex McGuffin & Tom Corrie)
Runner Up School:     Newman College (Jack Merson & Lachie Taylor)
Junior Girls Surfing:
Champion School:      Margaret River Senior High (Annabelle Jones & Jamaica Selby)
Runner Up School:     Mandurah Catholic College (April McPherson & Sophie Ingleden)

Senior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       Mindarie Senior College (Daniel Steel & Blake Gerrard)
Runner Up School:      Margaret River Senior High School (Finn Haslau & Lewis Becker)

Senior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       Bunbury Senior High School (Charlie Kiley & Shannon Hill)
Runner Up School:      Mandurah Catholic College (Jamie Duncanson & Brea Marshall)

Junior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       St Stephens Duncraig (James Marias & Josh Peters)
Runner Up School:      Georgiana Molloy Anglican School (Lachie Breakey & Charlie Wise)

Junior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       Georgian Molloy Anglican School (Neve Clayton & Rachel Wilson)
Runner Up School:      Mandurah Catholic College (April McPherson & Chloe Hill)
The 2014 SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles are proudly supported by Carve, Healthway, School Sport WA & Surfing WA.

Justin Majeks

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