Be The Influence WA Junior Surfing Titles
Presented by SunSmart
Surfing Western Australia
Margaret River, South-West Western Australia
8 - 9 March 2014
South West Surfers Dominate Be The Influence WA Junior Surfing Titles
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 March, 2014 - Adverse weekend conditions did not stop Western Australia's finest young surfers from lighting up Margaret River at the opening event of the Be The Influence WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart.
Competitors from Margaret River and Yallingup adapted best to the size and power of the surf, with the new generation showing exactly why they are at forefront of the sport with some jaw dropping manoeuvres and innovative surfing which impressed the judges and spectators alike.
A bumper field had travelled from as far North as Exmouth and as far South as Albany to compete, but it was South West surfers who used local knowledge and a home ground advantage to dominate the lumpy and bumpy 1.5-2m waves on offer, winning six out of the seven divisions contested.
“We’ve got some really impressive talent emerging at an incredible rate here in WA,” said Surfing WA commentator and high performance coach Mark Clift. "We never had access to the equipment, assistance, coaching or support the kids do now, so It's good to see them making the most of their opportunities."
16-year-old Jacob Willcox (Margaret River), currently leads the ASP Australasia Pro Junior ratings and continued his blistering competition form to take victory over Jed Mattinson (Margaret River), Jack Challis (Augusta) and Kael Wlash (Yallingup) in the blue ribbon Under 18 Men's division.
In arguably the finest display over the weekend, Willcox surfed a near flawless 25 minute final to finish with a combined total of 18.00 (from a possible 20), which included single wave scores of 9.50 and 8.50.
Willcox's repertoire of lightening fast forehand and backhand manoeuvres and his uncanny ability to find the tube, left Jed Mattinson in second ahead of Jack Challis third and Kael Walsh in fourth. "It's been a pretty busy six months for me, but I'm just stoked to be back home and surfing with my mates," Willcox said. "It's great that WA is hosting the National Titles in 2014, I can't wait for that."
Bailee Hastie (Gracetown) was another to continue her winning ways, backing up recent victory at the HIF Pro Am Series with a win in the U18 Women's division. Hastie used her smooth and flowing style to edge out a fast finishing Denver Young (Cottesloe). When the final siren sounded just 0.25 separated the pair, with U16 National Champion Emi Campbell (Denmark) finishing in third ahead of Marnie Durant (Carnarvon) fourth.
Hastie credited her improved performance to the coaching of Mike McAullife and support of her family saying, "It's been a great start to the year and I working hard to keep my momentum rolling."
Kael Walsh (Yallingup) over came an early interference call to win a tight Under 16 Cadet Boy's final. Surfing with a maturity beyond his years, Walsh had to pick up the pace to secure the win ahead of an emerging group of talent including Felix Leaver (Yallingup), Jack Thomas (Yallingup) and Moses Le Grice (East Fremantle), who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
“This is my first ever win in the U16 division so I'm pretty stoked," said Walsh. "I knew I just had to surf a smart heat, especially with the interference call."
Not to be out done by the boys, the U16 Cadet Girl's divisions also provided many highlights and an entertaining final. South West surfers Mia McCarthy (Margaret River) and Annabelle Jones (Margaret River) went head to head with North West surfers Marnie Durant (Carnarvon) and Cassia Heagele (Exmouth) in an exciting final.
McCarthy charged the bigger set waves to steal the win by less than one point from Jones, with Durant in third and Heagele in fourth.
In other results from the weekend, Ben Gradisen (Gracetown) won the U14 Grommet Boys division, displaying great courage tackling some of the biggest waves and sections of the weekend. Gradisen scored a heat high 6.50 (from a possible 10) to finish ahead of Max Leaver (Yallingup) in second, Margaret River's Seth Van Haeften in third, and younger brother Jed Gradisen in fourth.
2013 State Champion April McPherson (Mandurah), won the U14 Grommet Girls divison, while in the U12 Micro Groms division Ry Dempsey (Margaret River) won with some great surfing which will surely have tongues wagging into the future.
After a memorable start to this years Be The Influence WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart, attentions now turns to the second event of the series which will head north to the Perth metropolitan beaches. Trigg Point will play host to the event on the 7th – 8th June, where the journey towards crowing the 2014 WA Junior Surfing Champions will continue.
With WA set to host the 2014 Australian Junior Surfing Titles, there are more junior surfers striving for a spot in the WA State Junior Team than ever before.
U18 JUNIOR BOYS:
1. Jacob Willcox (Margaret River) 18.00pts,
2. Jed Mattinson (Margaret River) 14.90pts,
3. Jack Challis (Augusta) 13.75pts,
4. Kael Walsh (Yallingup) 7.25pts.
U18 JUNIOR GIRLS:
1. Bailee Hastie (Gracetown) 11.50pts,
2. Denver Young (Cottesloe) 11.25pts,
3. Emi Campbell (Denmark) 7.75pts,
4. Marnie Durant (Carnarvon) 7.40pts.
U16 CADET BOYS:
1. Kael Walsh (Yallingup) 9.15pts,
2. Felix Leaver (Yallingup) 7.60pts,
3. Jack Thomas (Yallingup) 4.90,
4. Moses Le Grice (East Fremantle) 4.60pts.
U16 CADET GIRLS:
1. Mia McCarthy (Margaret River) 7.60pts,
2. Annabelle Jones (Margaret River) 6.65pts,
3. Marnie Durant (Carnarvon) 5.50pts,
4. Cassia Haegele (Exmouth) 1.00pts.
U14 GROMMET BOYS:
1. Ben Gradisen (Margaret River) 10.00pts,
2. Max Leaver (Yallingup) 8.10pts,
3. Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River) 6.60pts,
4. Jed Gradisen (Margaret River) 4.75pts.
U14 GROMMET GIRLS:
1. April McPherson (Mandurah),
2. Sascha Roberts (Albany),
3. Jamaica Selby (Margaret River),
4. Pemba Spargo (Albany),
5. Lily Shepherd (Albany).
U12 MICRO GROMS:
1. Ry Dempsey (Margaret River),
2. Jed Gradisen (Margaret River),
3. Dexter Payenberg (Palmyra),
4. Daniel Bendetti (Mandurah).