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HIF Pro Am Series closes out season at Trigg Pt

Paul Paterson © Surfing WA/Woolacott

HIF Pro Am Series

Surfing Western Australia
Trigg Point, Western Australia
18 - 19 June 2011

Wild Weather Brings on Performances to Match at the Final event of HIF Pro Am Series

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 June, 2011 : - - The pressure was on for the final round of the Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) Pro Am Series on the weekend, not only for competitors, but also officials.  Organisers utilised 2-3 feet (1.0m) beach breaks at Trigg to run the event in one day, as an inclement weather forecast saw a strong low pressure system approach the state, bringing with it strong winds, an increasing swell and an ocean which resembled a washing machine more than a competition venue for some of WA's best surfers.

After two events blessed with near perfect conditions in Margaret River and Geraldton, the final event would test the resolve of many as conditions made life hard even for the most experienced of surfers. Despite this there were still a number of surfers still in the race for the prestigious Open Men's State Title, making for an interesting day of competition surfing.

The standard of competition was thrown wide open as surfers from across the state made an impressive start in the marginal conditions.  Jerome Forrest was one of the standouts of the early rounds, blitzing through his heats, linking powerful top turns with some impressive arieal manoeuvres. A huge dark horse loomed in the event in the form of 13 year old from Margaret River, Jack Robinson.

Although much younger than all other competitors his natural ability shone through with an impressive start in his Open Mens heat, catching some quality right hand runners, whilst also showing ease on his back hand with a few massive hacks on the lefts.

"Its pretty awful out there, but I was lucky to find some good ones and the winds today are perfect for airs." Said Robinson who sent shivers down the spines of his older rivals after a winning his round one heat with ease.


Luke Campbell © Surfing WA/Woolacott


Jarrad McHale (Willeton), Matt Baldock (Margaret River), and local Trigg surfers Simon Hughes and Luke Campbell were also standouts in the tricky conditions. With HIF recently announcing that they will be funding the interstate travel costs for the winners of the HIF WA Pro Am Series to attend the National Surfing Titles in Port Macquarie (NSW) there was some extra motivation for competitors to throw caution to the wind in the hope of securing a State Title and a spot in the WA Surfing Team.
HIF Managing Director, Graeme Gibson said that HIF’s involvement in WA’s state surfing series has been a great alignment with his company’s commitment to supporting a healthy lifestyle amongst the WA surfing community.
“HIF is proudly Western Australian and is Australia’s only carbon neutral health fund, and we are excited to be able to support some of our state’s best emerging surf talent to compete at the National Titles. Our sponsorship of surfing in WA has been an exciting undertaking and we now look forward to seeing our state’s best surfers excel on the national stage.”

It was a case of now or never to see who would claim the 2011 WA State Titles and represent WA in Port Macquarie in August after number one seed Jarrad Davies (Margaret River) made a shock round one exist. The major drawcard for the day was the open mens competition and the level of surfing was through the roof.

Jerome Forrest decided it was his time in the blue ribbon Open Mens final.  Forrest surfed with precision and tact, risking so much with each turn, throwing buckets of spray, and busting big airs to grab first place from Trigg's Luke Campbell in one of the closest results in recent years. Forrest was innovative with his repertoire of new school manouvres, while Campbell relied on old school carving turns combined with speed. A classic shoot out between the two for the State Title would ensue for 25 minutes as the two square off in a highly entertaining affair.

Even a strong rain squall which skittled tents on the event site couldn’t stop Jerome Forrest who posted a heat high 7.83 score which was too much for Campbell to overcome leaving him chasing a decent score to take the lead and the win. A welcome return to state competition for Jarrad McHale who surfed well all day to finish in third ahead of a white hot Jack Robinson who was unlucky in fourth despite some solid surfing.
The first place win was Forrest's third straight appearance in the finals, previously placing second and third in Margaret River and Geraldton. This consistency across the three rounds was hard to match and the 21 year old was over the moon with his result.

“I’m really happy with the result, it was very hard work out there and I knew that each of the other guys had the ability to win, so it was a pretty nervous wait in the last few minutes. I really want to thank Surfing WA and HIF for this great opportunity”, said Forrest.

This is the first Open State Title for the Margaret River surfer who picked up $500 for the win and he will now spearhead an impressive list of surfers in a position to represent their state in Port Macquarie. "This is probably one of the strongest teams on paper in quite a few years, so there are some high hopes for those travelling to National Titles in the coming months." Said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks.
The high standard of competition continued with Jack Robinson carrying his electric form on from the Open's, obliterating any wave that offered shape in the Pro Junior final.  The division is open to surfers under the age of 21 and for the first time in Surfing WA history a 13 year old has claimed victory. Robinson nailed the final with his characteristic air reverses, that he combined with speed and style leaving Brody Maclean (Yallingup), Nick Muntz (North Beach) and  Jaxon Chadwick (Margaret River) finishing second, third and fourth respectively.
“Im stoked to have won the Pro Junior final and make an appearance in my first ever Open final.” said Robinson who used the event as practice before heading to the East Coast to contest two long running and prestigious junior surfing events in the first week of July .
In the Over 35 Master Mens final Paul Paterson (City Beach) dominated winning all three events of the series and securing the State Titles in front of Nick Black (Mandurah), while Mosman Park's Jarrah Calder placed third ahead of Scarborough's Peter McCallum.

"Its been years since I claimed my first Junior Title so to still be surfing and claiming another WA State Title is a pretty sweet feeling." Said Paterson. Nick Black took out the O40 Senior Masters final from Peter McCaullum in second and Hillary's Glenn Williams in third place
Mark Sutton made a welcome return to the HIF Pro Am Series with a win in the hotly contested Over 50 Legends. Sutton was too good for Margaret River's Mick Shaw who placed second in the final but the result was enough for him to claim the State Title. Brent Moss (Esperance) finished in third ahead of Steve Pozzi (Woodvale) in fourth.
In the Over 55 Kahunas Final Leon Norris from Geraldton surfed well to claim his first State Title in the division ahead of Steve Pozzi in second.

With the positions now decided for the 2011 WA State Team to contest National Titles, attention will now turn to the Surfing WA training camps which will aim at providing surfers with the very best preparation leading into the Australian Surfmasters Titles in just over seven weeks time.

Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) WA Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart. Proudly supported by Firewire Surfboards, Otis Eyewear, Futures Fins, Brownes Chill, PowerBalance & Surfing WA.

Open Men:
1. Jerome Forrest (Margaret River) $500, 2. Luke Campbell (Trigg) $250, 3. Jarrad McHale (Willeton) $125, 4. Jack Robinson (Margaret River) $70.
State Champion: Jerome Forrest.
Open Women:
State Champion: Jaala Baldock
Pro Junior U21:

1. Jack Robinson (Margaret River), 2. Brody Maclean (Yallingup), 3. Nick Muntz (North Beach), 4. Jaxon Chadwick (Margaret River). State Champion: Brody Maclean
Masters Men O35:
1. Paul Paterson (City Beach), 2. Nick Black (Mandurah), 3. Jarrah Calder (Mosman Park), 4. Peter McCallum (Scarborough).
State Champion: Paul Paterson
Senior Masters O40:
1. Nick Black (Mandurah), 2. Peter McCallum (Scarborough), 3. Glenn Williams (Hillarys).
State Champion: Brad Cowan
Grand Masters O45:

1. Glenn Williams (Hillarys).
State Champion: Brad Cowan
Legends O50:
1. Mark Sutton (Connelly), 2. Mick Shaw (Margaret River), 3. Brent Moss (Esperance), 4. Steve Pozzi (Woodlands).
State Champion: Mick Shaw

Kahunas O55:
1. Leon Norris (Geraldton), 2. Steve Pozzi (Woodlands).
State Champion: Leon Norris

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