The SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles
21 August 2015
Margaret River Senior High School wins seven of the eight divisional finals
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 August, 2015 - Last Friday's wet and wild conditions couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of over 120 competitors, who battled strong onshore winds, heavy rain and building swells at the 2015 State Final for the SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles.
The conclusion to a three-week long, state-wide search for WA's best school surfing talent, saw surfers and bodyboarders from 30 regional and metropolitan high schools converge on Trigg Beach to decide who would be crowned Western Australia's Champion Surfing School for 2015.
Margaret River Senior High School again proved unstoppable, winning seven of the eight divisional finals on offer, to claim an incredible and record breaking tenth consecutive Champion School victory.
The SunSmart School Surfing Titles provides a unique stepping stone for students to reach the pinnacle of the sport for their age group, the Surf Dive 'N Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles which is set to be held on North Stradbroke Island, QLD in November. For surfers, a win would see them qualify as part of the WA Junior Surfing Team and compete against the best students and schools from across the country whilst representing both their state.
Margaret River had all bases covered with current Under-18 State Champion Jed Mattinson and Under-21 State Champion Felix Leaver spearheading a team dripping with experience and expertise including; Bailee Hastie, Josh Cattlin, Emi Campbell, Cyrus Cox, Mia McCarthy, Phoebe McGregor, Finn Haslau, Jamaica Selby and Lochie Breakey.
Mattinson and Leaver defeated brothers Archie and Moses Le Grice from John Curtin College to win the hotly contested Senior Boys surfing final. Despite the best efforts of Moses Le Grice who posted a near perfect 9.00 ride, Leaver's flowing style and Mattinson's powerful attack was hard to match.
The pair from Margaret River tore apart anything that came their way and in turn qualified for the Under-19 MR Shield division at Nationals starting QLD in November.
"I'm stoked to be surfing as an individual and now for my school as well," said Mattinson. "I'm stoked to help Felix qualify and it's great to be representing such a strong school with such a strong history of winning."
Emil Campbell and Bailee Hastie had to settle for second place in the Senior Girls surfing final behind schoolmates Mia McCarthy and Phoebe McGregor in an exciting match up that saw two teams from Margaret River vying for one spot at National Titles.
When the final siren sounded it was a narrow margin in favour of McCarthy and McGregor that saw them take the win and their place in the WA State Team.
"We know how good both Emi and Bailee can surf, so it was pretty nerve-racking out there," said McCarthy. "It's great to help Phoebe qualify and it's been a great day for Margaret River High."
Josh Cattlin and Cyrus Cox kept the momentum rolling for Margaret River, with victory over Geraldton Grammar School in the Junior Boys surfing division. In a seesawing final, both regional teams performed under pressure, but when Under-16 State Champion Cattlin posted two late excellent scores the result was secured for Margaret River.
"I grew up surfing along this stretch of coast, it was pretty tough work, but there was some good waves out there if you could find them," said Cattlin. "I'm stoked to get another surf at Aussie Titles in Queensland."
Emma Cattlin and Jamaica Selby completed the clean sweep of the surfing divisions for Margaret River with victory in the Junior Girls surfing final, defeating Albany Senior High School. Picking off the best waves on offer Cattlin and Selby were fearless, tackling some bigger set waves on offer and linking manoeuvres all the way to shore.
"I'd like to thank Mr and Mrs Cameron, Mr McTaggart and all the team," said Selby. "It's been great fun today despite the conditions."
In bodyboarding results, Margaret River's Lochie Breakey and Finn Haslau won the Senior Boys bodyboarding division ahead of Prendiville Catholic College. While Margaret River's pairing of Indi Nikulinski and Bailee Hastie were too good for Newman College in the Senior Girls bodyboarding final.
The Junior Boys bodyboarding division was taken out by Comet Bay College, with Brad Harrington and Joshua Pink edging out James Bailey and Jaiden Miller from Nagle Catholic College in Geraldton.
Margaret River notched up their seventh win in the Junior Girls bodyboard division, with Arabelle Gibson and Maddie Cawood defeating Prendiville Catholic College.
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.
"After an exciting two weeks of competition which included eight qualification events held in six separate locations, a total of 52 regional and metropolitan high schools from Kalbarri in the North to Albany in the South have taken part in this truly unique event series," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. "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."
Attention now turns to a series of training clinics to best prepare the WA Junior Surfing Team for the upcoming Junior Surfing Titles on North Stradbroke Island, QLD in November, with six remaining 'Allstars' competitors to be named by Surfing WA in the coming days.
2015 SUNSMART WA SCHOOL SURFING TITLES FINAL RESULTS:
Champion School Results:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High
Runner Up School: Prendiville Catholic College
Third Place School: Comet Bay College
Senior Boys Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High (Felix Leaver & Jed Mattinson)
Runner Up School: John Curtin College of the Arts (Moses Le Grice & Archie Le Grice)
Senior Girls Surfing:
Champion School : Margaret River Senior High (Mia McCarthy & Phoebe McGregor)
Runner Up School: Margaret River Senior High (Bailee Hastie & Emi Campbell)
Junior Boys Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High (Josh Cattlin & Archie Le Grice)
Runner Up School: Geraldton Grammar School (Josh Stanton & Tane Murphy)
Junior Girls Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High (Emma Cattlin & Jamaica Selby)
Runner Up School: Albany Senior High (Sascha Roberts & Holly Minter)
Senior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High (Lochie Breakey & Finn Haslau)
Runner Up School: Prendiville Catholic College (Nathan Hutchins & Alfie Docherty)
Senior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High (Indi Nikulinski & Bailee Hastie)
Runner Up School: Prendiville Catholic College (Annie Slattery & Hannah Houghbridge)
Junior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Comet Bay College (Brad Harrington & Joshua Pink)
Runner Up School: Nagle Catholic College (James Bailey & Jaiden Millar)
Junior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High (Arabelle Gibson & Maddie Cawood)
Runner Up School: Prendiville Catholic College (Grace Betti & Katlin Binnie)