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Margaret River surfers hot at Chill WA Junior Titles

Jacob Wilcox © Surfing WA / Billy


Brownes Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles 2012 
Presented by SunSmart. Margaret River, Trigg Point, Geraldton.
Surifng Western Australia
Magaret River, Western Australia
10 - 11 March 2012

First event of a WA wide junior surfing series for groms aged under eighteen

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 March, 2012 : - - Margaret River surfers have dominated an exciting opening round of the Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles on the weekend. The event was held at the notoriously hollow and unforgiving Gas Bay, where fast barrelling waves challenged the bumper field of 90 of WA's best up and coming surfers.

High performance waves in the 3-4 feet (2.0 metre) range would exploded over a particularly shallow reef ledge, making for some great surfing as well as a few heavy wipeouts. Despite many competitors never surfing 'Gas' before, the signs of apprehension were soon replaced by stoke as surfers rose for the occasion, showing great courage and commitment. It was Margaret River and Yallingup surfers that adapted to the size and power on offer and made the most of the chance to surf their home break.

The preliminary rounds of competition on Saturday, whilst affected by cross shore SSE winds were dominated by performances from Jacob Willcox, Josh Burke, Shaun Green, Shaun Manners and Jack Robinson. The new generation of Margaret River showed exactly why they are at forefront of junior surfing in WA with some jaw dropping  manoeuvres and innovative surfing which impressed the judges and spectators alike.

“We’ve got some really impressive talent emerging at an incredible rate here in WA. Grommets from as far south as Denmark, through the South-West, Perth and north to Geraldton, Kalbarri and even Carnarvon are all developing their skills and the level of junior surfing in WA has improved ten fold.” Said Surfing WA commentator and high performance coach Mark Clift, who is excited about the standard of surfing and the ability of the new generation of surfers coming through.

Willcox, along with his cohort of young surfing superstars that are pushing hard through the WA junior ranks are amongst a group of Australia's best emerging talent. Wilcox along with Jack Robinson proved this by placing second and third respectively at the Quiksilver King of the Groms recently on the Gold Coast. The pair returned just days before  this, the first of three Chill WA Junior Titles events be held this year.

The Brownes Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles have developed over the years, and are now a very important stepping stone towards a professional junior surfing career. These events act as the sole means of qualification for those looking to compete at the pinnacle of junior surfing, the Australian Junior Surfing Titles held in December in Tasmania.

South-West surfers made the most of the conditions, winning 5 of the 7 divisions being contested. Of these surfers it was Willcox that revelled, posting the weekend’s highest scores including the only perfect 10 point ride. He went on to claim a huge win in the blue ribbon U18 Junior Boys division and back it up with a win in the U16 Cadet Boys.

In the what was the match up of the event, the U18 Junior final was an all Margaret River shoot out. Willcox would take on Josh Burke, Shaun Manners and Jack Robinson who had impressive semi final heats.  An opening 7.17 ride (from a possible 10) was enough to set Wilcox on his course and he never looked back. Building a solid total of 15.70 total (from a possible 20) when he locked in a heat winning 8.53 which included two of his signature backside arial reverse's.

Despite local knowledge, the intensity of the heat saw some surfers unable to recreate their earlier form and could not match Willcox’s lightening backhand attack. Josh Burke's consistency was rewarded with a runner finish, his  6.33 and 5.93 were good but couldn't match the scores of Willcox. Jack Robinson and Shaun Manners showed glimpses of their brilliance but finished third and fourth respectively.

Willcox was elated with the win and commented on the performance of others and his excitement on returning to National Titles. "It was pretty tricky out there but still fun. I knew that the boys could we going for airs with the wind light onshore, so that’s what I went for too." "I think WA will have a really strong team this year and its always good to surf against the other states so its good to get off to a start here".

Willcox kept his momentum rolling and backed up his efforts in the U16 Cadet Boys final, posting a 7.83 and a 7.40 to finish with a 15.23 total (from a possible 20). Willcox was challenged by a vastly improved Boston Kavanagh (Yallingup) who finished second. A 6.33 and 6.17 just fell short of the scores he needed, however Kavanagh did enough to beat Kael Walsh (Yallingup) in third head of Jake Edwards (Cottesloe) who battled hard in fourth.

Not to be out done by the boys, the U18 Junior Women also provided an entertaining final, with Hannah Massie (Margaret River) using her home court advantage to win the first event of the series. Massie looked suited to the powerful surf and locked in 7.67 and a 7.17 to finish with a total of 14.84 (from a possible 20) to take the win comfortably ahead of Alex Durant (Carnarvon) in second, Emi Campbell (Denmark) in third, with Imogen Caldwell (Carnarvon) finishing in fourth.

Massie was a crowd favourite and was shocked when revealed that she would be a Surfing WA wildcard entry into the upcoming Telstra Drug Aware Pro. The Margaret River local was speechless when the announcement was made at the presentation.

“I cant believe this. This is has to be one of the best day's ever. Im going to have to start training ever morning at Main Break now.” Said Massie.

In other results from the weekend,  Kael Walsh surfed a total of seven heats in one day to win the U14 Grommets final and place third in the U16s. The young natural footer impressed all day with his never say die attitude and solid forehand attack. Walsh out surfed fellow Yallingup surfers Felix Leaver, Duke Nagtzaam and Charlie Wise, who all surfed well to make the final.

Emi Campbell (Denmark) won the U16 Cadet Girls by a narrow margin from Margaret River trio Bailee Hastie, Ella Massie and Luciana Burke who finished second, third and fourth. Mia McCarthy (Karrinyup) powered through some solid waves to win the U14 Grommet Girls, While In the U12 Micro Groms Ben Gradisen (Margaret River) won his first ever WA Junior Title event with some great surfing which will have tongues wagging into the future.

"It was a huge weekend for not only the competitors, but for mums, dads and the event officials.” "It was good to see the kids attack the waves and challenging conditions so well, it was a memorable event for sure." Said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks.

Attention now turns to the second event of the Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles which will head north to the Perth metro beaches where the journey to crowing the 2012 WA Junior Surfing Champions will continue. With so many surfers now striving for contention in WA State Junior Team the competition is set to be a stunner. Trigg Point will play host to to the event in May.

Brownes Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles 2012 Proudly presented by SunSmart. Margaret River, Trigg Point, Geraldton.
Proudly supported by Globe, Creatures of Leisure, Skull Candy, Sex Wax, Forte Hospitality, Illicit Drugs In Sport Program and Surfing WA.


1. Jacob Willcox (Margaret River) 15.70pts,
2. Josh Burke (Margaret River) 12.26pts,
3. Jack Robinson (Margaret River) 8.00pts,
4. Shaun Manners (Margaret River) 7.73pts.

1. Hannah Massie (Margaret River) 14.84pts,
2. Alex Durant (Carnarvon) 9.56pts,
3. Emi Campbell (Denmark) 9.50pts,
4.  Imogen Caldwell (Carnarvon) 7.27pts.

1. Jacob Willcox (Margaret River) 15.23pts,
2. Boston Kavanagh (Yallingup) 12.50pts,
3. Kael Walsh (Yallingup) 10.730pts,
4. Jake Edwards (Cottesloe) 10.00pts.

1. Emi Campbell (Denmark) 10.17pts,
2. Bailee Hastie (Margaret River) 9.16pts,
3. Ella Massie (Margaret River) 9.10pts,
4. Luciana Burke (Margaret River) 5.50pts.

1. Kael Wash (Yallingup) 14.10pts,
2. Felix Leaver (Yallingup) 10.50pts,
3. Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup) 7.57pts,
4. Charlie Wise (Yallingup) 5.30pts.

1. Mia McCarthy (Karrinyup) 11.50pts,
2. Phoebe McGregor (Dunsborough) 9.83ts,
3. Marnie Durant (Carnarvon) 6.67pts,
4. Ruby Adams (Denmark) 2.43pts.

1. Ben Gradisen (Margaret River)  13.00pts,
2. Max Leaver (Yallingup) 8.84pts,
3. Josh Stanton (Kalbarri) 7.26pts,
4. Lachlan Mitchell-D'Raine (Duncriag) 5.50pts.


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Source: Surfing WA

Author: Justin Majeks

Tags: Surfing Western Australia, Brownes Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles, Margaret River

WA Contests: Surfersvillage


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