Health Insurance Fund of Australia WA Pro Am Series
Margaret River, Western Australia
21 - 22 February 2015
Pro am surfing returns to Western Australia this week
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 February, 2015 - Trigg Beach - The opening round of the Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) WA Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart kicks off this weekend in the South-West of the state.
A solid lineup of Western Australia’s best surfers are set to take part, all champing at the bit to earn a spot into the trials of the upcoming World Surf League (WSL) Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
Surfers have been fine tuning their skills over the summer in preparation for what is shaping up to be a huge year of competitive surfing within WA. The surf rich coastline of Margaret River will play host to the first of three HIF Pro Am events which will travel to Rottnest Island in May and conclude in Geraldton in June.
“The first event of the HIF Pro Am series is really important for the local surf community," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. "The event acts like a ‘trials for the trials’ for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, an event any surfer would love the opportunity to compete in."
The blue ribbon Open Men’s division is stacked with surfers vying for the coveted final spot into the local trials. Top contenders include former HIF Pro Am Series Champion Jerome Forrest (Margaret River), Luke Campbell (Margaret River), Zak Ogram (Yallingup) and Jethro Hedstrom (Margaret River).
Forrest, who has recently returned to WA after competing in the start of the Australian leg of WSL Qualifying Series events on the east coast is looking forward to surfing on home turf.
“I’ve just flown back from Newcastle and after a month on the road surfing some pretty average conditions, so I'm really excited to be back home in the South-West," said Forrest. “It looks like there will be some fun waves this weekend and I'm really striving hard for the spot in the trials.”
The weekend will see some of the state’s best juniors move up into open competition for the very first time. The Under-21 Pro Junior division is brimming with talent, as the likes of Josh Cattlin (Yallingup), Nick Muntz (Trigg), Jed Mattinson (Margaret River) and Felix Leaver (Yallingup) are all set to tackle the HIF Pro Am Series.
In the Open Women’s division, former Junior National Champion Emi Campbell (Denmark) will be up against some stiff competition Ella Massie (Margaret River), Phoebe McGregor (Yallingup) and Cassia Haegele (Exmouth).
The event will also see a host of WA's surfing stalwarts compete in an array of masters divisions. Big wave hero Paul Paterson (Yallingup), will match up against Murray Jacob (Claremont), Mark Clift (Trigg) and Brad Cowan (Margaret River) in some eagerly anticipated match-ups.
Competition is set to commence at Gas Bay from 7:40am this Saturday with preliminary heats, with finals set to take place on Sunday with swell set to build for finals day.