HIF WA Pro Am Series 2011
Presented by SunSmart
Surfing Western Australia
Geraldton, Western Australia
14 - 15 May 2011
Luke Campbell Makes A Welcome Return to the HIF Pro Am Series
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 May, 2011 : - - The second event of the Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) Pro Am Series was completed in idyllic conditions just south of Geraldton over the weekend, with Trigg Point's Luke Campbell confirming his reputation as once of the state's best surfers dominating a class field to claim the blue ribbon Open Men's division.
Despite some cloud and passing patches of rain, perfect autumn conditions prevailed on both Saturday and Sunday, blessing competitors from right across WA with high performance waves in the 3-4 feet range (2.0 meters). Clean offshore winds combined with some of the great A-Frame peaks allowed for a memorable second round of competition.
As the 2011 Australian Surfmasters draw closer, the second event of the HIF Pro Am Series saw the intensity and level of surfing go through the roof. With the chance to represent WA in Port Macquire NSW in August, surfers were looking to consolidate on results from the first event of the series in Margaret River, or use this event to spring board up the ratings to be in contention for State Team selection.
'Head Butts' as it is know, is an isolated and remote beach which can only be accessed with the use of 4WD vehicles, and was chosen over the original location 'Flat Rocks' as the contest location provided fantastic waves for the States best to duel it out.
Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks was relieved that the elements had all came together so well, saying "Its been a truly great event, those that made the effort to get to this far-flung stretch of coast have rewarded with some of the best competition waves we've had all year. It was insane just watching some of the rides that went down over the weekend."
The preliminary rounds of competition were completed in clean and consistent waves on Saturday, and with the tide dropping out all day, provided competitors across eight divisions the perfect setting for some radical and committed surfing.
The Open Men's division set the pace from the start with some impressive performances from Danny Williams (Geraldton), Paul Paterson (City Beach), Drew Everest (Mandurah), and Margaret River duo Tom Clarke and Jerome Forrest, all of which posted splendid round one victory's. It was the surfers who made the most of the long, hollow, peeling right handers that were rewarded with healthy scores from the judges.
"Its a bit hard to find the perfect spot out there, but if you can pick off a good set wave your almost guaranteed a solid score" stated Forrest after he posted an impressive 16.23pts (from a possible 20) in his opening round heat which included two excellent scores of 8.40 and 7.83.
Local Geraldton surfer James Fleming who is only 15, surfed with a maturity beyond his years taking down some much older and more experienced competitors in his first crack at an open aged event. The snappy goofyfooter snuck into some of the craziest barrels of the weekend and made his way into day two action in style.
Fleming's quarter final heat was his best posting an 8.33 and a 7.83 for a combined score of 16.16 (from a possible 20). For his amazing performance Fleming picked up the Brownes Chill 'Man Up' award for his seemingly fearless attack against much older surfers.
Finals day dawned with more 3-4 feet right and left hand waves peeling off for as long as the eye can see, competitors in all divisions made the most of the conditions and provided some excellent viewing for those that tackled the testing 4WD track.
The Open Men's semi-finals kicked off proceedings with two of the stronger surfers in the event eliminated from the event despite some solid surfing. Drew Everest was left waiting for another scoring wave in semi-final one, as Luke Campbell and Paul Patertson were the first two surfers through to the final. Current HIF Pro Am Series leader Jarrad Davies (Margaret River) came painstakingly close to securing his first Open State Title, but fell one step short when Jerome Forrest and James Fleming took the honours in semi-final two.
This set the sense for an all time Open Men's final with some of the stalwarts of the WA surfing scene Paul 'Antman' Paterson and Luke Campbell going up against some of the new hot young guns in Jerome Forrest and James Fleming. With each of the four finalists proving their ability in the barreling waves in previous heats it was a hard to call one clear favourite for the 30 minute final.
Luke Campbell left nothing to chance in a clinical and polished performance, the 26 year old from Trigg Point confirmed that he's still at the top of his game with a near perfect performance. A top junior surfer in his time, and one of WA's highest rated surfers on the ASP World Qualifying Series Campbell showed his competition experience locking in a great 7.50 opening ride which included a huge aerial reverse.
From there Campbell never looked back, loosening up with each wave he caught you could see the momentum swing in his directions. Campbell went from strength to strength, going on to post an excellent 8.17, and the only perfect 10 of the event to finish with 18.17pts (from a possible 20) and picking up the $500 winners cheque and the 'HIF Wave of the Weekend'.
"Oh, these have to be some of the best waves I've ever surfed in competition." Said Campbell after his emphatic victory. "I travelled to heaps of big events and never scored waves quite like this. Its been a while since I've entered one of WA Open Series Events so to win one is extra sweet." He concluded.
Despite the best efforts of Paul Paterson and Jerome Forrest who both posted excellent scores, both were left needing something extraordinary to catch the red hot Campbell. In the end second place went to Paul Paterson who finished with combined scores of 15.57 (from a possible 20), and Jerome Forrest in third with a 14.77 (from a possible 20). Despite his efforts earlier youngster James Fleming had to settle for fourth but was beaming with his fourth place finish.
The results have now thrown the HIF Pro Am Series Title race wide open with one final event scheduled for Perth in June to decided the 2011 State Champions and team members to represent WA in New South Wales.
In other results from the weekend, 2010 Pro Junior State Champion Brody Maclean (Yallingup) claimed back to back State Titles with a solid performance in his pet division. Maclean was too good for Geraldton locals Danny Williams, Brady and Max Marsden who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
"Im really happy to have claimed the Pro Junior State Title, its always a good division with heaps of quality surfers." Said Maclean who will celebrate his win whilst travelling through the Mentawaii Islands next month.
Other State Champions to be crowned after just two events include O35 Masters winner Paul Paterson and Open Women's winner Jaala Baldock (Kallaroo) who were both too good for their opposition, taking easy wins.
Baldock who has recently returned to WA after judging two of the ASP Women's World Tour events in New Zealand and Sydney said how much the experience has benefitted her surfing, "Its crazy to see how far the girls are now pushing the future of the sport. To see Carrisa Moore, Sally Fitzgibons, and Steph all surfing with my own two eyes has definitely improved my own surfing."
Margaret River's Brad Cowan had a successful weekend winning both the O40 Senior Masters and the O45 Grand Masters divisions. While Geraldton Boardriders President Leon Norris proved that local knowledge is vital taking out the O50 Legends and O55 Kahunas division.
The second event of the HIF Pro Am Seires will go down as one of the best ever with great waves even better surfing across all divisions. A big thanks to the Geraldton Boardriders for their constant support and professionalism that made the weekend such a success. All attention now turn to the final event of the HIF Pro Am Series to be held along the Perth Metropolitan Beaches on the 19th - 20th June 2011.
Be sure to check out surfingwa.com.au for all event updates and information. 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. Luke Campbell (Trigg Point) $500 18.17pts,
2. Paul Paterson (City Beach) $250 15.57pts,
3. Jerome Forrest (Margaret River) $125 14.77pts,
4. James Fleming (Geraldton) $70 5.40pts.
1. Jaala Baldock (Kallaroo) 13.75pts,
2. Sue Moran (North Hampton) 4.50pts.
STATE CHAMPION: Jaala Baldock
U21 Pro Junior:
1. Brody Maclean (Yallingup)13.44 pts,
2. Danny Williams (Geraldton) 9.17pts ,
3. Brady Marsden (Geraldton)7.34 pts,
4. Max Marsden (Geraldton) 7.27pts,
5. Tylan Lambert (Yallingup) 6.90pts.
STATE CHAMPION: Brody Maclean
Survey: Map Surfings future