West Australia crowns HIF Pro Am champs
HIF Pro Am Series
Margaret River, Southwest Australia
2 - 3 February 2013
Brett Hardy Makes A Welcome Return To WA State Surfing Titles
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 February, 2013 : - - Many of the past, present and future surfing stars of Western Australian surfing converged on Gracetown over the weekend for the opening event of the Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) Pro Am Series Presented by SunSmart.
The first state based surfing event of 2013 provided an exciting mix of experienced and high profile competitors with an influx of youthful exuberance, as an all star cast opened the HIF Pro Am Series in style.
Despite initial swell forecasts of small waves over the weekend, event officials went mobile in search of the best waves on offer. Competitors from as far as north as Geraldton and as far south as Albany revelled in the excellent and highly contestable waves on offer at Big Rock in the 2-3 feet range.
Although providing some challenges, the change of location provided competitors the perfect opportunity to push the performance levels of WA competition surfing. The weekend saw the return of many of WA's best surfers to state competition, including former ASP World Tour competitor and Pipeline Master Jake Paterson (Yallingup).
It had been over 20 years since Paterson competed at state level, but wasted no time confirming he still has the talent to mix it with the best. Paterson went head to head with some of WA's best in what was one of the most exciting HIF Pro Am Series events to date.
"The weekend was incredible, by far one of the best standards of competition I've witnessed. Everyone was performing so well." Said Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks.
In the Open Men's division, Paterson used his powerful razor sharp forehand attack and powerful backhand manoeuvres to out-muscle some stiff competition in the preliminary rounds. Matching Paterson's experience were young surfers Josh Burke (Margaret River) and James Fleming (Gerladton) who surprised most, surfing with poise and natural ability to reach the Open Men's final.
Surfers in the blue ribbon division of the event, the Open Men's final, did not hold back as spectators and competitors awaited the clash of generations with two of the states most respected surfers going up against two seventeen year old's in Burke and Fleming.
Jake Paterson looked unstoppable in his earlier heats along with former National Champion Brett Hardy (Margaret River) who quietly snuck under the radar all weekend. It was clear from the start that Paterson and Hardy were the contenders as they both laid down manouvres that had judges scoring highly.
Both surfers put on a solid display of forehand surfing utilising the most critical section of their waves to send spray flying. Despite having a near perfect 9.00 ride, Paterson was left looking for another solid back up score, while Hardy's 8.50 and 7.93 scoring waves were enough to see him snatch victory by just 1.32 points.
Paterson finished on 15.07, ahead of Josh Burke in third on 13.43 and James Fleming on 9.30 in fourth.
“I’m so so happy with the win. I haven't entered a state round for ages and to come back to such a stacked event was a bit scary." Said Hardy after receiving his trophy and $500 winners cheque. “It’s great to win at your local and against some quality competition. I'm stoked to have my brother here watching me and I really couldn't be happier." Said Hardy. "All those groms were ripping so hard. It's good to know my surfing is keeping up with the young punks." Hardy joked after the event.
The most exciting division of the weekend was the U/21 Pro Juniors. All four finalists were brilliant throughout the earlier heats combining mature surfing and futuristic flare. Josh Burke showed why he’s one of the new local up and comers making moves in the HIF Pro Am Series.
Burke added a win in the Pro Juniors' to his third place in the Open Men's thanks to some polished and blistering surfing to post an impressive win ahead of current U16 National Champion Jacob Willcox (Margaret River). Max Marsden surfed well to place third ahead of U14 National Champion Kael Walsh (Yallingup).
Other winners from the weekend included Paul 'Antman' Paterson (City Beach) who surfed with explosive speed to win the O/35 Masters. In a wave starved final, Paterson found the best waves to beat a fast finishing Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River), younger brother Jake Paterson had to settle for third ahead of Paul Burke (Quindalup) in fourth.
"It's been a perfect weekend, great waves and it's always good to catch up with some of the crew. I haven't surfed with Jake at an event in years which has been great fun too." Big wave charger Paterson said.
Mark Clift (Hillarys) took out the O/40 Senior Masters and O/45 Grand Masters in emphatic fashion. The Surfing WA life member showed his class with some flawless rail to rail surfing and committed backhand variety to post some of the weekend's best scores.
A near perfect 9.47 (from a possible 10) stole the win in the dying moments for Clift, while a 8.67 ride was the game breaker for him in the O45 Grand Masters division.
"I was lucky to string my best surfing together in those two heats. The waves have been so good and to win over a close group of mates make this a memorable weekend for me." Clift said.
City Beach's Pat Connell won the O/50 Legend's final, while Geraldton's Leon Norris was unstoppable in the O/55 Kahunas division with Holly Thomas (Yallingup) taking out the Open Women's division.
In the most entertaining division of the event, Jake Paterson surfed one of his favourite surfboards to victory in the Single Fin division. The newly introduced National Title division saw Paterson destroy his opponents with two excellent eight point plus rides.
"This has been a great weekend, I've enjoyed it so much and to see people hang around for the presentations as well is what it's all about." Said an elated Paterson.
Paterson continued his success by earning the $250 'West Coast Suspensions Wave of the Weekend' for his 9.50 ride in the Single Fin semi final. "I never really get a chance to surf that board, so to win the best wave on it confirms it's one of the best in my quiver." Paterson continued.
Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks was ecstatic with the quality of the surf and impressed with the excellent field of competitors that made the trek into the remote location for the opening event of the series.
“The Open Men’s field was one of out best to date, and to have some new and old faces coming together to challenge for the State Title is an awesome thing. We’re delighted to have HIF continue their support of WA surfers, plus a host of core industry support that has attracted some of the best surfers in the state here to compete.”
"I have to thank my team of officials and staff who have made this event possible. I cant believe how lucky we were at this event with the waves and the performances of the surfers." He said.
The next event of the HIF Pro Am Series travels north to Geraldton on 11th – 12th May 2013, with anticipation already building for the second event of the series.
FINAL ROUND 1 RESULTS HIF PRO AM SERIES:
1. Brett Hardy (Margaret River) 16.43pts $500,
2. Jake Paterson (Yallingup) 15.07pts $250,
3. Josh Burke (Margaret River) 13.43pts $150,
4 James Fleming (Geraldton) 9.30pts $100.
1. Holly Thomas (Yallingup) 22.90pts,
2. Eliza Greene (Yallingup) 21.57pts,
3. Belinda Anderton (Gracetown) 20.53pts,
4.Emi Campbell (Denmark) 16.34pts.
(Please note: Aggregate scores from 2 Finals.)
1. Jake Paterson (Yallingup) 16.10pts,
2. Luke Hayter (Doubleview) 14.73pts,
3. Ryan Wordsworth (Yallingup) 13.57pts,
4. Jarrad Davies (Margaret River) 12.86pts.
U21 Pro Junior:
1. Josh Burke (Margaret River) 17.40pts ,
2. Jacob Willcox (Margaret River) 15.40pts,
3. Max Marsden (Geraldton) 14.53pts,
4. Kael Walsh (Yallingup) 13.76pts.
1. Paul Paterson (City Beach) 15.17pts,
2. Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River) 12.14pts,
3. Jake Paterson (Yallingup) 8.73pts,
4. Paul Burke (Quindalup) 8.14pts.
O40 Snr Masters:
1. Mark Clift (Trigg) 18.14pts,
2. Paul Paterson (City Beach) 17.00pts,
3. Brad Cowan (Margaret River) 11.33pts,
4. Shane Drew (Mandurah) 8.07pts.
O45 Grand Masters:
1. Mark Clift (Trigg) 17.14pts,
2. Adrian Shepherd (Albany) 15.93pts,
3. Brad Cowan (Margaret River) 13.77pts,
4. Mal Caithess (Margaret River) 7.60pts.
1. Pat Connell (City Beach) 27.76pts,
2. Mark Sutton (Connolly) 19.97,
3. Adrian Shepherd (Albany) 18.57pts,
4. Leon Norris (Gerladton) 10.87,
5. Steve Pozzi (Woodvale) 7.07pts.
(Please note: Aggregate scores from 2 Finals.)
1. Leon Norris (Geraldton) 23.21pts,
2. Doug Kitchingman (Secret Harbour) 8.20pts,
3. Steve Pozzi (Woodvale) 7.87pts,
4. Tim Thirsk (Hillarys) 4.70pts.
The HIF Pro Am Series is presented by SunSmart and proudly supported by West Coast Suspensions, Creatures of Leisure, Otis Eyewear, 3D Fins, Rottnest Express and Surfing WA
Source: Surfing WA
Author: Justin Majeks
Tags: Surfing WA, HIF, Margaret River