Taj Burrow wins WA Male Surfer of the Year
West Australia's Champion Surfers Celebrated At Margaret River
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 March, 2013 : - - The corporate suite of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro at Surfers Point played host to one of the most prestigious and exciting events on the Surfing WA calendar - the presentation of the 2012 State Champions and the announcement of the WA Surfer of the Year Award winners. A night which recognises outstanding performances of surfers across all disciplines who excelled in the 2012 WA State Titles and also the exceptional performances of WA professional surfers at the elite level.
This awards night pays tribute to our rich history of surfing achievement as current outstanding performances are recognised, in the endeavour of encouraging the next generation of West Australian surfers. Over 200 surfers, special guests and families enjoyed live music, drinks and canapes with a stunning sunset over the Margaret's Mainbreak providing the perfect backdrop for the evening.
The event was highlighted by the two special guests, 4x ASP World Champion Mark Richards (Newcastle, NSW) and 1999 World Champion and inaugural winner of the Margaret River Pro Mark Occhilupo (Gold Coast, QLD). The two champions of Australian surfing were on hand reminiscing about the final they shared together back in 1985 and to present the nights awards.
"I remember it being 10-12 feet when I was last here, it was chicken skin stuff." Richards said. "It was a long time ago, but I still had the same feeling rolling over the hill here at Surfers Point today."
The four specific award categories are named in honour of four of Western Australia's finest surfers - Ian Cairns, Jodie Cooper, Murray Smith and Mike McAuliffe. Not only did the competitive careers of this quartet set standards for others to follow but over the years each has contributed to the development of surfing either in Western Australia, nationally or internationally.
The recipients of the inaugural awards in 1999 were Taj Burrow (Cairns Medal - Male Surfer of the Year), Melanie Redman- Carr (Cooper Medal - Female Surfer of the Year) and Ry Craike (Smith Medal - Junior Surfer of the Year) with the Mike McAuliffe Award for Exceptional Performances going to Brooke Farris, Luke Campbell, Dave Macaulay and Tevita Gukilau.
Yadin Nicol (Gracetown) took out the Mike McAuliffe Award for Exceptional Performances for his 5th place finish at the season ending Pipeline event, where he scored a perfect 10 point ride. Local surf school owned and former professional surfer Josh Palmateer accepted the award on Yadin's behalf who is currently in America recovery for an injury , saying.
"Everyone know's how much of a legend Mike is and I think everyone would be stoked to have this award on their mantlepiece, Yades would be over the moon." The Murray Smith WA Junior Surfer of the Year was hotly contested with a number of fresh faces displaying their talent throughout the year. Jacob Willcox, Kael Walsh and Jack Robinson all from the South-West received nominations for their performances in a state, national or international events. Despite an exceptional year from all, Jacob Willcox dominated the state and national ranks and won almost every event he entered in 2012 to take the award.
Willcox was awarded a wildcard into the 2013 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro and took down world # 5 Adriano De Souza (Brazil) in his opening heat. "This is a massive honour for me and I hope it helps me with my next heat out here." Willcox said. By finishing 14th on the ASP Women's Tour last year and fresh off winning the trials of the Drug Aware Margaret River and defeating 5x World Champion Steph Gilmore, Felicity Palmateer (Hillarys) received the Jodie Cooper Medal for WA Female Surfer of the Year.
"I'd like to thank my family and friends for all their support and for Surfing WA putting on such an excellent evening for us all." Palmateer said.
Fourteen years after first winning the Ian Cairns Medal, Taj Burrow claimed his 11th Ian Cairns Award for WA Male Surfer of the Year. After another stellar year on the World Championship Tour, Taj won two events the Quiky Pro on the Gold Coast and the Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz. Taj is solidifying his name in the history books as the best surfer of all time to come out of WA.
"This award is something I don't take lightly and despite winning it numerous times it is still something I strive for each year." Burrow said.
"WA is such a special place for me and this event, this award, and the people here tonight means so much to me."
Surfing WA announced their 38 state surfing champions and 36 runners up from four separate disciplines (shortboard, longboard, bodyboard and stand up paddle) in a celebration and recognition of our sport's best.
"It is vital to recognise and honour the achievements at the grass roots of competitive surfing in WA." Said Surfing WA event manager Justin Majeks.
Surfing WA State Champion & WA Surfer of the Year AwardsProudly supported by HIF, SunSmart, Healthway and the Department of Sport & Recreation
Source: Surfing WA
Author: Justin Majeks
Tags: Western Australia, Taj Burrow, Margaret River