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Western Australia crowns state's top junior surfers

Division winners © Woolacott



World Surfaris WA Junior Surfing Titles

Surfing Western Australia
Surfers Point, Margaret River, WA
20 March, 2016

Cyrus Cox, Mia McCarthy & Ben Gradisen fire through event

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 March, 2016 - Western Australia’s top junior surfers relished perfect autumn conditions at Surfers Point in Margaret River, for round one of the World Surfaris WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart. 

90 boys and girls, aged between 10 and 17 years of age converged from all corners of the state to tackle perfectly groomed grommet waves in the 2-4 feet mark.

Arguably one of state’s most iconic and time honoured surfing locations, Surfers Point powerful waves brought out the best from WA's new generation of surfing superstars who rose to the occasion!

"This weekend has provided our junior surfers with an invaluable experience to compete at a world class location," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. "It's been a great opportunity for the kids to surf the same patch of reef as the world's best surfers soon will for the upcoming Drug Aware Margaret River Pro." 

It was local South-West surfers that adapted best to the size and power of the waves on offer, winning five out of the seven divisions contested.

Cyrus Cox (Margaret River) was a popular winner in the blue ribbon Under-18 Junior Boys division, using his local knowledge to take down Yallingup trio of Duke Nagtzaam, Felix Leaver and Josh Cattlin.

Cox’s superior wave selection and powerful rail-to-rail surfing impressed the judges and spectators alike, scoring a near perfect 9.50 (from a possible 10) on his way to an all-important round one win.

Despite the best efforts of his opponents who all scored highly, Cox proved too strong finishing on a combined total of 15.70 (from a possible 20), leaving Nagtzaam in second on 14.43, Leaver in third on 12.23 and Cattlin in fourth on 11.00.

“I’m just stoked to have waited for that one really good wave that came through,” said Cyrus. “It was a little bit slow and I just had to stick to my guns out there and trust my skills.”

Mia McCarthy (Margaret River) used her small stature to great effect, taking out the Under-18 Junior Girls division in style. McCarthy was clinical in her approach, attacking to the right-handers and scoring highly.

A buzzer beating heat high 7.0 (from a possible 10) was enough to move McCarthy into first, defeating Phoebe McGregor (Yallingup), Annabelle Jones (Margaret River) and Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) in the 25 minute final.

“I knew I needed a score with not long to go in the heat,” said McCarthy. “I’m happy to win and it’s been an awesome event and all the girls surfed so well.”

Ben Gradisen (Gracetown) surfed with maturity beyond his years to win the Under-16 Cadet Boys division. Gradisen displayed textbook surfing, going top to bottom at every opportunity possible.

Utilising his forehand and backhand, Gradisen was too strong for Finn Cox (Margaret River), Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) and Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River), who finished second, third and fourth respectively.

“It’s so good to win at the opening event of the series,” said Gradisen. “I’m definitely going for the State Title this year and getting to National Titles is the goal for everyone here I think.”

Not to be out done by the boys, the Under-16 Cadet Girl's divisions also provided great highlights. Parading the depth of female talent now on offer in WA, Jamaica Selby (Margaret River), Pemba Spargo (Albany), Evie Dupuy (Albany) and Sascha Roberts (Albany), who went head-to-head in the 25 minute showdown.

Margaret River local Selby was an emotional winner, posting an excellent 9.0 (from a possible 10) to claim victory by a narrow margin from rising star Pemba Spargo.

“I want to thank everyone here and especially my mum,” said Selby. “She would be so proud of me today and I’m it means a lot to win here in Margaret River.”

Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) was a convincing winner of the Under-14 Grommet Boys division, displaying great courage and tackling some of the biggest waves and sections of the weekend. Gradisen scored a heat high 8.67 (from a possible 10) to edge out a determined and hungry group of young surfers including; Ry Dempsey (Margaret River), in second Solomon Pougue-Englert (Gracetown), in third and Daniel Bennedetti (Margaret River), in fourth.

“I couldn’t really here my scores out there,” said Gradisen. “Margaret’s is such a good wave and we’ve been really lucky with the weather and conditions this weekend.”

In other results from the weekend, an impressive forehand attack from Red Bluff’s Coral Durant saw her capture an exciting Under-14 Grommet Girls victory. Despite pressured from an in form Maddie Cawood (Margaret River), Durant’s repertoire saw her come out on top with a combined total of 13.10 (from a possible 20).

“I love the waves here and it’s good to see so many girls competing so well out there today,” said Durant.

Jack Mickle (Trigg) dominated his first ever State Title event, winning the Under-12 Micro Groms division. Mickle manhandled the Margaret River line-up finishing on a combined total of 15.50 (from a possible 20), leaving he fellow finalists chasing a combination of scores for the win.

“I’ve had so much fun this weekend and to win is sick,” said Mickle.

Forming a key part of the WA surfing development pathway, the 2016 World Surfaris WA Junior Surfing Titles attracts the states best young surfers seeking qualification to the Australian Junior Surfing Titles, which will take place on Phillip Island, VIC in late November.

“We’ve got some really impressive talent emerging at an incredible rate here in WA,” said Surfing WA Commentator and High Performance Coach Mark Clift. "In my era we never had access to the equipment, locations, coaching or support the kids do now, so it's good to see them making the most of their opportunities."

After a memorable start this weekend in Margaret River, attention now turns to the second event of the series. Mandurah will play host to WA's best juniors on the 11th and 12 of June, where the journey towards crowing the 2016 WA Junior Surfing Champions will continue.



1. Cyrus Cox (Margaret River) – 15.70pts, 2. Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup) – 14.43pts, 3. Felix Leaver (Yallingup) – 12.23pts, 4. Josh Cattlin (Yallingup) – 11.00pts.

1. Mia McCarthy (Margaret River) – 13.50pts, 2. Phoebe McGregor (Yallingup) – 11.34pts, 2. Annabelle Jones (Margaret River), 4. Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) – 6.37pts.

1. Ben Gradisen (Gracetown) – 15.94, 2. Finn Cox (Margaret River) – 8.17pts, 3. Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) – 7.76pts, 4. Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River) – 5.77pts.

1. Jamaica Selby (Margaret River) – 15.17pts, 2. Pemba Spargo (Albany) – 14.14pts, 3. Evie Dupuy (Albany) – 12.83pts, 4. Sascha Roberts (Albany) 11.60pts.

1. Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) – 16.10pts, 2. Ry Dempsey (Margaret River) – 13.94pts, 3. Solomon Pouge-Englert (Gracetown) – 9.83pts, 4. Daniel Bennedetti (Margaret River) – 7.27pts.

1. Coral Durant (Red Bluff) – 13.10pts, 2. Maddie Cawood (Margaret River) – 11.40pts, 3. Zali Hewson (Margaret River) – 6.74pts, 4. Lilli Cox (Margaret River) – 5.34pts, 5. Lucinda Jones (Margaret River) – 4.86pts.

1. Jack Mickle (Trigg) – 15.50pts, 2. Macklin Flynn (Mandurah) – 6.90pts, 3. Brock Launders (Margaret River) – 5.57pts, Phoenix Wilson (Mandurah) – 4.33pts.

World Surfaris WA Junior Surfing Titles, Surfing Western Australia, Surfers Point, Margaret River, WA, Cyrus Cox, Mia McCarthy, Ben Gradisen
Justin Majeks

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