Eleven State Champions have been crowned over an action-packed three-days of surfing in the south-west, with the 2023 West Coast Suspensions Surf Masters WA State Championships presented by Think Mental Health concluding in epic waves yesterday at Big Rock in Gracetown.
Better than expected conditions blessed surfers from right across Western Australia, who lined up for their chance at State Championship glory with 3-6 feet surf on offer, providing an exceptional standard of surfing from all divisions that hit the water.
The WA Surf Masters Championship brought together some of WA’s very best surfers including former World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour competitors, rising junior stars, as well past state, and national champions, in what was a great display of the depth of WA’s surfing talent.
Margaret River’s Finn Cox was outstanding in the blue-ribbon Open Men’s final, with a sizzling display of surfing that saw him claim maiden Open Men’s Title in style. Cox, who has an impressive junior record made a welcome return to the competition arena, booking his spot into the Think Mental Health WA Local Trials, the precursor to the WSL Margaret River Pro in April.
Using his razor sharp rail game, Cox locked in a 7.75 (from a possible 10) on his opening wave and backed it up with a an excellent 8.50 (from a possible 10), to finish on a two-wave combined total of 16.25 (from a possible 20).
“It’s been a while since I’ve won anything and it feels unreal,” said Cox. “The Trials is as big as it gets here in Margaret River, so I’m stoked to get a shot at the event and to get one up on my older brother is always a treat.”
Yallingup’s Maverick Wilson surfed with a maturity beyond his years to finish in second and confirm his spot into the Think Mental Health WA Local Trials as well. At just 15 years of age, Wilson proved too strong for an inform Fletcher Llanwarne (Sorrento, in third and Cyrus Cox (Margaret River), who finished in fourth.
Former WSL Championship Tour surfer, Claire Bevilacqua (Yallingup) drew from her experience and competition savvy, to take out the Open Women’s final and book her spot into next month’s Trials event. After giving birth just four months ago, the new mum shone against her younger finalists, locking in an excellent 8.00 (from a possible 10), backing it up with a 5.70 (from a possible 10), to finish on a combined total of 13.70 (from a possible 20).
“This is my first competition back since giving birth,” said Bevilacqua. “The body is an amazing thing and it’s nice to feel like myself again and be back in the water competing, which is something I love doing.”
Ruby Berry (Augusta) was in phenomenal form all event and finished in second place behind Bevilacqua, securing a position into the Trials event as well for her efforts. Olive Hardy (Margaret River) finished in a close third place ahead of Bailee Hastie (Gracetown) in fourth.
A host of different age divisions highlighted the depth of talent in Western Australia, with competitors battling hard in hopes to claiming a prestigious State Title and representing WA at the 2023 Australian Surf Championships, scheduled to run in NSW in August.
Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) took out the hotly contested Under-21 Pro Junior Title, using his strong rail and aerial surfing to advantage, taking the win ahead of a hot and hungry pack of shredders nipping at his heels, including Jake Hagan (Geraldton), Lachie Phillips (Dunsborough) and Ruby Berry (Augusta).
Richard Sills (Dunsborough) was the best of the Over-35 Masters, using his strong and powerful surfing to pick apart the lineup, scoring 15.20 (from a possible 20) on his way to victory. Sills backed up his State Title win from 2022.
Belinda Adams (Busselton) took out the Over-35 Women’s division after an injury interrupted 2022 season.
Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River) was another surfer who made a welcome return to State Title competition, claiming an impressive victory in the Over-40 Men’s division. Sheridan sliced apart the lineup like a hot knife through butter, taking his first State Title win since 2017.
Paul Paterson (Scarborough) was on fire claiming multiple State Titles in the Over-45 and Over-50 Men’s divisions, with some flawless surfing at one of his favourite waves. Although being small in stature, Paterson went big when it mattered dropping multiple excellent scores during his finals.
Brad Cowan (Margaret River) had to dig deep in an exciting Over-55 Men’s division, holding off a fast finishing Todd Taylor (Dunsborough) for the win.
In other results from the weekend, Pat Connell (City Beach) took out the Over-60 Men’s division, with Brent Moss (Esperance) was the best of the Over-65 Men’s surfers.
Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks was thrilled with the calibre of surfing on offer and the level of stoke on offer amongst the competitors. “That was a memorable event with some world-class performances to match, Big Rock is such a great competition venue that delivered in spades for our surfers,” said Majeks. “Congratulations to all our State Champions and well done to the four surfers who will now compete for their spot into the Margaret River Pro.”
Andrew Sheridan captured the West Coast Suspensions ‘Wave of the Weekend’ for an excellent 9.25 (from a possible 10) during the Over-40 Men’s final.
The WA Surf Masters are integral to the continued development of shortboard surfing in Western Australia, with the three-day event attracting some of WA’s very best, who have now etched their names into the history books alongside WA surfing royalty.
You can keep up to date with all things surfing by following Surfing WA’s social media platforms or by checking out www.surfingwa.com.au
Surfing WA reminds all our traveling competitors and families of the dangers of sending a text message or using a mobile phone while behind the wheel – Ditch the distraction and remember #NoTxtNoWrecks.
FINAL RESULTS 2023 WEST COAST SUSPENSIONS WA SURF MASTERS TITLES:
1. Finn Cox (Margaret River) – 16.25
2. Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough) – 13.60
3. Fletcher Llanwarne (Sorrento) – 13.25
4. Cyrus Cox (Margaret River) – 7.60
1. Claire Bevilacqua (Yallingup) – 13.70
2. Ruby Berry (Augusta) – 12.50
3. Olive Hardy (Margaret River) – 12.15
4. Bailee Hastie (Gracetown) – 6.10
Under 21 Pro Junior:
1. Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) – 15.15
2. Jake Hagan (Geraldton) – 11.40
3. Lachie Phillips (Dunsborough) – 8.00
4. Ruby Berry (Augusta) – 5.85
Over 35 Men:
1. Richard Sills (Dunsborough) – 15.20
2. Jarrad Davies (Cowaramup) – 12.85
3. Jesse Molloy (Golden Bay) – 11.20
4. Sean Scanlon (Dunsborough) – 6.90
Over 35 Women:
1. Belinda Adams (Busselton) – 14.20
2. Yvette Fraser (Margaret River) – 10.30
3. Shae Sheridan (Dunsborough) – 4.45
Over 40 Men:
1. Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River) – 16.00
2. Ian Macpherson (City Beach) – 11.85
3. Ash Farrow (Dunsborough) – 10.75
4. Richard Sills (Dunsborough) – 10.15
Over 45 Men:
1. Paul Paterson (Scarborough) – 14.50
2. Paul Dupuy (Albany) – 12.80
3. Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River) – 11.25
4. Ian Macpherson (City Beach) – 9.85
Over 50 Men:
1. Paul Paterson (Scarborough) – 15.15
2. Tommy Trigwell (Dunsborough) – 13.10
3. Warren Boyes (Dunsborough) – 10.75
4. Mark Clift (Trigg) – 9.55
Over 55 Men:
1. Brad Cowan (Margaret River) – 21.40
2. Todd Taylor (Dunsborough) – 21.25
3. Greg Dutch (Dawesville) – 14.40
4. Glenn Williams (Hillarys) – 5.75
*combined results from 2x finals
Over 60 Men:
1. Patrick Connell (City Beach) – 11.50
2. Adrian Shepherd (Albany) – 9.45
3. Brent Moss (Esperance) – 5.80
4. Frank Gray (Mandurah) – 5.15
Over 65 Men:
1. Brent Moss (Esperance) – 28.90
2. Mal Hardy (Gracetown) – 21.95
3. Frank Gray (Mandurah) – 19.10
4. Michael Molloy (Geraldton) – 13.23
*combined results from 2x finals
About West Coast Suspensions:
West Coast Suspension formally commenced trading as Jenkins Springs Pty Ltd in Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Western Australia in 1924. The West Coast Suspensions name was registered in 1990 to further reflect the company’s progression as a specialist suspension supplier to road transport, mining, recreational 4×4 and off road vehicles. More information: www.westcoastsuspension.com.au