The opening event of the 2023 Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by Think Mental Health has concluded in Yallingup, after a marathon weekend of competition surfing.
Warm and sunny weather blessed the 100 strong field of surfers who converged from right across WA for the first of three events to determine who will represent Western Australia at the National Titles scheduled to be held on Phillip Island, Victoria in November.
Despite small and at sometimes challenging conditions on Saturday, the temperature in and out of the water soared as competitors put on an awesome display of surfing, as sunny skies and perfect grommet sized waves rolled through the coastline of Yallingup all weekend.
Sunday was blessed with a bump in the swell and light winds which provided 2-4 feet waves for the event finalists.
Hot off the success of the recent Taj’s Small Fries, many new names and faces joined the State Titles, with a surge in competitors from the Mid-West and Great Southern regions in particular.
The Under-12 Micro-Grom Girls created history over the weekend, with 2023 marking the first time the division has been included at State Title level.
Cowaramup’s Lily Naylor strung together a flawless display of surfing, with the goofy-footer putting her strong forehand attack into action in the running lefts on offer at Shallows. Naylor posted a two-wave combined total of 11.73 (from a possible 20), to defeat Luca Jacobs (Gracetown), Ily Fraser (Margaret River) and Paige Hayward (Margaret River).
“I finished second at Taj’s Small Fries, I’m so happy to win the first ever Under-12 Girls final,” said Naylor. “I had so much fun and the waves have been really good.”
The Under-12 Micro-Grom Boys final provided a deep dive into the future of West Australia surfing, with Yallingup local Nate Spooner claiming the biggest win of his fledgling career. Spooner surfed with speed, power and flow on his way to a combined total of 11.23 (from a possible 20), to take down Jasper Glossop (Broadwater), Jack Bowdell (Cowaramup) and Banjo Laurie (Trigg).
“I’ve had a great event and thanks to my mum, dad, nan and pop for their support,” said Spooner.
Grace Cook (Cowaramup) excelled all weekend and was a worthy winner of the Under-14 Grom Girls division. Cook used her backhand to lethal affect and held off the challenge from a trio of South-West locals including Leila Fraser (Margaret River), Poppy Redman Carr (Quindalup), and Ivy Natta (Yallingup).
“That was a tough final and all the girls were ripping out there,” said Cook. “I just tried to stay calm and in the moment and want to thank my family for all their support and Mia McCarthy for all her help as well.”
Despite injuring his knee earlier in the week, Cruz Uros (Dunsborough) dug deep to win the hotly contested Under-14 Grom Boys final. Uros who is also a very talented skateboarder, drew inspiration from his concrete surfing and was able to muster the skills required to win when it mattered most. Uros dropped a 7.77 (from a possible 10) on his opening wave and never looked back, finishing on a two wave total of 14.20 (from a possible 20). Brody Mulik (Margaret River), finished second, ahead of Jahli Clarke (Cowaramup) and Cam Spencer (Yallingup).
“I’m stoked to get the win,” said Uros. “I was worried earlier in the week when I tweaked my MCL, but it came good just in time for the comp.”
Olive Hardy (Margaret River) was in devastating form on her way to victory in the Under-16 Cadet Girls division. Hardy used her superior wave selection and powerful turns to post and combined total of 13.74 (from a possible 20), taking the win ahead of Rosie Gillett (Dunsborough), Mia Jacobs (Gracetown) and Indie Siedmiogrodzki (City Beach).
“Shallows is such a fun competition location,” said Hardy. “It’s fun to be back in Yallingup for the second big event of the year and I’m looking forward to the next event already.”
Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough) continues to develop into one of WA’s brightest junior prospects with an impressive win in the Under-16 Cadet Boys final. Wilson just returned from a Surfing Australia training camp on the Gold Coast and brought a new level of focus and preparation into the weekend event. Wilson sliced and diced the waves to pieces finishing with a 14.00 (from a possible 20) combined total when the siren sounded. Jack Bulloch (Secret Harbour), finished in second, with Remy North (Yallingup) in third and Okie Fraser (Margaret River), fourth.
“Yesterday was really challenging and I was a little worried being in the first heat of the event,” said Wilson. “I’m glad the swell filled in today and it gave everyone better opportunity and I’m stoked to get the win.”
Willow Hardy (Margaret River) followed in her sister’s footsteps with a win the Under-18 Junior Girls final. Hardy backed up her recent win at Taj’s Small Fries in January to give herself a great confidence boost before heading away to compete in a series of World Surf League events on the East Coast later this week. Hardy used her razor-sharp forehand attack to finish with a two-wave total of 12.96 (from a possible 20), which left Ruby Berry (Augusta), Willow Hines (Margaret River) and Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River), all chasing good or excellent scores to change the result.
“I’ve really enjoyed this weekend and it feels nice to get some momentum before heading to Coolangatta next week,” said Hardy. “Thanks to all the girls in the final and to my family for all their support.”
Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) took to the sky to claim a gutsy win in the blue-ribbon Under-18 Junior Boys final. Flynn landed a clean aerial reverse on his way to a combined total of 15.16 (from a possible 20), defeating last year’s State Champion Jesse Siedmiogrodzki (City Beach), Cruz Sheridan (Margaret River) and Travis Barkhuizen (Eglinton).
“That was a tough final, all the boys were surfing really well and I knew I had to do something special,” said Flynn. “It’s great to kick off the series with a win and I hope to keep it rolling into the next event at Trigg.”
Ethan Anderson (Cowaramup) was awarded the Creatures of Leisure Little Legend Award for his efforts surfing up multiple age divisions in the Under-18 Boys, while Jahli Clarke (Cowaramup) received the Woolworths Fresh Move Award for his impressive display throughout the event.
The next event of the Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles will hit Trigg Beach in May, when the journey towards crowning WA’s junior surfing champions will continue.
The Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by Think Mental Health was live streamed via www.streamer.com.au allowing people anywhere in the world to tune in and watch the action as it happens in Yallingup.
You can keep up to date with all the action 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 EVENT RESULTS – ROUND # 1 YALLINGUP:
Under-12 Micro-Grom Girls:
1. Lilly Naylor (Cowaramup) – 11.73
2. Luca Jacobs (Gracetown) – 8.00
3. Ily Fraser (Margaret River) – 6.94
4. Paige Hayward (Margaret River) – 2.87
Under-12 Micro-Grom Boys:
1. Nate Spooner (Dunsborough) – 11.23
2. Jasper Glossop (Broadwater) – 10.13
3. Jack Bowdell (Cowaramup) – 9.93
4. Banjo Laurie (Trigg) – 6.00
Under-14 Grom Girls:
1. Grace Cook (Cowaramup) – 8.67
2. Leila Fraser (Margaret River) – 8.50
3. Poppy Redman Carr (Quindalup) – 6.83
4. Ivy Natta (Yallingup) – 2.56
Under-14 Grom Boys:
1. Cruz Uros (Dunsborough) – 14.20
2. Brody Mulik (Margaret River) – 12.03
3. Jahli Clarke (Cowaramup) – 10.27
4. Cam Spencer (Yallingup) – 2.24
Under-16 Cadet Girls:
1. Olive Hardy (Margaret River) – 13.74
2. Rosie Gillet (Dunsborough) – 9.27
3. Mia Jacobs (Gracetown) – 6.50
4. Indie Siedmiogrodzki (City Beach) – 6.33
Under-16 Cadet Boys:
1. Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough) – 14.00
2. Jack Bulloch (Secret Harbour) – 12.60
3. Remy North (Yallingup) – 10.43
4. Okie Fraser (Margaret River) – 10.00
Under-18 Junior Girls:
1. Willow Hardy (Margaret River) – 12.96
2. Ruby Berry (Augusta) – 10.10
3. Willow Hines (Margaret River) – 7.47
4. Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River) – 6.46
Under-18 Junior Boys:
1. Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) – 15.16
2. Jesse Siedmiogrodzki (City Beach) – 12.70
3. Cruz Sheridan (Margaret River) – 12.44
4. Travis Barkhuizen (Eglinton) – 10.77