The 24th edition of the Whalebone Longboard Classic wrapped up in a memorable fashion yesterday in Cottesloe, with over 130 competitors celebrating one of the most iconic events on the Surfing Western Australia calendar.
The Whalebone Classic was formed back in 1998 after local longboarder Peter Dunn, discovered a whale’s rib bone immersed in the surf at Cottesloe and decided to host a competition in memory of the whale’s spirit.
Over two decades on the Lavan Whalebone Longboard Classic has grown to be a much loved celebration of longboarding, with the event bringing together the surfing tribes for three-days of action packed competition in a festival style atmosphere.
Georgia Young (Perth, WA) and Jock Bahen (Cowaramup, WA) etched their names onto one of Western Australia’s most prestigious and iconic trophy’s, with victory in the blue ribbon Open Women’s and Open Men’s divisions respectively.
Varying, but highly contestable conditions provided a test for competitors who ranged in age from 17 through to 74, with longboarding’s diversity, inclusion and sense community on show for the thousands of people who walked through the event site from Friday through to Sunday.
Georgia Young became the most successful surfer in Whalebone history, winning her seventh Open Women’s Title with a flawless display of longboarding across the three days of competition. Young was in sync with the waves throughout the event and used every inch of her nine foot plus board to extract maximum points on each of her waves ridden.
Young, who is a true ambassador for female longboarding, was too strong for Olivia Lodge (Dunsborough), Georgia Hanson (Cottesloe) and first time Whalebone competitor Cassie Hoffman (Scarborough).
“I’ve competed in so many of these events, but I really think this has to be one of the best yet,” said Young. “I love this event so much and the waves we had on Saturday morning were about as good as it gets for Iso’s.”
Young also took out the Open Women’s Logger division, capping off an unforgettable event for the experienced and respected competitor.
The Lavan Open Men’s final was an entertaining affair, as all four surfers traded good waves and great scores throughout the 25-minute final.
Jock Bahen (Cowaramup) opened with a 7.00 ride (from a possible 10) and built momentum during the final, using traditional and modern longboard manoeuvres to claim a heat high 7.40 (from a possible 10), finishing on a two-wave combined total of 14.40 (from a possible 20).
The win for Bahen meant the world to him, with so many fond memories of the Whalebone flowing back to him as he took down inform surfers Jack Medland (Dunsborough), Ryan Clark (Dunsborough) and Mark Matisons (Cottesloe), who all continue to push the progression of longboarding in Western Australia.
“I competed in the very first Whalebone Classic as a 16 year old grommet,” said Bahen. “I’m now 41 and the event means so much to me. This was probably the hardest final I had ever been in over the years, Jack, Ryan and Mark are some of the best longboarders in the county and to take the win in front of my friends and family today is a really special feeling.”
Anthony Spencer (Trigg) styled his way to victory in the Old Mal final, surfing a longboard that was shaped prior to 1967. Spencer hadn’t competed in the Whalebone Longboard Classic since 2019 and his return to the event was worth the wait, claiming a much deserved victory and capturing his maiden Old Mal title.
“I wasn’t going to surf in this division as I didn’t have an Old Mal,” said Spencer. “Thankfully Ross Rutherford lent me his and it worked so well in the waves out there. I’m stoked to get the win and get my name along side so many champions of our sport, it’s nice to be back home in WA after being away travelling and surfing for a while.”
Spencer also went onto win the Open Men’s Logger division, join Georgia Young as the only double divisional winners of the event.
In other results, Gerry Bejarano (Balga) was victorious in the Over-70 Men’s final, with Brett Madalena (West Leederville) the best of the Over 60 Men’s competitors, while Samantha Vanderford (Greenhead) won the hotly contested Over-50 Women’s division.
Surfboard shaper Dave Smith (Osborne Park) defended his Over-50 Men’s title, while event commentator Jason Weeks (Lancelin) won the Over-50 Men’s Logger division, with Ari Schipf (Hilton) winning the Over 50 Women’s Logger final.
Paul Burke (Dunsborough) was the best of the Over-40 Men’s surfers, with Kim Horwood (Hillarys) taking out the Over-40 Women’s final in her first ever Whalebone Classic.
Jake Smith (Osborne Park) won the Under-18 Junior Boys division, with Finlay Foley (Marybrook) a popular winner of of the Under-18 Logger’s.
Surfing Western Australia events manger Justin Majeks was ecstatic with the success of this year’s Whalebone Longboard Classic and the spirit of the longboarding community in Western Australia.
“This is a truly special event and I’d like to congratulate the Cottesloe Longboard Club for their 25th year of operation,” said Majeks. “We couldn’t run this event without the Cott Longboard Club and clearly this event means a lot to a such a large number of people and can’t thank them all enough. Well done to all our champions, everyone who surfed, everyone who helped, and we can’t wait to celebrate the 25th Whalebone Longboard Classic in 2024.”
The Lavan Whalebone Longboard Classic is much more that just a surfing competition, with an impressive social calendar of events and activities for people to get involved with, as well as onsite catering, surf stalls, live music, surfboard raffles and much, much more.
“Lavan is very proud to once again partner with Surfing WA for the Whalebone Longboard Classic. As a leading, independent Western Australian law firm we are committed to making a real difference through our support of local community organisations,” said Lavan’s Managing Partner Dean Hely.
Be sure to purchase a Lavan x Youth Focus Raffle Ticket before Wednesday at 5pm for your chance to win a hand shaped 9’4 Lavan red Ranger Log crafted in Yallingup by Moonshine Surfboards. This surfboard has been donated by Lavan in aid of Youth Focus, who provide essential mental health and wellbeing services for young Western Australians and their families.
For more information on this event and all things surfing in WA be sure to head to www.surfingwa.com.au and be sure to check out Surfing WA’s social media platforms for all the Whalebone Longboard Classic content.
Surfing WA acknowledges the State Government’s support through the Road Safety Commission and reminds all our traveling competitors and families of the dangers of sending a text message or using a mobile phone while behind the wheel – Remember #NoTxtNoWrecks.
24th Lavan Whalebone Longboard Classic Final Results:
Lavan Open Women’s Final:
1. Georgia Young (Perth, WA) – 25.05 – $1,000
2. Olivia Lodge (Dunsborough, WA) – 18.5 – $500
3. Georgia Hanson (Cottesloe, WA) – 14.35 – $350
4. Cassie Hoffman (Scarborough, WA) 4.25 – $150
*combined total from 2x finals
Lavan Open Men’s Final:
1. Jock Bahen (Cowaramup, WA) – 14.40 – $1,000
2. Jack Medland (Dunsborough, WA) – 12.85 – $500
3. Ryan Clark (Dunsborough, WA) – 12.75 – $350
4. Mark Matisons (Cottesloe, WA) – 10.75 – $150
Gage Roads Old Mal:
1. Anthony Spencer (Trigg, WA) – 13.50 – $500
2. Ryan Clark (Dunsborough, WA) – 10.90 – $250
3. Rahn Goddard (Sydney, NSW) – 9.95 – $150
4. Jock Bahen (Cowaramup, WA) – 8.70 – $100
Vidlers Surf Open Men’s Loggers:
1. Anthony Spencer (Trigg, WA) – 14.75
2. Jack Medland (Dunsborough, WA) – 13.05
3. Ryan Clark (Dunsborough, WA) – 11.10
4. Jacob McIvor (Rockingham, WA) – 5.45
Cottesloe General Store Open Women’s Loggers:
1. Georgia Young (Perth, WA) – 12.15
2. Olivia Lodge (Dunsborough, WA) – 5.85
3. Gabrielle Puzey (Kensington, WA) – 3.75
4. Georgia Hanson (Cottesloe, WA) – 2.00
Carlin Chiropractic Over 70 Men’s:
1. Gerry Bejarano (Balga) – 22.25
*combined total from 2x finals
West Coast Suspensions Over 60 Men’s:
1. Brett Madalena (West Leederville, WA) – 13.50
2. Frank Gray (Mandurah, WA) – 11.20
3. Ken Jarvis (Carine, WA) – 8.90
4. Glenn Solomon (Scarborough, WA) – 7.60
Dethridge Groves Real Estate Over 50 Men’s:
1. Dave Smith (Osborne Park, WA) – 12.20
2. Paul Burke (Dunsborough, WA) – 11.55
3. Jason Weeks (Lancelin, WA) – 10.40
4. Brett Reed (Lake Coogee, WA) – 7.40
Forester Estate Over 50 Women’s:
1. Samantha Vanderford (Greenhead, WA) – 24.8
2. Belinda Le Grice (East Fremantle) – 17.30
3. Melissa Pontre (Subiaco, WA) – 15.25
4. Ari Schipf (Hilton, WA) – 14.85
5. Hiro Smith (Mt Claremont, WA) – 8.50 *combined total from 2x finals
Moonshine Surfboards Over 50 Men’s Logger
1. Jason Weeks (Lancelin, WA) – 11.05
2. Glenn Solomon (Scarborough, WA) – 9.75
3. James McGhee (Mosman Park, WA) – 7.95 4. Bill Gibson (Margaret River, WA) – 4.45
Cottesloe Beach Hotel Over 50 Women’s Loggers:
1. Ari Schipf (Hilton, WA) – 18.00
2. Hiro Smith (Mt Claremont, WA) – 8.00 *combined total from 2x finals
Club Med Over 40 Men’s:
1. Paul Burke (Dunsborough, WA) – 13.20
2. Jock Bahen (Cowaramup, WA ) – 12.75
3. Scott Trew (Gabbadah, WA) – 12.30 4. Jarrah Calder (East Fremantle, WA) – 9.70
Huey’s Choice Surf Wax Over 40 Women’s:
1. Kim Horwood (Hillarys, WA) – 25.90
2. Iara Saurez (Beaconsfield, WA) – 13.70
*combined total from 2x finals
Spiral Wetsuits 18 Junior Boys:
1. Jake Smith (North Beach, WA) 24.25
2. Finlay Foley (Marybrook, WA) – 20.70
3. Qynn Horwood (Hillarys, WA) – 4.95 *combined total from 2x finals
#NoTxtNoWrecks 18 Junior Boys Logger:
1. Finlay Foley (Marybrook, WA) – 25.05 2. Jake Smith (North Beach, WA) – 20.70 *combined total from 2x finals
ABOUT THE WHALEBONE LONGBOARD CLASSIC:
The Whalebone Classic was born in 1998 after local longboarder Peter Dunn, discovered a whale’s rib bone immersed in the surf at Isolated Reef and decided to host a longboarding competition in memory of the whale’s spirit. Two decades later, the competition has grown to become a much-loved tradition within the local longboarding community.