The 2021 SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles concluded with a bang last Friday, as students from 24 different regional and metropolitan high schools converged on Trigg Beach for the finale to Surfing WA’s biggest participation based event of the year.
After ten qualifying events held throughout WA over the past month, the best of the best surfing schools in WA were on show, battling tricky and wind-swept waves at Trigg Beach. Over 60 teams of boys and girls hit the water in surfing and bodyboarding divisions to see who would be crowned WA’s Champion Surfing School for 2021.
Margaret River Senior High School continued their impressive winning streak at the SunSmart School Surfing Titles, claiming a record-breaking 16th consecutive Champion School victory. Margaret River’s depth of talent was on display as they ran away with six of the eight division wins.
The SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles provides a unique stepping stone for secondary students to reach the pinnacle of the sport for their age group, the Woolworths Australian Junior Surfing Titles. For surfers a win at Trigg guaranteed them a spot into the National Titles and the chance to compete against the best surfing schools from across the country.
Margaret River SHS dominated the hotly contested Senior Boys Surfing final, with an inspired performance from Gracetown duo Jed Gradisen and George Simpson. Despite the best efforts of fellow south-west surfers Otis North and Lachie Phillips from Cape Naturaliste College, it was an exciting and powerful display from Gradisen & Simpson that saw them take the win.
“The waves have been tricky out there, but there’s some big sections to hit,” said Jed Gradisen. “Big thanks to our teachers and the whole team for another big year, I’m stoked to take the win in my last year of high school.”
Jaya Rule and Chloe Campbell from St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School won the Senior Girls Surfing final, defeating a highly touted pair of Willow Hardy and Zali Hewson from Margaret River SHS. Using their home ground advantage the girls from St Mary’s extracted everything out of the conditions on offer.
“We’ve been training every morning together and pushing each other to get to this point,” said Rule. “Thanks to Mrs Grayson and we’re stoked to have qualified to head to Queensland.”
Sid Englert and Okie Fraser kept the momentum rolling for Margaret River SHS, taking out the Junior Boys Surfing division from brothers Travis and Bryce Barkhuizen from Quinn’s Baptist College.
“The waves have been really fun and surfing with a team mate makes it so much more exciting,” said Fraser. “Sid is a great surfer and well done to everyone else from Margaret River.”
Ruby Berry and Kaleisha Launders from Margaret River SHS both posted big numbers on their way to victory in the Junior Girls Surfing final. Berry and Launders took down schoolmates Lila-Grace Howarth and Willow Hines in the final.
“These events are always so much fun and I’d like to thank all the other schools here competing,” said Berry. “Well done to Margaret River for a great team performance.”
In other results, Margaret River’s Mat Jordi and Ziggy Bullock won the Senior Boys Bodyboarding final, taking down Luke Gibson and Jayden Rowles from Duncraig SHS. A perfect 10 point ride to Jordi was the difference in a tightly contested final.
Margaret River SHS won the Senior Girls Bodyboarding division, with Zali Hewson and Ruby Berry proving they’re just as handy on their bodyboards as they are on their surfboards, taking down Mandurah Catholic College’s Ella Ginbey and Charlotte Tipple.
Quinn’s Baptist College continued to turn heads in 2021, reaching multiple finals and finishing second overall behind Margaret River. Quinn’s won the Junior Boys Bodyboarding final with Riley Schell and John Salmond powering ahead of Josh Willcox and Charlie Lizee from Margaret River SHS.
Margaret River SHS won the Junior Girls Bodyboarding division, with Lilla-Grace Howarth and Willow Hardy notching up Margaret River’s final win in the Junior Girls bodyboard division.
“A big congratulations to Margaret River Senior High School, they have once again proved to be WA’s best surfing school,” said Surfing WA Events Manger Justin Majeks. “We’ve discovered new talent throughout all of WA’s surfing regions and well done to those surfers who have now qualified to represent WA at the Junior National Titles.”
Surfing WA was excited to again join forces with long-term partner Healthway, to deliver the SunSmart message to key demographic right across Western Australia. Surfing WA through initiatives such as this continues to educate the community on the importance of being SunSmart to ensure the health of our athletes.
The 2021 SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles saw 54 regional and metropolitan high schools compete, with hundreds of teams of surfers and bodyboarders nominated, and over a thousand students pulling on their wetsuits and participating over the past month.
Surfing WA will now focus on best preparing our junior surfers from the Woolworths Australian Junior Surfing Titles scheduled to run on North Stradbroke Island, QLD in late November.
For more information on the SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles best sure to check out: www.surfingwa.com.au
2021 SUNSMART WA SCHOOL SURFING TITLES – STATE FINAL RESULTS:
Champion School Results:
1st Place: Margaret River Senior High
2nd Place: Quinn’s Baptist College
3rd Place: St Mary’s Anglican Girls School
4th Place: Duncraig SHS, Mandurah Catholic College, Cape Naturaliste College
Senior Boys Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Jed Gradisen & George Simpson)
Runner Up School: Cape Naturaliste College (Lachie Phillips & Otis North)
Senior Girls Surfing:
Champion School: St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School (Jaya Rule & Chloe Campbell)
Runner Up School: Margaret River SHS (Willow Hardy & Zali Hewson)
Junior Boys Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Sid Englert & Okie Fraser)
Runner Up School: Quinn’s Baptist College (Travis Barkhuizen & Bryce Barkhuizen)
Junior Girls Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Ruby Berry & Kaleisha Launders)
Runner Up School: Margaret River SHS (Lila-Grace Howarth & Willow Hines)
Senior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Mat Jordi & Ziggy Bullock)
Runner Up School: Duncraig SHS (Luke Gibson & Jayden Rowles)
Senior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Zali Hewson & Ruby Berry)
Runner Up School: Mandurah Catholic College (Ella Ginbey & Charlotte Tipple)
Junior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Quinn’s Baptist College (Riley Schell & John Salmon)
Runner Up School: Margaret River SHS (Josh Willcox & Charlie Lizee)
Junior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Willow Hardy & Lilla-Grace Howarth)
Runner Up School: Margaret River SHS (Kaleisha Launders & Willow Hines)
Regional Qualification Dates:
Mid West: Monday 26th July – Geraldton
Peel: Tuesday 3rd August – Mandurah
Bunbury: Wednesday 11th August – Back Beach
South-West: Thursday 12th August – Margaret River
Great Southern: Friday 13th August – Albany
Metropolitan Qualification Dates:
Metro: Monday 16th – Friday 20th August – Trigg Beach
Friday 27th August – Trigg Beach
State Final Qualifying Schools:
Bunbury Catholic College
Bunbury Grammar School
Cape Naturaliste College
Christchurch Grammar School
Geraldton Christian College
John XXIII College
Mandurah Catholic College
Margaret River SHS
Methodist Ladies College
Nagle Catholic College
North Albany SHS
Perth Waldorf School
Quinns Baptist College
Sacred Heart College
St Hilda’s Anglican School For Girl’s
St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School
Did you know that the sun can see through your skin to the cells beneath the surface? In fact, each time the sun sees your cells (when the UV is 3 or above), it’s doing damage that can just keep building up and up, until one day it causes a mutation in your DNA which can turn to skin cancer. People are reminded to check the UV Index when they are exposing their skin to the sun and to protect themselves when the UV index is 3 or higher. Visit myUV.com.au for your UV forecast and to download the SunSmart App.