The 2023 Think Mental Health WA School Surfing Titles concluded with a bang last Friday at Trigg Beach, as students from 25 different regional and metropolitan high schools’ converged on Perth’s metropolitan beaches for the finale to Surfing WA’s largest participation-based event of the year.
The state final brought together the best of the best surfing schools’ in WA, after 10 qualifying events were held through the state promoting surfing and bodyboarding in the modern curriculum.
Small, clean, but highly contestable waves were on offer at Trigg Beach, as 68 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 2023.
The Think Mental Health 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, which is scheduled to run on Phillip Island, VIC later this year.
For surfers, a win at Trigg Beach guaranteed them a spot into the National Titles and the chance to compete against the best surfing schools from across the country.
Margaret River Senior High School continued their impressive winning streak at the Think Mental Health WA School Surfing Titles, claiming an impressive 18th consecutive Champion School victory, with the South-West school remaining undefeated in the event since 2006.
Margaret River’s depth of talent was on display, as they ran away with six wins from the eight divisions contested, winning all the surfing divisions and two bodyboarding finals.
Margaret River SHS took out the Senior Boys Surfing final, with a hard fought performances in tricky afternoon conditions from Macklin Flynn and Cruz Sheridan. Margaret River were pushed all the way by brothers Otis and Remy North from Cape Naturaliste College with very little separating the teams when the final siren sounded.
“It was a close final and I wasn’t sure if we’d won,” said Macklin Flynn. “The North boys were ripping and it’s always exciting to match up against them. I look forward to teaming up with Cruz over at Nationals this year.”
Ruby Berry and Willow Hardy continued Margaret River’s success with a win in the Senior Girls Surfing final, defeating Indie Siedmiogrodzki and Margot Fallourd from Shenton College. The goofy footers were always the team to beat and brought their extensive competition experience to the table when it mattered most.
“Willow and I have competed against one another for years and it’s a nice change to surf with her rather than against her,” said Berry. “The school is really supportive of our surfing pursuits and it’s nice to know that we now get a chance to surf together at the National Titles in Victoria.”
Brothers Fynn and Reef Lange, captured another victory for Margaret River SHS in the Junior Boys Surfing division, with their strong surfing pedigree steering them to victory ahead of Ace Flynn and Sid Englert also from Margaret River SHS.
“It’s pretty special to surf with your brother and to qualify for the National Titles,” said Fynn Lange. “I missed out on the State Team as an individual this year so this win means a lot to me and I can’t wait to compete alongside my brother.”
Olive Hardy and Mia Jacobs from Margaret River SHS dropped some big numbers in the Junior Girls Surfing final, taking down Mandurah Catholic College’s Isla Wroth and Neco Higgins.
“The School Surfing Titles are amazing and I’ve had a lot of fun today,” said Jacobs. “I’m excited to compete with Olive and think we’re a great chance at the National Titles.”
In the bodyboarding division’s, Christ Church Grammar School’s Sam Harding and Max Yeo won the Senior Boys Bodyboarding final, taking down Finn Knox and Cash Nation from Sacred Heart College in Sorrento.
“It’s been a fun day and it’s great our school supports the event and allows us to compete,” said Harding. “One of our teachers Mrs Fricke bodyboards and she always pushes us to do our best.”
Prendiville Catholic College won the Senior Girls Bodyboarding division, with Zoe Tinniswood and Emerson Cheeseman too strong for Shenton College’s pairing of Indie Siedmiogrodzki and Margot Fallourd.
“This is definitely going to make our school newsletter said,” said Tinniswood. “Our school has a great surfing program and we get to come down here to Trigg and surf and bodyboard which is amazing, being in the water is good for you both physically and mentally.”
Margaret River’s Lenox Hayward and Kai Luttrell added another win to the schools tally with victory in the Junior Boys Bodyboarding final, powering ahead of Sunny Higgins and Morris Singleton from Mandurah Catholic College in the dying minutes of their final.
“I didn’t own a bodyboard prior to this event and I’m glad that Kai and I could help our school get the win,” said Hayward. “I enjoy mixing it up on the bodyboard and I’m stoked to get the win here today.”
Margaret River SHS won the Junior Girls Bodyboarding division, with Olive Hardy and Indigo Dale notching up their school’s sixth win of the event, defeating St Mary’s Anglican School for Girls Florence Shaw and Amber Freestone.
“My uncle Ryan is an amazing bodyboarder and I guess he’s taught me a thing or two,” said Hardy. “Thanks to my teammate Indigo and to our teachers for all their support.”
The 2023 Think Mental Health WA School Surfing Titles saw a total of 51 regional and metropolitan high schools nominate close to 400 teams of surfers and bodyboarders, with ten qualifying events held throughout Western Australia in the lead up to last weeks state final.
“Congratulations to Margaret River Senior High School, they have once again proven to be the best surfing school in Western Australia,” said Surfing WA Events Manger Justin Majeks. “Congratulations to all our teams and schools for making the state final and well done to those surfers who have now qualified to represent WA at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Victoria.”
Surfing WA was thrilled to again join forces with long-term partner Healthway, to deliver the Think Mental Health message to a key target demographic throughout Western Australia. It is through initiatives such as this that aim to educate our members and the community of the importance of both physical and mental wellbeing through activities such as surfing.
Surfing WA will now focus on best preparing our junior surfers from the Woolworths Australian Junior Surfing Titles scheduled to run on Phillip Island, VIC in late November.
2023 THINK MENTAL HEALTH WA SCHOOL SURFING TITLES – STATE FINAL RESULTS:
Senior Boys Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Macklin Flynn & Cruz Sheridan) – 23.0
Runner Up School: Cape Naturaliste College (Otis North & Remy North) – 22.0
Senior Girls Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Ruby Berry & Willow Hardy) – 24.5
Runner Up School: Shenton College (Indie Siedmiogrodzki & Margot Fallourd) – 12.50
Junior Boys Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS 1 (Fynn Lange & Reef Lange) – 20.7
Runner Up School: Margaret River SHS 2 (Ace Flynn & Sid Englert) – 19.5
Junior Girls Surfing:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Olive Hardy & Mia Jacobs) – 23.50
Runner Up School: Mandurah Catholic College (Isla Wroth & Neco Higgins) – 15.0
Senior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Christ Church Grammar School (Sam Harding & Max Yeo) – 28.0
Runner Up School: Sacred Heart College (Finn Knox & Cash Nation) – 16.0
Senior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Prendiville Catholic College (Zoe Tinniswood & Emerson Cheeseman) – 20.0
Runner Up School: Shenton College (Indie Siedmiogrodzki & Margot Fallourd) – 14.50
Junior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Lenox Hayward & Kai Luttrell) – 13.50
Runner Up School: Mandurah Catholic College (Sunny Higgins & Morris Singleton) – 12.0
Junior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School: Margaret River SHS (Olive Hardy & Indigo Dale) – 15.8
Runner Up School: St Mary’s Anglican School for Girls (Florence Shaw and Amber Freestone) – 11.50
Champion School: Margaret River Senior High School
2nd Place: Shenton College
3rd Place: Mandurah Catholic College
4th Place: Prendiville Catholic College
5th Place: St Mary’s Anglican School for Girls
6th Place: Cape Naturaliste College
State Final Qualifying Schools:
Albany Senior High School
Bunbury Catholic College
Bunbury Senior High School
Cape Naturaliste College
Carine Senior High School
Christ Church Grammar School
Comet Bay College
Denmark Senior High School
Duncraig Senior High School
Frederick Irwin Anglican School
John XXIII College
Mandurah Catholic College
Margaret River Senior High School
Nagle Catholic College
North Albany Senior High School
Perth Waldorf School
Prendiville Catholic College
Sacred Heart College
St Hilda’s A School For Girls
St Joseph’s College Albany
St Mary’s Anglican School For Girls
St Stephen’s Duncraig
About Think Mental Health:The ‘Think Mental Health’ education campaign is part of a comprehensive approach in Western Australia, that aims to build mental health and wellbeing, and reduce mental health issues, with a view to reducing Western Australia’s suicide rate. Surfing WA will collaborate with professional mental health organisations, local authorities and community leaders to develop and implement comprehensive strategies for mental health promotion, awareness, and support within the surfing community. Visit www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au for more information about the campaign.