Seven champions have been crowned after an exciting opening event of the 2021 SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles presented by Good Earth. Mandurah provided summer-like conditions over the weekend with small, clean and sun-drenched waves on offer for the diverse mix of talent who converged from right across WA to compete.
Despite the lack of swell, competitors milked everything out of the 1-2 feet waves on offer, spinning, rolling and flipping their way to contention for the 2021 WA State Bodyboard Team to contest the National Titles in Port Macquarie, NSW in August.
After kicking off at Pyramids Beach on Saturday, finals took place at Mandurah Wedge, one of Australia’s most iconic bodyboarding locations, with unique waves created by refraction off the rocky break wall on the southern side of the Dawesville Cut, creating literal launch pads for bodyboarders.
19-year old Josh De Legh (Padbury) claimed the biggest win of his young career, taking down three former National Titles winners with an epic display of small wave wizardry in the blue-ribbon Open Men’s final.
De Legh defeated Ben Veitch (Margaret River), Brendan Gabel (Scarborough) and Joe Jordanoff (Dunsborough), posting a near perfect 9.33 (from a possible 10) on his way to victory and finishing on a combined total of 14.83 (from a possible 20).
“I’m so stoked, I haven’t won a comp for a while and to do it against quality opposition makes it even more memorable,” said De Legh. “It’s been clean offshore all weekend and although it wasn’t true Mandurah Wedge, I’m pumped to get this win.”
Ebony Schell (Mindarie) proved she’s a star on the rise, taking out the Open Women’s division ahead of Swanbourne’s Bronwyn Fricke. Schell shone on finals day using a full repertoire of manoeuvres to capture her first win at Mandurah Wedge ever.
“Thanks to everyone for an epic weekend,” said Schell. “I look forward to competing at my home beach in Mindarie for the next event of the series.”
Riley Schell (Mindarie) kept the momentum rolling for his family, by taking out the hotly contested Under-16 Cadet Boys division. Competing in two divisions, Schell spent more time in the water than most this weekend and the time paid off as he picked up the ‘Grand Flavour Grom Award’ as the events best young competitor.
“Thanks to all the boys in the final,” said Schell. “I’m really happy to have finished the event in some fun little wedges, nothing big, but still super fun.”
Margaret River’s Ziggy Bullock was another former Australian Champion in the event, and he drew from his competition experience to win a nail bitting Under-18 Junior Boys final. Bullock caught just three waves in the final, but his best was an excellent 9.17 (from a possible 10) which launched him to victory ahead of close friend Max McGregor (Margaret River) with just 0.07 separating the pair when the siren sounded, with Riley Schell (Mindarie) and Joe Savage (Kalamunda) rounding out the top four.
“That was a super close finish and I’m glad we’ve got some waves her at the Wedge in the end,” said Bullock. “I was lucky to have priority when that wave came through, I knew it was going to have a good section on it and I’m pumped to get the win.”
Joe Jordanoff (Dunsborough), the defending Over-35 Masters State Champion, was too strong in the punchy waves, linking together major moves to edge out Brad Neervoort (Craigie), Nat Hartge (Fremantle) and Darren Hotker (Bunbury) in the Over-35 Men’s final.
“Thanks to everyone for a great weekend,” said Jordanoff. “It’s always a pleasure to come to these events and see how high the standard is here in WA. I’ve been to countless State Titles over my years competing, but I still love them just as much now as I did when I was younger.”
In other results from the weekend, Mark Boehm (Marangaroo) took out the Drop Knee division, while Glenn Schell (Mindarie) made it a trifecta for his family, with a win in the Over-45 Grand Masters division.
Mandurah Wedge locals, Davis Blackwell and George Humphreys popped in over the weekend to support the event and they were thrilled to see old and new faces at their home beach.
“This is where it all started for me,” said Humphreys. “It’s a bummer there’s not really any waves today, but Mandurah Wedge is probably one of the best bodyboard waves in the world.”
“I remember winning my first Aussie Title back in 2009,” said Blackwell. “Bodyboarding has taken me everywhere around the world and it’s great to see the new groms coming up through the ranks.”
After a successful opening event, competitors can look forward to the second event of the series which will head north of Perth to Mindarie in early June, where the 2021 State Champions will be finalised.
The SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles offers competitors a chance to compete in a safe, fun and friendly environment, whilst also mixing it up with some of the best up and coming talent in Australia.
For more information on this or any other WA event series be sure to log onto www.surfingwa.com.au and check out all the Surfing WA social media platforms for event updates and information.
SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles Round # 1 Results:
1. Josh De Legh (Padbury) – 14.83
2. Ben Veitch (Margaret River) – 14.56
3. Brendan Gabel (Scarborough) – 12.10
4. Joe Jordanoff (Dunsborough) – 11.93
1. Ebony Schell (Mindarie) – 24.14*
2. Bronwyn Fricke (Swanbourne) – 18.70*
*combined total from 2x finals
Under 18 Junior Boys:
1. Ziggy Bullock (Margaret River) – 12.44
2. Max McGregor (Margaret River) – 12.37
3. Riley Schell (Mindarie) – 11.84
4. Joe Savage (Kalamunda) – 11.56
Under 16 Cadet Boys:
1. Riley Schell (Mindarie) – 28.00*
2. Joe Savage (Kalamunda) – 25.60*
3. Kobi Tanner (Bunbury) – 15.66*
4. John Salmond (Perth) – 15.29*
*combined total from 2x finals
1. Mark Boehm (Marangaroo) – 9.17
2. Brad Neervoort (Craigie) – 3.87
Over 35 Masters:
1. Joe Jordanoff (Dunsborough) – 13.04
2. Brad Neervoort (Craigie) – 10.94
3. Nat Hartge (Fremantle) – 3.10
4. Darren Hotker (Bunbury) – 2.77
Over 45 Grand Masters:
1. Glenn Schell (Mindarie) – 22.50*
2. Adam Armstrong (Duncraig) – 15.27*
3. Ian Goldthorpe (Cottesloe) – 4.83*
*combined total from 2x finals
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