Seven new state junior surfing champions have been crowned in Geraldton over the weekend, as the final event of the 2023 Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles presented by Think Mental Health concluded yesterday with competitors from across WA blessed with three days of pumping surf along the Batavia coastline.
Amazing winter weather was served up as the third and final event of the series concluded in style, with surfers having to quickly adapt from reef to beach break conditions as an easing swell forced the event to relocate from Flat Rocks to Back Beach for the final day of competition.
Over 100 of Western Australia’s brightest young surfing stars put on a show, in hopes of representing WA at the 2023 Australian Junior Surfing Titles set to be held on Phillip Island, Victoria later this year.
Otis North (Yallingup) claimed an impressive victory in the blue-ribbon Under-18 Boys, claiming the state title in the process with an imposing two-wave combined total of 16.17 (from a possible 20).
North went head to head with Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) in a seesawing battle that saw the pair exchange excellent waves and the lead throughout the 25 minute final. Despite Flynn’s best efforts he was left chasing an 8.15 (from a possible 10) to snatch victory off North, finishing in second, ahead of Jesse Siedmiogrodzki (City Beach) in third and Leo Fallourd (Mosman Park) in fourth.
“I’m stoked to be state champion,” said North. “I knew that it was going to be a tough final and the waves were firing today. I look forward to surfing with all these guys at the National Titles.”
The Under-18 Girls final was another equally entertaining match up with Ruby Berry (Margaret River), slicing and dicing the waves at Flat Rocks to pieces for the win. Berry opened with a heat high score of 7.17 (from a possible 10) and backed it up with a 6.40, to finish on a two-wave combined total of 13.57 (from a possible 20).
Berry proved too strong for Willow Hardy (Margaret River), Isi Campbell (Denmark) and Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River).
“I’ve just got back from competing on the East Coast and it’s nice to be surfing over reef and in waves with some real power and push,” said Berry. “It’s been a really good event and I love surfing with these girls and can’t wait for Nationals later this year.”
Willow Hardy (Margaret River) captured the Under-18 Girls state title with a count back required to decide the result with Ruby Berry. Hardy was a consistent performer throughout the series posting a first and two second place finishes from the three events.
“This is my last year in the juniors and it means a lot to be crowned state champ,” said Hardy. “I’ve started surfing in these events as a grommie and I’ll always love the memories of competing in these events.”
The Under-16 Cadet Boys final was a tight and closely contested battle between all four finalists. Okie Fraser (Margaret River) found the best waves on offer, scoring a combined total 12.16 (from a possible 20), to take the victory ahead of inform surfers Remy North (Yallingup), and twin brothers Jake and Ben Scott (Swanbourne).
“It’s been a great event and I’m really happy with win,” said Fraser. “Thanks to my family for their support and the boys for a great final.”
Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough) already captured the Under-16 Cadet Boys state title for 2023 on the strength of his performances at Yallingup and Trigg earlier this year.
Olive Hardy (Margaret River) was one of the standout surfers of the event, capturing the Under-16 Girls state title with a great performance at Back Beach on Sunday. Hardy had just returned from the East Coast where she placed second at the Occy’s Grom Comp and she looked in tune with the beach break conditions, making it a memorable weekend for the Hardy family in Geraldton.
Picking off great waves and using her powerful rail game to extract the maximum points, Hardy claimed her maiden Under-16 Girls state title, defeating Rosie Gillett (Dunsborough), Bronte Scott (Swanbourne), and Eden Rodden (Geraldton), with a combined total of 14.17 (from a possible 20).
“Today has been so fun, the waves and weather have been so good and I’m really happy with the win,” said Hardy. “I prefer surfing reef breaks, but I’ve really enjoyed mixing it up here at Back Beach and I can’t wait to head to Phillip Island in November.”
Charlie Harris (Swanbourne) claimed the biggest win of his young career, winning the Under-14 Boys final ahead of a pack of frothing grommets who were nipping at his heals, including Cruz MacDonald (Geraldton), Ethan Anderson (Dunsborough) and Ace Flynn (Cowaramup).
In the closest final of the event, just 1.27 separated all four competitors when the siren sounded. Harris scored 13.63 (from a possible 20) which included a heat high 7.60 (from a possible 20).
“I’m really, really stoked,” said Harris. “I’m not sure what I’ll tell my friends when I get back to school next week, but I’ve had a lot of fun and the waves have been pumping.”
Ace Flynn (Cowaramup) was able to defend his Under-14 Boys state title from 2022 and will be an exciting member of the WA Junior Surfing Team.
Leila Fraser (Margaret River) was another surfer who stepped it up on finals day, taking out Under-14 Grommet Girls final and capturing the state title in the process. Fraser used a progressive and vertical approach to post a two-wave total of 14.33 (from a possible 20), edging out Grace Cook (Cowaramup), younger sister Ily Fraser (Margaret River) and Amelia Boxall (Dunsborough).
“I’m really thankful for the support of my family and friends,” said Fraser. “Overall it’s just been a great event.”
Ry Foley (Yallingup) was the best of the Under-12 Micro Grom Boys taking his first win at state title level. The division is a look into the future of surfing in WA, with many young surfers going berserk at Back Beach. Foley was pushed all the way by energetic performances from Dylan Murray (Mandurah), Darcy Stewart (Bunbury) and Darcy Gee (Yallingup).
“It’s been such a fun day and the waves have been so good,” said Foley. “Thanks to all everyone for their support and well done to all micro-groms.”
Lily Naylor (Cowaramup) created a little slice of history over the weekend, winning the first ever Under-12 Micro Grom Girls state title. 2023 is the first year the division has been included at the Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles and encourages participation from younger girls from across Western Australia.
Naylor dropped an excellent 8.83 (from a possible 10) on her way to victory ahead of Paige Hayward (Margaret River), Lylah Loose (Secret Harbour), Poppy Vernon (Wembley Downs) and Luca Jacobs (Gracetown).
“I love surfing and I love being out in the water with all girls,” said Naylor. “I’ve never been a state champion before so it’s a pretty cool feeling.”
Geraldton provided an epic conclusion to the three event series, which traveled started in Yallingup, before travelling to Trigg Beach and finishing in Geraldton. Surfing WA will now focus on preparing the state champions and state team members for the Australian Junior Surfing Titles scheduled to be held on Phillip Island, Victoria later this year.
“I’d like to congratulate our newly crowned junior state champions, as well as our divisional winners and finalists for an exciting title race in 2023,” said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. “This event has not only displayed the depth of talent we have in WA at the moment, but also their ability to adapt to different locations and conditions, which is what we’ll have to deal with a lot at Nationals.”
The Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles act as a nursery for WA talent, with many top surfers learning their craft by competing in these events as groms. The likes of Taj Burrow (Yallingup), Jack Robinson (Margaret River), Claire Bevilacqua (Yallingup), Jacob Willcox (Margaret River) and Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown), all excelled in the State Junior Titles in the past and forged a path forward for WA’s new generation of surfing stars.
The Think Mental Health WA School Surfing Titles will also give young WA surfers a chance to qualify for the National Titles, with competition travelling right around Western Australia to unearth to best surfing talent within the sequin day school system.
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.
For more information on this or any other WA event, be sure to log onto www.surfingwa.com.au and check out all the Surfing WA social media platforms for event updates and information.
Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles – Round # 3 Final Results:
Under-12 Micro-Grom Girls:
1. Lily Naylor (Cowaramup) – 24.76
2. Paige Hayward (Margaret River) – 18.18
3. Lylah Loose (Secret Harbour) – 15.73
3. Poppy Vernon (Wembly Downs) – 15.04
5. Luca Jacobs (Gracetown) – 7.10
*combined total from 2x finals
State Champion: Lily Naylor
Under-12 Micro-Grom Boys:
1. Ry Foley (Yallingup) – 11.50
2. Dylan Murray (Mandurah) – 11.37
3. Darcy Stewart (Bunbury) – 10.56
4. Darcy Gee (Yallingup) – 10.07
State Champion: Jasper Glossop
Under-14 Grom Girls:
1. Leila Fraser (Margaret River) – 14.33
2. Grace Cook (Cowaramup) – 10.33
3. Ily Fraser (Margaret River) – 8.30
4. Amelia Boxall (Dunsborough) – 4.63
State Champion: Leila Fraser
Under-14 Grom Boys:
1. Charlie Harris (Swanbourne) – 13.63
2. Cruz MacDonald (Geraldton) – 13.50
3. Ethan Anderson (Dunsborough) – 13.44
4. Ace Flynn (Cowaramup) – 12.36
State Champion: Ace Flynn
Under-16 Cadet Girls:
1. Olive Hardy (Margaret River) – 14.17
2. Rosie Gillet (Dunsborough) – 12.60
3. Bronte Scott (Swanbourne) – 12.17
4. Edel Rodden (Geraldton) – 6.33
State Champion: Olive Hardy
Under-16 Cadet Boys:
1. Okie Fraser (Margaret River) – 12.16
2. Remy North (Yallingup) – 10.67
3. Jake Scott (Swanbourne) – 9.83
4. Ben Scott (Swanbourne) – 7.40
State Champion: Maverick Wilson
Under-18 Junior Girls:
1. Ruby Berry (Margaret River) – 13.57
2. Willow Hardy (Margaret River) – 13.30
3. Isi Campbell (Denmark) – 101.10
4. Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River) – 6.77
State Champion: Willow Hardy
Under-18 Junior Boys:
1. Otis North (Yallingup) – 16.17
2. Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup) – 15.86
3. Jesse Siedmiogrodzki (City Beach) – 10.97
4. Leo Fallourd (Mosman Park) – 10.50
State Champion: Otis North
Round 1 – Yallingup
February 4th – 5th 2023
Round 2 – Trigg Beach
26th – 28th May 2023
Round 3 – Geraldton
14th – 16th July 2023
Under 18 Junior Girls
Under 18 Junior Boys
Under 16 Cadet Girls
Under 16 Cadet Boys
Under 14 Grommet Girls
Under 14 Grommet Boys
Under 12 Micro-Grom Girls
Under 12 Micro-Grom Boys