Surfing Western Australia held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and State Champion presentations this past weekend, heralding the accomplishments of West Australian boardriders across various codes throughout the 2023 competitive season.
A total of 52 Junior Shortboard, Open Shortboard, Longboard, Logger, Bodyboard, and SUP State Champions were honoured for their outstanding achievements. The ceremony also shone a spotlight on the WA Surfer of the Year Award recipients, acknowledging their exceptional contributions to the sport.
The event brought together a constellation of Western Australia’s surfing luminaries, spanning past legends, current stars, and emerging talents. The gathering served as a vibrant tribute to the dedication, skill, and passion exhibited by the top performers in each code and division throughout the year.
Mark Lane, CEO of Surfing WA, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It was inspiring to witness so many of our State Champions gathered in one place, surrounded by the warmth of family and friends. We recognise the immense commitment and support required to achieve the status of a State Champion, and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all for this remarkable accomplishment.”
Amongst the State Champions that ranged from Under-12’s through to Over-70’s, were three National Champions including; longboarder Amanda Curley (Margaret River), and bodyboarders Kai De Legh (Padbury) and Ebony Schell (Mindarie).
In addition to celebrating the State Champions, Surfing WA proudly revealed the recipients of the prestigious Western Australian Surfer of the Year Awards, named in honour of four iconic figures in WA’s surfing history – Ian Cairns, Jodie Cooper, Murray Smith, and Mike McAuliffe.
The Western Australian Surfers of the Year Awards are the annual recognition of outstanding performances by WA surfers in professional and amateur events over the calendar year.
Jacob Willcox from Margaret River clinched his first-ever Ian Cairns Male Surfer of the Year Award, earning this accolade after securing a coveted spot in the World Surf League’s elite Championship Tour in 2024.
Willcox will join fellow West Australian Jack Robinson (Margaret River), marking the first time in 18 years that two WA males were last on tour, when Yallingup pair Taj Burrow and Jake Paterson competed alongside one another.
Gracetown’s Bronte Macaulay was awarded the Jodie Cooper Female Surfer of the Year Award, after finishing 7th on the World Surf League Challenger Series, just two positions shy of requalifying for the WSL’s Championship Tour. Macaulay captured wins in Newcastle and Balito in 2023 and finished in equal 3rd place as a wildcard in this year’s Margaret River Pro.
Margaret River’s Willow Hardy was announced as the Murray Smith Junior Surfer of the Year, after claiming the Under-18 Junior Girls State Title and finishing in the top ten of the WSL’s Australia Pro Junior and Qualifying Series rankings.
Hardy has just come off an equal 9th place finish in a QS5000 event in Taiwan and will captain the WA Junior Surfing Team who will compete in the Australian Junior Surfing Titles on Phillip Island, Victoria later this month.
While, Mindarie’s Ebony Schell was awarded the Mike McAuliffe Performance Award for claiming back-to-back wins at the Australian Bodyboard Titles in Port Macquarie, NSW.
Schell is the first West Australian to win consecutive National Titles in recent history will now turn her attention to competing on the world stage in 2024.
Surfing WA looks forward to the continued success and inspiring performances of these champions, as they leave an indelible mark on the rich tapestry of Western Australia’s surfing legacy.
2023 West Australian State Surfing Champions
Think Mental Health WA Bodyboard Championship:
OPEN MEN: Kai De Legh (Padbury)
OPEN WOMEN: Ebony Schell (Mindarie)
DROP KNEE: Joe Jordanoff (Dunsborough)
UNDER 18 JUNIOR BOYS: Riley Schell (Mindarie)
UNDER 16 CADET BOYS: Stirling Stilwell (Cottesloe)
OVER 35 MASTERS: Chad Jackson (Dunsborough)
OVER 45 GRAND MASTERS: Sean Oberholzher (Yallingup)
West Coast Suspensions WA Longboard & Logger Championship:
OPEN MEN: Jack Medland (Dunsborough)
OPEN WOMEN: Georgia Young (Perth)
OPEN MEN LOGGER: Jack Medland (Dunsborough)
OPEN WOMEN LOGGER: Michaela Ross (Albany)
OVER 40 MEN: Dane Quirk (Exmouth)
OVER 40 MEN LOGGGER: Jock Bahen (Cowaramup)
OVER 40 WOMEN: Amanda Curley (Margaret River)
OVER 40 WOMEN LOGGER: Amanda Curley (Margaret River)
OVER 45 MEN: Paul Burke (Dunsborough)
OVER 50 MEN: Dave Smith (Osborne Park)
OVER 50 WOMEN: Samantha Vanderford (Greenhead)
OVER 55 MEN: Doug Carruthers (Margaret River)
OVER 60 MEN: Barrie McKinnon (Dunsborough)
OVER 65 MEN: Brent Moss (Esperance)
OVER 70 MEN: Bob Monkman (Dunsborough)
UNDER 18 JUNIOR BOYS: Jake Smith (Osborne Park)
UNDER 18 JUNIOR BOYS LOGGER: Finlay Foley (Marybrook)
Stand Up Surf Shop North Freo WA Sup Championship:
OPEN MEN: Ben Mardon (Geraldton)
OPEN WOMEN: Monica McNab (Karrinyup)
10FT OPEN MEN: Scott McKercher (Margaret River)
10FT OPEN WOMEN: Jacenta McKenna (Dunsborough)
OVER 40 WOMEN: Silvia De Araujo (Scarborough)
OVER 40 MEN: Ben Mardon (Geraldton)
OVER 50 MEN: Darron McNab (Karrinyup)
10FT OVER 50 MEN: Mike Galvin (Cottesloe)
OVER 60 MEN: Jamie Ralston (Bicton)
UNDER 18 JUNIOR BOYS: Ryder Vernon (Yallingup)
West Coast Suspensions WA Surf Masters Championship:
OPEN MEN: Finn Cox (Margaret River)
OPEN WOMEN: Claire Bevilacqua (Yallingup)
UNDER 21 PRO JUNIOR: Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup)
OVER 35 MEN: Richard Sills (Dunsborough)
OVER 35 WOMEN: Belinda Adams (Busselton)
OVER 40 MEN: Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River)
OVER 45 MEN: Paul Paterson (Scarborough)
OVER 50 MEN: Paul Paterson (Scarborough)
OVER 55 MEN: Brad Cowan (Margaret River)
OVER 60 MEN: Patrick Connell (City Beach)
OVER 65 MEN: Brent Moss (Esperance)
Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles:
UNDER 18 JUNIOR BOYS: Otis North (Yallingup)
UNDER 18 JUNIOR GIRLS: Willow Hardy (Margaret River)
UNDER 16 CADET BOYS: Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough)
UNDER 16 CADET GIRLS: Olive Hardy (Margaret River)
UNDER 14 GROM BOYS: Ace Flynn (Margaret River)
UNDER 14 GROM GIRLS: Leila Fraser (Margaret River)
UNDER 12 MICRO GROM BOYS: Jasper Glossop (Broadwater)
UNDER 12 MICRO GROM GIRLS: Lily Naylor (Cowaramup)
Western Australian Surfer Of The Year Awards:
IAN CAIRNS MALE SURFER OF THE YEAR: Jacob Willcox (Margaret River)
JODIE COOPER FEMALE SURFER OF THE YEAR: Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown)
MURRAY SMITH JUNIOR SURFER OF THE YEAR: Willow Hardy (Margaret River)
MIKE MCAULIFFE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: Ebony Schell (Mindarie)
For more information on all things surfing in Western Australia be sure to check out: www.surfingwa.com.au