Chill WA Junior Titles Pres. by SunSmart - Rnd 3
WA's Junior Surfing Champions Crowned in Geraldton
Sunday, 24 July 2011
With four of the seven State Titles still in dispute coming into the Geraldton event, surfers were out to qualify for the team that will represent WA at the Australian Junior Titles scheduled for Coffs Harbour, New South Wales in December. With a lot at stake for the aspiring group of surfers who are pushing through the WA junior ranks at the moment, the weekend provided some great performances and nail biting finishes. In what can be only described as an awesome way to wrap up the three event series, Geraldton once again provided the perfect setting for the WA Junior Champions to be crowned after events in Trigg and Yallingup.
After initial forecasts pointed towards a less than pleasant outlook, the surf goods smiled and provided large surf and light winds over both days of competition.
"Saturday was a bit wild with the swell building throughout the day, but we were lucky with the winds and swell settled overnight blessing us with ideal waves today." Commented Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks
"Flat Rocks is a super reliable and consistent competition venue, it has rights and lefts and is a pretty open playing field for competitors." He continued.
The blue ribbon U18 Junior Men's is the most hotly contested division of the Chill Surfing Titles, with the past list of winners including Taj Burrow, James Catto, Ry Craike, Danny Williams and Jack Robinson. Number one seed Jacob Willcox (Margaret River) was amongst a group of South-West surfers who stood out in the preliminary rounds and came into the final as the favourite to secure his second State Title of 2011. The 25 minute final would not disappoint with a high scoring display ensuing. Willcox, used great wave selection and impeccable surfing to send a clear message that this was to be his day. It was Willcox's razor sharp forehand attack that was perfectly suited to the long walls on offer. With turns that continually sent huge fans of spray into the air Willcox was rewarded with a heat high score of 7.60 which shot him directly into the lead.
Fellow finalists Josh Burke (Margaret River), James Fleming (Geraldton) and Jye Perkins (Kalbarri) had all earned their place into the final with great surfing and kept the pressure on Willcox with each securing good scores. Despite their best efforts, it was Willcox who took the win when he found a back up 5.50 which was enough to capture his maiden U18 State Title. The result confirmed Willcox's status as one of WA's next big things, as he added the U18 Title to the U16 State Title he had already won at the second event in Yallingup. Willcox was now the champion in WA's two blue ribbon divisions at the Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles.
"Im over the moon right now, to have won the two divisions this year it's a great feeling. We can only surf in one division at National Titles so I think its going to be the U16's for me." Said Willcox who will spear head WA's assault at the upcoming Junior National titles.
Local surfer James Fleming was a man on a mission, finishing the final in second place with some powerful forehand hacks that relegated Josh Burke to third, and Jye Perkins fourth. The result moved Fleming to third in the ratings overall, with Burke just sneaking into the State Team and Perkins finishing seventh.
The U18 Junior Women's final was again highlighted by the efforts of South-West surfers. The Greene sisters, Mikaela and Eliza (Yallingup) battled it out for family bragging rights, while Gracetown's Bronte Macaulay was looking for a big performance in what would be her final Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles event. Mikaela Greene and Bronte Macaualy came into the final sharing the ratings lead, whoever placed higher would claim the State Title. Mikeala Greene's heat high score of 7.70 (from a possible 10) gave her the advantage in what was a wave starved heat. When she found a strong back up score of 5.27, it was Greene that claimed her consecutive U18 State Titles. Bronte Macaulay finished second, ahead of Eliza Greene in third with Hannah Massie (Margaret River) in fourth place.
"We got up here a few days before the event started to visit our family and get use to the location. We've had this place to ourselves most of the time so I guess I that time paid off." Said Greene who will lead a strong group of young female surfers to Coffs Harbour to represent their state.
The U16 Cadet Boys was a pleasure to watch with some smooth and progressive surfing being offered by all four finalists. James Fleming (Geraldton) was in blistering form all weekend and although the State Title had already been secured by Jacob Willcox, the talented goofyfooter shone in his absence. Fleming kept the momentum rolling from his U18 final and found the best waves of the heat to seamlessly link smooth and committed turns and big arial manoeuvres. The win for Fleming moved him into second place on the ratings behind Willcox and into his the WA State Team. Jack Macaulay (Gracetown) the son of former world # 3 Dave Macaulay showed that surfing runs through his veins as well with a gutsy second place finish. Macaulay's forehand attack was enough to oust Harry McPherson (Mandurah) into third place and Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup) into fourth.
"We've just spent the last week up at the Bluff surfing all day which has helped a lot, Im really stoked." Said the quietly spoken Fleming who will join Willcox, McPherson and Nagtzaam in the U16 Cadets division at National Titles.
In other results from the weekend Eliza Greene (Yallingup) won the U16 Cadet Girls ahead of Denmark's Emi Campbell. Kael Walsh (Yallingup) defeated a class filed in the U14 Grommet Boys. Walsh was too strong for Lachlan Ross (Denmark) in second, with Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup) third and Fletcher Cremasco (Kalbarri) in fourth.
Ella Massie (Margaret River) won her first U14 Grommet Girls State Title in a close scoring affair. Kila Hatchett (Margaret River) the son of former ASP World Tour Head Judge Perry Hatchett claimed his maiden U12 Micro Groms State Title with a close fought win over Josh Cattlin (Marmion).
Whilst qualification to the Australian Junior Surfing Titles remains the key objective for many competitors, the 2011 Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles has seen an impressive list of State Champions crowned across seven divisions as well as discover a new and super talent group of emerging surfers within the state. The WA Junior Surfing Team now boasts a team that has representatives from the Central-West, Perth-Metro, South-West and South Coast which shows the strength of the sport right across the WA.
The attention of the successful surfers will now shift to the upcoming training camps, and high performance sessions scheduled to best prepare the team for the pressures of a National Title campaign.
Josh Burke was awarded the 'Sector 9 Sidewalk Surfer' award for his event high score of 8.60.
Be sure to check out www.surfingwa.com.au for the updated series rating and all event updates and information.
If you missed any of the action from round two of the Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles, you can check out the event highlight package in the coming days on the Surfing WA Vimeo account at vimeo.com/user4625467
Supported by Creatures of Leisure, Sex Wax, PowerBalance, Sector 9, Firewire Surfboards, and Surfing Western Australia.
U18 Junior Boys: 1. Jacob Willcox (Margaret River), 2. James Fleming (Geraldton), 3. Josh Burke (Margaret River), 4. Jye Perkins (Kalbarri). STATE CHAMPION: Jacob Willcox
U18 Junior Girls: 1. Mikaela Greene (Yallingup), 2. Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown), 3. Eliza Greene (Yallingup), 4.Hannah Massie (Margaret River). STATE CHAMPION: Mikaela Greene
U16 Cadet Girls: 1. Eliza Greene (Yallingup), 2. Emi Campbell (Denmark), 3. Luciana Burke (Margaret River), 4. Ella Massie (Margaret River), 5. Marie Bradley (Dunsborough). STATE CHAMPION: Eliza Greene
U14 Grommet Boys: 1. Kael Walsh (Yallingup), 2. Lachlan Ross (Denmark), 3. Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup), 4. Fletcher Cremasco (Kalbarri). STATE CHAMPION: Shaun Manners
U14 Grommet Girls: 1. Ella Massie (Margaret River), 2. Emi Campbell (Denmark), 3. Luciana Burke (Margaret River), 4. Bailiee Hastie (Margaret River), 5. Indyia Webb (Margaret River). STATE CHAMPION: Ella Massie
U12 Micro-Groms: 1. Kila Hatchett (Margaret River), 2.Josh Cattlin (Marmion), 3. Luka Burke (Margaret River), 4. Jarrah Webb (Margaret River). STATE CHAMPION: Kila Hatchett
Pumping conditions for the final event of the Chill WA Junior Surfing Titles in Gerladton. Woolacott