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|09/5/2012||HIF Pro Am Series Heads North to Geraldton|
|14/5/2012||HIF Pro Am Series Round # 2 - Geraldton|
HIF PRO AM SERIES RND # 2 - GERALDTON
HIF Pro Am Series Heads North to Geraldton
After a week of heavy rain and onshore winds have battered most parts of WA, the Batavia coast will provide relief for surfers travelling from as far south as Margaret River and Yallingup to compete. With the swell and winds both looking favourable for the weekend, event officials are hopeful that both days of competition will be blessed with great conditions.
Round one of the HIF Pro Am Series ran in great waves in Gracetown near Margaret River, with Ryan Wordsworth (Yallingup) displaying a vicious backhand attack to claim the win in the blue ribbon open men's division. The current ratings leader has been compared to 1999 World Champion Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo with a similar repertoire of powerful manoeuvres and is excited about the prospects of heading to one of his favourite competition location.
"Flat Rocks is definitely one of my favourite competition waves, the wave offers so much, big turns on the outside, with a really nice hollow section on the inside." Wordsworth commented.
"Im definitely looking forward to heading up to Geraldton, its a great surfing location at this time of year and the waves look like they'll be fun." He said.
The blue ribbon open men's division is again stacked to the roof with talent. The likes of 2011 HIF State Open Champion Jerome Forrest (Margaret River), Josh Burke (Margaret River), Drew Everest (Scarborough) and Geraldton locals Max Marsden and Danny Williams all out to catch number one seed Wordsworth. With the Australian Surfmasters Titles set to take place in August in New South Wales the hunger to represent WA is evident.
Another local Geralton surfer who is set to make the most of the home ground advantage will be Leah Wright. The powerful goofy footer who has an impressive junior record and has claimed numerous State Titles, including an Open Women's Title in 2008 will use her knowledge of the local breaks to her benefit after a skilful return to competition surfing in Margaret River in February.
With a total of ten divisions being contested the weekend, ranging from under 21 pro junior to over 55 legends the HIF Pro Am Series is set to showcase the depth of West Australian surfing.
"Geraldton offers a range of different waves with the ability to move the event to the best possible location will be vital in this all important second event of the series." Said Geraldton Boardriders reprsentative Leon Norris.
Competitors are asked to check in at Flat Rocks each day at 7:30am for all event information regarding the location and times of the event.
Entries for the HIF WA Pro Am Series are available online at www.surfingwa.com.au with spots still on offer in most divisions. For more information on this event or any other surfing event in WA be sure to contact Surfing WA on (08) 9448 0004.
If you missed the action from the first round of the HIF Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart in Gracetown you can check out the event highlight package here http://vimeo.com/37360769
HIF WA Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart & proudly supported by Creatures of Leisure, Otis Eyewear, Futures Fins, SexWax, Rottnest Express and Forte Hospitality & Surfing WA.
For more information of this event contact:
Surfing Western Australia - Event Manager
T: +61 8 9448 0004
Surfing Western Australia - Event Photographer
T: +61430 434 022
About HIF (Health Insurance Fund of Australia): HIF is proudly West Australian and a successful not-for-profit health insurer. Being Australia's fastest growing health fund, HIF's focus is on giving their members a great value, affordable health insurance. More and more people across the country are turning away from other Australian health funds in favour of HIF's ethical member-focused approach, attracted to affordable private hospital cover and ancillary cover that offers100% choice when selecting HIF's recognised healthcare providers.
HIF Pro Am Series Round # 2 - Geraldton
As the 2012 Australian Surfmasters Titles draw closer, the second event of the HIF Pro Am Series saw the intensity and level of surfing go through the roof. With the chance to represent Western Australia in Port Macquire (NSW) in August, surfers were looking to consolidate on results from the first event of the series in Gracetown, or use this event to spring board up the ratings to be in contention for WA State Team selection. With great surf forecast prior to the event, a field of over 70 competitors attended the event which will be remembered for great waves, and the barn storming performance of local surfers, in particular Max Marsden.
Despite a lack of swell meaning the event had to shift from the prime location of 'Flat Rocks', event officials were able to load up 4x4 vehicles with tents, flags, competitors and surfboards to make the move to 'Head Butts'. The back up break which is located along an isolated and remote stretch of beach delivered high performance waves in the 3-4 feet range (2.0 meters) on Saturday. Clean offshore winds and groomed swell lines allowed for some great surfing across the ten divisions be contested, ranging from U21 Pro Juniors to O55 Kahunas.
The preliminary rounds of competition were completed in clean and consistent waves, providing the perfect setting for some truly scintillating surfing. The Open Men’s division set the pace from the start with some impressive performances from South-West surfers Josh Burke (Margaret River), Dylan Kavanagh (Yallingup), and current ratings leader Ryan Wordsworth (Yallingup). Not to be out done on home turf, local surfers also came to the party with some jaw dropping surfing from Geraldton's Nat Parsons, James Fleming, Max Marsden and Kalbarri surfer Shaun Howe all of which posted solid round one victory’s.
"Its hard work out there, the waves are near perfect, but there is a lot of water moving around and staying in the right spot can be tricky." Said Ryan Wordsworth after posting an excellent 8.67 ride in his opening heat.
Former professional and big wave charger Paul Paterson (City Beach), was another who look suited to the day one conditions. The O35 Master Men's was highlighted by Paterson’s power surfing and he wowed the strong beach crowd on hand to watch the action. ‘Antman’ as he’s become known was awarded the wave of the day for a 9.00 ride which featured some serious vertical manoeuvres, and a variety of powerful forehand turns which were completed with his typical style and flair.
"Its always fun to head North for an event, the sun has been shinning all day and the conditions feel like the middle of summer in the South-West." Paterson commented.
Day one continued to provide excellent highlights with Mikaela Greene (Yallingup) displaying vast improvement in what is her first year of Open Women's competition, dropping two 7 point plus rides in her first hit out. Greene, the 2011 U18 Junior Women's State Champion was pressured by Geraldton's Leah Wright who won the opening event of the HIF Pro Am Series in Gracetown.
The waves brought out the best in the all divisions and although light onshore winds did move in, both competitors and officials were delighted with a successful first day of competition. Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks was relieved that the elements had all came together so well, saying "Its been a truly great day, those that made the effort to get to this far-flung stretch of coast have rewarded with some of the best competition waves we've had all year. It was insane just watching some of the rides that went down today."
Day two of competition dawned with an overnight drop in the swell and with a touch of south in the wind, meaning the great conditions of day one were now just a distant memory. The surfers who could adapt to the change in the size and shape of the waves would prove to be the most successful. None did this better than Geraldton local Max Marsden who flew under the radar on day one, but stole the show on day two to take out two blue ribbon divisions, the Open Men’s, and Under 21 Pro Junior's. Marsden used his local knowledge and vicious forehand attack to claim convincing wins in both divisions.
The Pro Junior final was a closely fought affair with three Geraldton locals taking on Margaret River's Josh Burke. James Fleming opened the final with a 7.17 ride (from a possible 10) to take an early lead, but it was Max Marsden who posted the highest score of the final, an 8.17 to change the momentum in his favour. Marsden's ability to surf through the flat or 'dead' sections of water to build his scores was the difference in the end. Marsden went onto score a back up 5.53 ride, to give him a combined total of 13.70pts, which was less than one point ahead of Fleming's 12.77 total giving him the closet win of the weekend over Fleming in second. In spite of some awesome surfing in the earlier rounds Josh Burke had to settle for third ahead of Mitchell Baillie in fourth position.
Using the Pro Junior as a good warm up, Marsden was unstoppable and took out the Open Men’s division with some inspiring surfing against three older and far more experienced competitors. Marsden seemed to save his best until last with an excellent 8.67pt ride and a back up 7.33 to finish with a combined 16.00 (from a possible 20) to take the win ahead of Ryan Wordsworth who simply couldn’t match Marsden's intensity in the wind affected beach breaks. Marsden's ability to drive out of his turns and generate speed down the line was the difference, Wordsworth best wave was a 6.67 ride and his back up 5.53 left him needing a near perfect 9.33 ride to take the win. Wordsworth still leads the ratings going into the final event of the series on Rottnest Island in mid June.
Nat Parsons made a welcome return to state level competition after breaking his neck in a surfing accident in 2011. Looking unaffected by an injury that kept him out of the water for almost 6 months, Parsons surfed with new school style to finish in third with a 9.70pt combined total. Parson's finished ahead of Kalbarri's Shaun Howe who also made a solid return to competition, but couldn't find the waves required finishing with a disappointing 5.93 combined total.
“Im so stoked right now. I don’t know what to say. This is probably my biggest win ever, so to do it at home makes it even more special." Marsden said after picking up the first place winners cheque for $500.
"I surf this place all the time and I don’t mind it with a bit of wind on the face which I think helped me.”
When asked about his performance over the weekend, Marsden put it down to his motivation to make a state team and head to the National Titles in August.
“Im just more focused on what I have to do in my heats now, Im really keen to represent the state and would love to see how my surfing compares to the guys on the East Coast." He concluded.
As was the case for much of the weekend, it was the new school competitors who were throwing down the challenge to their older and wiser opponents. In the Open Women’s division it was 17 year old Mikaela Greene that used her razor sharp forehand attack to show why she’s one of WA’s next big things in female surfing. Greene defeated former State Open Women's Champion Leah Wright, Yallingup's Holly Thomas finished in third ahead of another Geraldton surfer Dimitra Massaros in fourth.
Shane Drew (Mandurah) was another standout on day two, capturing two divisional wins like Marsden, but in the O35 Master's and O40 Senior Master Men's. Drew looked a cut above his competitors, picking off the better waves and stringing together some good forehand manoeuvres. Drew's flexible frame was able to milk each wave all the way to the sand and was clearly beyond words with the results and thank his fellow competitors.
“Im absolutely stoked with the result and Im definitely lucky that Antman had a bad day, but to win against quality competition is a sweet feeling”, said Drew, who was too good on the day for Paul Paterson (City Beach), Nick Black (Mandurah), and Ross Fleming (Geraldton) who finished second, third, and fourth respectively in the O35 Men's.
Drew also won the Senior Masters (over 40) on the strength of a 7.17 ride and back up 6.00 for a combined 13.17pt total. Drew again outclassed Paul Paterson for his second runner up finish for the weekend. Brad Cowan (Margaret River) was third ahead of Brian Jovic (Quinns Rock) in fourth.
In other results from the weekend Brian Jovic won the O45 Grand Masters divisions, Pat Connell (City Beach) won the O50 Legends, while Leon Norris (Geraldton) won the O55 Kahunas division.
Two WA State Titles were won over the weekend, with Ryan Wordsworth winning the first ever WA single fin title after surfing a pre 1970's board like a modern shortboard. With two wins from as many starts Wordsworth will hope to represent WA in this division as well as the Open Men's in NSW. Dimitra Massaros won the O35 Master's Women's state title also.
A big thank you must be extended to the Geraldton Boardriders for their constant support and professionalism that made the weekend such a success. All attentions now turn to the massive final event of the HIF Pro Am Series to be held on Rottnest Island on the 16th – 17th June 2012 ,where the remaining eight WA State Surfing Titles will be decided, along with the surfers who will earn the spots to head to National Titles in August.
The updated ratings for the HIF WA Pro Am Series are available online at www.surfingwa.com.au For more information on this event or any other surfing event in WA be sure to contact Surfing WA on (08) 9448 0004.
If you missed the action from the first round of the HIF Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart in Gracetown or wish to watch this weekends highlight package you can check out the Surfing WA Vimeo page http://vimeo.com/user4625467
1. Max Marsden (Geraldton) 16.00pts, $500, 2. Ryan Wordsworth (Yallingup) 12.20pts $250, 3. Nat Parsons (Geraldton) 9.70pts $150, 4. Shaun Howe (Kalbarri) 5.93pts $100.
1. Mikaela Greene (Yallingup), 2. Leah Wright (Geraldton), 3. Holly Thomas (Yallingup), 4. Dimitra Massaros (Geraldton).
1. Ryan Wordsworth (Yallingup) , 2. Mikaela Greene (Yallingup), 3. Duncan Bowie (North Beach), 4. Drew Everest (Clarkson). State Champion: Ryan Wordsworth
Pro Junior U21
1. Max Marsden (Geraldton), 2. James Fleming (Geraldton), 3.Josh Burke (Margaret River), 4. Mitchell Baillie (Geraldton).
O35 Masters Men:
1. Shane Drew (Mandurah), 2. Paul 'Antman' Paterson (City Beach), 3. Nick Black (Mandurah), 4. Ross Fleming (Geraldton).
O35 Masters Women:
1. Dimitra Massaros (Geraldton) State Champion: Dimitra Massaros
O40 Senior Master Men:
1. Shane Drew (Mandurah), 2. Paul 'Antman' Paterson (City Beach), 3. Brad Cowan (Margaret River), 4. Brian Jovic (Quinns Rock).
O45 Grand Masters Men:
1. Brian Jovic (Quinns Rock), 2. Brad Cowan (Margaret River), 3. Peter McAllen (Scarborough), 4. Mark Rotham (Scarborough)
O50 Legend Men:
1. Pat Connell (City Beach), 2. Ian 'Darbs' Darby (North Beach), 3. Leon 'Lurka' Norris (Geraldton), 4. Frank Hayter (Margaret River).
O55 Kahuna Men:
1. Leon 'Lurka' Norris (Geraldton), 2. Ian 'Darbs' Darby (North Beach), 3. Frank Hayter (Margaret River). 4. Jeff Bremer (Bicton).
For more information on the HIF WA Pro Am Series please contact:
Surfing Western Australia - Event Manager
T: +61 8 9448 0004
Surfing Western Australia - Event Photographer
T: +61430 434 022
Complimentary high resolution images for newspapers are available via Surfing WA. Images of other place getters are available for your specific region of circulation by contacting the Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks
About HIF (Health Insurance Fund of Australia):
HIF is proudly West Australian and a successful not-for-profit health insurer. Being Australia’s fastest growing health fund, HIF’s focus is on giving their members a great value, affordable health insurance. More and more people across the country are turning away from other Australian health funds in favour of HIF’s ethical member-focused approach, attracted to affordable private hospital cover and ancillary cover that offers100% choice when selecting HIF’s recognised healthcare providers.
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