MARGARET RIVER PROVIDES MEMORABLE FINISH TO 2017 SUNSMART WA BODYBOARD TITLES

Seven new State Champions have been crowned at the final event of the SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles presented by Good Earth, with amazing competition conditions making for a memorable finish at Gas Bay, Margaret River.

Competitors from across WA were blessed with some of the best waves for any bodyboard state title event in recent years, as light offshore winds combined with a moderate ground swell to provide punchy 3-4 feet surf.
 
A team of 21 bodyboarders was confirmed to represent Western Australia at the Australian Bodyboard Titles in NSW in August, after two days of hair-raising excitement in the South-West.

"Bodyboarding made a welcome return to Gas Bay after a long hiatus and we couldn’t be happier with the waves that we’ve scored,” said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks.
 
Margaret River’s Ben Veitch found the conditions to his liking, taking out a well deserved win in the blue-ribbon Open Men's division. Using his local knowledge, Veitch picked off the biggest and best waves on offer, dropping an excellent 8.67 and backed it up with a 6.17 finishing on a combined two-wave total of 14.84 (from a possible 20).
 
Veitch had to fend off Henry Gibson (Mandurah), Lee Wilson (Margaret River) and Tom Morris (Dawesville), who finished in second, third and fourth respectively.

"I've been competing in these events for as long as I remember, but to score the waves we did today is pretty special," said Veitch. "I think the last time I surfed a heat at Gas was 2008 and I’ll do it until I’m 40 if I can."
 
Despite the third place finish, Lee Wilson secured his maiden State Championship after also reaching the finals in Mandurah in February.
 
Wilson was an event standout, dropping the events only perfect 10-point ride.
 
“This is my first Open State Title and to get the wave we had this weekend was pretty incredible,” said Wilson. “I’m looking forward to Nationals and the Tweed Region has heaps of good waves.”

Geraldton's Lachlan Hearne secured his maiden State Championship with victory in the hotly contested Under-18 Junior Boys division. Flaunting his repertoire of new school manoeuvre, Hearne wowed the judges with his style and finesse as he linked together the best waves during the 25-minute final.

Joel Hughan (Trigg) surfed strongly finishing just 0.70 behind Hearne, while Oli Richardson (Albany) and Tom Douglass (Duncraig) rounded out the minor placing’s.

“I’ve had a pretty stressful couple of weeks with exams at school, so to win in pumping waves is a great feeling," said Hearne after the final. "It was super close out there and I want to do a shout out to all the Gero boys who have helped me get here today."

Hearne also captured victory in the Under-21 Pro Junior division.
 
Rory Nelson (Geraldton) bagged himself another State Championship, after dominating the Drop Knee division. The current Australia Champion shone in conditions to defeat Declan Genge (Margaret River) and Mark Boehm (Marangaroo).
 
“The waves have been perfect,” said Nelson. “Thanks to Surfing WA for running such an epic event.”
 
Patrick Franklyn (Fremantle) was one of the exciting young riders of the event, taking out the Under-16 Cadet division. After finishing second at the 2016 National Titles, Franklyn is motivated to get to NSW in August to go one better.
 
“The waves have been pumping all event and yeah I can’t wait to get back to the National Titles,” said Franklyn.

In other results from the weekend, Max McGregor (Margaret River) won the Under-14 Grommets State Championship with back-to-back wins in Mandurah and Margaret River.
 
Bodyboarding is clearly in the McGregor’s blood, with Max’s dad Chad McGregor (Margaret River) winning the Over-35 Masters division.

After a hugely successful SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles for 2017, all attentions now shift to preparing the team of 21 bodyboarders who will represent WA at the upcoming National Titles with a State Team Training Camp set to be announced in the coming weeks.

“After two great events in Mandurah and Margaret River, we congratulate our 2017 State Champions and wish our WA Bodyboard Team all the best for the National Titles in the Tweed Region, NSW," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. "After some great individual and team results I’m sure WA will perform strong once again on the national stage.”

You can see the final ratings for the SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles for 2017 by clicking here
 
For more information on this or any other WA surfing event, be sure to check out www.surfingwa.com.au or contact the Surfing WA Office on (08) 9448 0004. 

SUNSMART WA BODYBOARD TITLES – RND # 2 MARGARET RIVER:
 
OPEN MEN:
1. Ben Veitch (Margaret River) – 14.84
2. Henry Gibson (Mandurah) – 12.77
3. Lee Wilson (Margaret River) – 11.17
4. Tom Morris (Dawesville) – 10.27

2017 STATE CHAMPION: Lee Wilson

UNDER 18 JUNIOR BOYS:
1. Lachlan Hearne (Geraldton) - 12.93
2. Joel Hughan (Trigg) - 12.23
3. Oli Richardson (Albany) - 10.93
4. Tom Douglass (Duncraig) - 10.23

2017 STATE CHAMPION: Lachlan Hearne
 
UNDER 16 CADET BOYS:
1. Patrick Franklyn (Fremantle) - 24.24
2.  Ben Vigors (Geraldton) - 15.68
*Combined totals from 2x finals

2017 STATE CHAMPION: Patrick Franklyn
 
UNDER 14 GROMMET BOYS:
1. Max McGregor (Margaret River) - 15.99
2. Holden Ross (Margaret River) - 13.26
*Combined totals from 2x finals

2017 STATE CHAMPION: Max McGregor

DROP KNEE:
1. Rory Nelson (Cape Burney) - 30.83
2. Declan Genge (Margaret River) - 25.34
3. Mark Boehm (Maranagaroo) - 16.76
*Combined totals from 2x finals

2017 STATE CHAMPION: Rory Nelson

OVER 35 MASTERS MEN:
1. Chad McGregor (Margaret River) - 29.00
2. Michael Reid (Margaret River) - 18.53
3. Darren Hotker (Bunbury) - 5.73

2017 STATE CHAMPION: Darren Hotker

ABOUT SUNSMART:

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SunSmart is currently running a 'UV, It all adds up' campaign that seeks to remind us that overexposure to UV radiation can occur regardless of the type of outdoor activity people undertake.  It’s not just regular tanners or sunbakers who are at risk of skin cancer.  Your skin is like a memory bank — it remembers all the sunburns, all the tans and all the time you spent exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, without sun protection.  Every time you expose your skin to UV radiation, changes take place in the structure and function of your skin cells. You can’t always see the damage, but it is irreversible and will worsen with every exposure. Over time, this skin damage can result in premature ageing, eye damage, sunspots, and at worst, skin cancer.  People are reminded to check the UV Index when they are exposing their skin to the sun and to protect themselves when the UV index is 3 or higher.  Visit myUV.com.au for your UV forecast and to download the SunSmart App.