MARGARET RIVER SHS REIGNS SUPREME AT THE SUNSMART SCHOOL SURFING TITLES STATE FINAL

Students from Margaret River Senior High School dominated at the State Final of the SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles in fun and highly contestable conditions at Trigg Beach yesterday.

The conclusion to a three-week long, state-wide search for WA's best school surfing talent saw surfers and bodyboarders from 26 regional and metropolitan high schools converge on the metropolitan coastline to decide who would be crowned Western Australia's Champion Surfing School for 2017.

The State Final brought together over 120 competitors from as far afield as Geraldton and Esperance, who were greeted to sunny skies and fun waves in the 1-2 feet range.

Margaret River Senior High School once again proved unstoppable, claiming an incredible and record-breaking 12th consecutive Champion School victory by winning six of the eight divisions being contested.

The SunSmart School Surfing Titles provides a unique stepping stone for secondary students to reach the pinnacle of the sport for their age group, the Surf Dive 'N Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles which is set to be held in Culburra Beach, NSW in November.

For surfers a win yesterday would guarantee them qualification into the WA Junior Surfing Team and the opportunity to compete against the best surfing schools from across the country.

Margaret River Senior High’s Cyrus Cox and Jack Haslau took down Fletcher Llanwarne and Giam Nation from Hale School to win the hotly contested Senior Boys surfing final. 

Despite the best efforts of the boys from Hale who posted a combined team total of 22.30 (from a possible 40), it was an exciting and powerful display from Cox and Haslau that saw them take victory, posting a combined total of 33.20 (from a possible 40).

“It’s been a great day and the waves have been pretty good for Perth,” said Haslau. “We’d like to thanks our teachers and dedicate our win to Scott Cameron and his family.”

Mandurah Catholic College’s April McPherson and Ruby Allen claimed victory in the Senior Girls surfing division, defeating Pemba Spargo and Holly Minter from Albany Senior High School.

In the closest result of the day, less than one point separated the two schools when the siren sounded, with Mandurah Catholic scoring a combined total of 21.00 (from a possible 40). 

The result marks an impressive comeback from injury for McPherson and sees Allen qualify for her first Australian Junior Surfing Title.

“Surfing is such an individual sport, but it’s great to be able to compete with a team mate,” said McPherson. “We’d like to thank Mr Jenkins for letting us surf for our school and Surfing WA for running such a great event series.”

Jed Gradisen and Seth Van Haeften kept the momentum rolling for Margaret River Senior High, claiming victory over Christchurch Grammar School’s Jack Salom and Ben Evans in the Junior Boys surfing division. 

Scoring a combined total of 23.8 (from a possible 40), Gradisen and Van Heaften were too strong for the boys from Christchurch who posted a combined total of 12.20.

“We’re stoked to compete in another division over at the Aussie Titles,” said Gradisen. “It’s great to be able to surf and compete with one of my best mates whilst representing Margies High.”

Arabelle Gibson and Maddie Cawood from Margaret River Senior High School were too good for Sophie Butcher and Mylee Grant from Nagle Catholic College in Geraldton, winning the Junior Girls surfing final.

The two goofy-footers from Margaret River found the conditions at Trigg to their liking, milking the waves for a combined team total of 26.70 (from a possible 40). 

“A big thanks to Mr McTaggart & Miss Read for driving us up here and for always encouraging us to compete,” said Cawood. “I’m stoked to get a spot in the Australian Titles after missing out as an individual, this is a dream come true to now compete in a team with Arabelle.”

In bodyboarding results, Mandurah Catholic College’s Matt Hanks and Henry Gibson won the Senior Boys bodyboarding division ahead of Cape Naturaliste College. 

Margaret River’s Arabelle Gibson and Maddie Cawood showed they’re just as handy on their bodyboards as they are on their surfboards, defeating Mandurah Catholic College in the Senior Girls bodyboard division.

Margaret River’s Ziggy Bullock and Matt Jordi won the Junior Boys bodyboarding division, edging out James Waddell and Nick Verryn from Scotch College.

Margaret River notched up another win in the Junior Girls bodyboard division, with Zali Hewson and Summer Sunderland defeating Presbyterian Ladies College pairing of Bella Ahern and Pippa Atwell.

After an exciting three weeks of competition, which saw nine qualification events held in seven separate locations around WA, a total of 52 regional and metropolitan high schools from Kalbarri in the North to Esperance in the South have taken part in this truly unique event series. 

A total of 354 teams of male and female surfers and bodyboarders pulled on their wetsuits and hit the waters off WA, making this Surfing WA’s largest participation based event of the year.

“The SunSmart School Surfing Titles epitomises Western Australia's junior development and competition pathway," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. "Students can reach the highest level of competition on offer in Australia after first completing learn to surf courses through their school, competing at regional and metropolitan qualifying events, then moving onto our State Final, with the Australian Junior Surfing Titles now awaiting our winners."

All attentions now turns to a series of training camps that will best prepare the WA Junior Surfing Team for the upcoming Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Culburra Beach, NSW in November.

In the coming weeks, Surfing WA will also name eight additional All-Stars surfers who will also compete at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles.

The WA School Surfing Titles are made possible thanks to Surfing WA's long-term partner SunSmart, who have been integral to the development of surfing programs and events throughout the state through the delivery of a key health message to Western Australian surfers.

For more information on the SunSmart WA School Surfing Titles best sure to check outwww.surfingwa.com.au and www.schoolsportwa.com.au

2017 SUNSMART WA SCHOOL SURFING TITLES - STATE FINAL RESULTS:

Champion School Results:
Champion School:     Margaret River Senior High
Runner Up School:     Mandurah Catholic College
 
Senior Boys Surfing:
Champion School:      Margaret River Senior High (Cyrus Cox & Jack Haslau) – 33.20
Runner Up School:     Hale School (Fletcher Llanwarne & Giam Nation) – 22.30pts
 
Senior Girls Surfing:
Champion School :     Mandurah Catholic College (April McPherson & Ruby Allen) – 21.00pts
Runner Up School:     Albany Senior High School (Pemba Spargo & Holly Minter) – 20.10pts
 
Junior Boys Surfing:
Champion School:      Margaret River Senior High (Jed Gradisen & Seth Van Haeften) – 23.80pts
Runner Up School:     Christchurch Grammar School (Jack Salom & Ben Evans) – 12.20pts
 
Junior Girls Surfing:
Champion School:    Margaret River Senior High (Maddie Cawood & Arabelle Gibson) – 26.70pts
Runner Up School:   Nagle Catholic College (Sophie Butcher & Mylee Grant) – 10.50pts

Senior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School:     Mandurah Catholic College (Matt Hanks & Henry Gibson) – 19.30pts
Runner Up School:    Cape Naturaliste College (Oliver Henry & Kalani McDaniel) – 17.30pts
   
Senior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       Margaret River Senior High (Maddie Cawood & Arabelle Gibson) – 16.20pts
Runner Up School:      Mandurah Catholic College (April McPherson & Ruby Allen) – 15.00pts

Junior Boys Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       Margaret River Senior High School (Ziggy Bullock & Matt Jordi) – 26.0pts
Runner Up School:      Scotch College (James Waddell & Nick Verryn) – 12.90pts

Junior Girls Bodyboarding:
Champion School:       Margaret River Senior High (Zali Hewson & Summer Sunderland) – 28.50pts
Runner Up School:      Presbyterian Ladies College (Bella Ahern & Pippa Atwell) – 19.90pts
 
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