Nine champions have mastered windswept 2-3 feet swells at Gas Bay in Margaret River to claim victory at the opening event of the Volte Wetsuits WA Surf Masters Titles presented by SunSmart.
Bringing together some of WA’s best young talent and a swag of surfing stalwarts, the weekend saw competitors battle it out for the chance to represent WA at the National Titles in NSW in August.
Pascal Hutchinson (Sorrento) has overcome a star-studded local field to win the hotly contested, blue-ribbon Open Men’s division. Hutchinson found his rhythm in the back end of the final and was able to link together a series of critical backhand manoeuvres to post a combined two-wave total of 14.60 (from a possible 20) which included a 7.67 and 6.93.

Despite the best efforts of local trio Cyrus Cox (Gnarabup), Jack Challis (Margaret River) and Ben Spence (Margaret River), Hutchinson left his opponents chasing either good or excellent scores for the win.
“It’s been a very long time since I’ve won something,” said a surprised Hutchinson. “It reminds me a lot of Trigg Point out there so I felt comfortable with the wind and surfing on my backhand, thanks to the boys and everyone for a great weekend.”
The Open Women’s division was arguably one of the most impressive finals of the entire event, with reigning Open Women’s State Champion April McPherson (Falcon) and reigning Under 18 Girls State Champion Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) going head-to-head in an epic match-up.
When the siren sounded less than one point separated the two girls, with McPherson taking the win by the narrowest of margins.
“It’s been a really fun weekend, and although it’s far from pumping out there today all the girls have been ripping and pushing each other which is the most encouraging part of this whole thing.”
Ben Spence (Margaret River) went absolutely mad in the Under 21 Pro Junior division, wetting his rails and taking to the air to post the highest combined total of the day with 15.84 (from a possible 20). Spence took down brothers Cyrus and Finn Cox and Gracetown’s Ben Gradisen.
“I haven’t really done a State Title event since I was a junior which was probably three years ago now,” said Spence. “This is my first Surf Masters event and I’m stoked to see some familiar faces down here and I’m stoked to get the win.”

Josh Harrington (Golden Bay) smashed through some big sections on his backhand to get the win in the Over 35 Men’s final. A 6.50 (from a possible 10) and a backup 4.00 (from a possible 10) was enough to see Harrington the defending State Champion take the victory.
“It was really challenging out there today, all these guys rip so I’m just stoked I found a couple that held up for me and gave me a few sections.” 
Paul Dupuy (Albany) proved he’s one of the South Coast’s finest products, taking out the Over 40’s Men’s division . Using his backhand with lethal efficiency, Dupuy carved his way through the Gas Bay lineup posting a combined total of 13.94 (from a possible 20) trumping Paul Paterson (Yallingup) by just 0.07. 
“It’s been a few years since I last competed in the State Titles,” said Dupuy. “It’s great to be back and I’ve enjoyed catching ip with everyone over the past couple of days.”

Mark Clift (Trigg) reigned supreme in the afternoon conditions, ripping apart some wedging right handers to scoop up an impressive double win in the Over 45 and Over 50 Men’s divisions. Clift stamped his authority in the blustery conditions grinding through a series of sharp forehand wraps to amass some healthy heat score totals.
“That was cracking couple of days, yesterday was really fun and although the wind is making life tough there are still some decent waves out there,” said Clift. “I’ve always loved doing these events and winning a couple of finals is just a bonus.”
Patrick Connell (City Beach) was in great touch in the Over 55’s Men division using his stylish and whippy approach  to secure the win ahead of experienced campaigners Barrie McKinnon (Yallingup), Mal Hardy (Gracetown), and Glenn Williams (Hillarys).
“Thanks to Surfing WA for another great event, the waves were great fun yesterday and we had to work a bit harder for it today, but I’m thrilled to have won,” said Connell.
Barrie McKinnon (Dunsborough) performed tremendously in the Over 60 Men’s division, drawing on his years of surfing experience and using smooth rail to rail manoeuvres to take the win.
“I’m a longboarder by trade, but this has been a great opportunity to ride different boards in my quiver,” said McKinnon. “It’s good to see all us old boys giving it a crack.”

Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks applauded all the competitors for battling through some tough conditions and congratulated the round one event winners. “We successfully trailed a new competition format which kept things dynamic and exciting over the weekend,” said Majeks. “It’s been great to see multiple generations of WA surfers encouraging and supporting each other .”
Ben Spence (Margaret River) picked up the Firewire Surfboard Performance Award for his high speed above the lip surfing. Cyrus Cox (Gnarabup) will be keeping warm this winter after being selected as Volte Wetsuits Rising Star. While Finn Cox (Gnarabup) and Zak Ogram (Yallingup) boosted their way to ‘Air Asia Air of the Day’ awards.
The Volte Wetsuits WA Surf Masters Titles presented by SunSmart continues in Geraldton in June. Stay tuned to www.surfingwa.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the event.

Open Men:
1. Pascal Hutchinson (Sorrento) 14.60
2. Cyrus Cox (Gnarabup) 13.23
3. Jack Challis (Margaret River) 11.50
4. Ben Spence (Margaret River) 8.23
Open Women:
1. April McPherson (Falcon) 25.56
2. Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) 24.80
3. Taiana Duncan (Kalbarri) 16.24
4. Carly Bruce (North Beach) 11.87
*combined best two waves from 2x finals

Under 21 Pro Junior:
1. Ben Spence (Margaret River) 15.84
2. Cyrus Cox (Gnarabup) 13.43
3. Finn Cox (Gnarabup) 12.70
4. Ben Gradisen (Gracetown) 10.60
Over 35 Masters Men:
1. Josh Harrington (Golden Bay) 10.50 
2. Tommy Trigwell (Yallingup) 10.16
3. Ryan Hardy (Margaret River) 9.37
4. Brett Hardy (Scarborough) 6.60

Over 35 Masters Women:
1. Carly Bruce (North Beach) 11.87

Over 40 Senior Masters:
1. Paul Dupuy (Albany) 13.94
2. Paul Paterson (City Beach) 13.87
3. Nick Black (Falcon) 5.50
4. Ian Ainsworth (Dunsborough) 1.94
Over 45 Grand Masters:
1. Mark Clift (Trigg) 14.50
2. Tommy Trigwell (Yallingup) 14.40
3. Paul Paterson (City Beach) 9.50
4. Paul Dupuy (Albany) 7.37
Over 50 Legends:
1. Mark Clift (Trigg) 14.00
2. Brad Cowan (Margaret River) 9.26
3. Brian Williams (Falcon) 7.20
4.  Ian Ainsworth (Dunsborough) 5.47
Over 55 Kahunas:
1. Patrick Connell (City Bech) 23.69
2. Barrie McKinnon (Dunsborough) 20.31
3. Mal Hardy (Gracetown) 13.53
4. Glenn Williams (Hillarys) 12.50
 *combined best two waves from 2x finals
Over 60 Dukes:
1. Barrie McKinnon (Dunsborough) 22.50
2. Mal Hardy (Gracetown) 15.96
3. Ian Darby (North Beach) 12.77
4. Michael Whiteley (Bunbury) 9.99
 *combined best two waves from 2x finals

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