Finn Cox claims maiden title in Geraldton

Impressive: Finn Cox from Margaret River showing his board skills in the Junior Boys final which won him his first Under-18 State Championship Title. Photo: Surfing WA/Majeks.
Impressive: Finn Cox from Margaret River showing his board skills in the Junior Boys final which won him his first Under-18 State Championship Title. Photo: Surfing WA/Majeks.

Six new State Champions have been crowned in powerful surf at Flat Rocks, south of Geraldton in an exciting conclusion to the Woolworths WA Junior Surfing Titles presented by SunSmart.

Western Australia's newest breed of surfing stars lit up the Batavia coastline over the weekend, battling through testing conditions in hopes of claiming a prestigious State Title and representing WA at the Surf Dive 'n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Margaret River in December.

Utilising two separate locations in as many days, Geraldton provided some great options as a large groundswell battered WA over the weekend. Surfers who could adapt the varying conditions and breaks put themselves in the best position taste triumph.

Margaret River's Finn Cox captured his maiden Under-18 State Championship Title with victory in the blue-ribbon Junior Boys final.

Cox found the best waves like a bee finds nectar, posting an impressive two-wave combined total of 15.00 (from a possible 20), which included an 8.25 and 6.75 (from a possible 10).

Cox's razor sharp backhand attack, left close mate Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) chasing a 7.51 for the win.

Jack Mickle (Trigg) and George Simpson (Gracetown) impressed surfing up an age division to finish third and fourth respectively.

"I'm stoked to have won and to be the State Champ is the cherry on top. Flat Rocks is such a fun comp wave," said Cox.

"I'm looking forward to surfing the Aussie Titles at home in Margaret River it's going to be sick."

Red Bluff's Coral Durant was arguably the standout surfer of the event, oozing a new confidence in her surfing and offering up an improved menu of manoeuvres on her way the top of the podium in the Under-18 Junior Girls.

Displaying power and grace, Durant dropped a heat high score of 8.50 (from a possible 10) and finished on a combined two-wave total of 13.00 (from a possible 20), edging out Emma Cattlin (Yallingup), Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River) and Mylee Grant (Geraldton).

"I'm really happy with the win and finish the series off with a bang is great," said Durant. "I've just been surfing a lot and I'd like to thank Mike McAuliffe for all his help and support."

Although finishing in second place, Emma Cattlin defended her Under-18 Girls State Championship Title, with a consistent performance and top three finishes in Margaret River, Mandurah and Geraldton.

"It feels really good to be State Champ again, it was really tight between Coral and I and I think I let the pressure get to me a little bit," said Cattlin. "But I'm just happy to surf in good waves today and have a home National Titles will be amazing as well."

The Under-16 Cadet Boys final was a pleasure to watch, with some critical and flashy surfing offered up by all four finalists.

Dylan Vernon (Yallingup) shone brightest during the 25-minute final, scoring a combined total 16.40 (from a possible 20), to take down in form surfers Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown), Jack Mickle (Trigg) and George Simpson (Gracetown).

Vernon displayed hallmarks of a champion, dropping an excellent 8.90 and backing it up with a 7.50 for flawless top to bottom backhand surfing.

"This is place is really fun and I can't wait to surf at my first Australian Junior Titles," said Vernon.

A third place finish for Jack Mickle combined with his win at the opening event of the series saw him claim a hard fought maiden State Championship by the narrowest of margins over Solomon Pogue-Englert.

"I can't really believe it to be honest, I'm so excited and happy with my performance," said Mickle.