Top surfers spend time with groms ahead of championships

Margaret River's Willow Hardy, who qualified in the Under 16 Cadet Girls category. Photo - Surfing WA/Justin Majeks.
Margaret River's Willow Hardy, who qualified in the Under 16 Cadet Girls category. Photo - Surfing WA/Justin Majeks.

Some of Western Australia's best junior surfers have benefitted from valuable time with two top WA based World Surf League (WSL) competitors in the lead up to the first ever Yeti Australian Junior Online Surf Championships.

Despite the traditional Australian Junior Surfing Titles being cancelled this year due to COVID-19 health and travel restrictions, Surfing Western Australia was pleased to still be able to host a State Junior Team Training Camp for close to 30 surfers from right across Western Australia who had qualified to represent WA.

Under the guidance of WA High Performance Manager Mike McAuliffe and High-Performance Coaches Mark Clift and Jarrad Davies, athletes benefitted from coaching and mentoring from World Championship Tour competitor Bronte Macaulauy (Gracetown) and World Qualifying Series warrior Jacob Willcox (Margaret River), who were all excited to shed some wisdom and insight onto the WA next generation of surfing stars.

During the two-day camp each surfer's fitness, heat and competition skills, attitude and wave selection were all tested and analysed, with a focus on assisting surfers and their parents capturing waves for round 1 of the Yeti Australian Junior Online Surf Championships.

Macaulay is currently ranked 12th on the WSL CT and is WA's lone female surfer competing at the elite level.

Macaulay made the most of pumping surf at her home break of Lefthanders with girls from Under-18, Under-16 and Under-14 age divisions all sharing the line-up with her.

"It was really cool to surf with all the girls in this year's WA State Team and see them all ripping and getting some great clips for the Aussie Titles was awesome," said Macaulay.

"The waves were solid and the offshore was really strong, but they were giving it a really good crack. Isi Campbell won the first-round division with a perfect 10 from that day at Lefties. The future of West Australian surfing is looking very bright."

Jacob Willcox is currently ranked # 22 on the World Qualifying Series and took the boys group to his local break of Gas Bay, a hollow right and left tubing wave that challenged even Willcox.

"It was amazing to be a part of the weekend, I loved seeing how determined all the kids were in some solid conditions and their dedication to put some clips down," he said.

"It always brings back awesome memories of when I was in their shoes and I hope they all managed to take something away from my time with them in and out of the water."

Clearly surfers and their parents had committed a lot in 2020 so Surfing WA understood the importance of running a training camp given the year each and every competitor has experienced.

"The main theme of the camp was to get everyone together who had qualified for the National Titles, especially those who had made it for the first time," said Surfing WA HP Manger Mike McAuliffe.

"Secondly, it was an opportunity to exchange ideas and information in regard to videoing for an online surfing competition. I believe we achieved these aims and also got to see how much effort and excitement there has been from both the surfers and their support people."

The following surfers have qualified to represent WA in the first ever Yeti Australian Junior Online Surf Championships

Under 18 Junior Boys:

Jed Gradisen (Gracetown)

Jack Mitchell (Margaret River)

George Simpson (Gracetown)

Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown)

Ash Spencer (Yallingup)

Under 18 Junior Girls

Coral Durant (Red Bluff)

Skyla Tothill (Sorrento)

Mylee Grant (Geraldton)

Milla Clifford (Margaret River)

Under 16 Cadet Boys

Otis North (Yallingup)

Jake Hagan (Geraldton)

Brock Launders (Margaret River)

Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup)

Jack Mickle (Trigg)

Under 16 Cadet Girls

Zali Hewson (Margaret River)

Willow Hardy (Margaret River)

Lilli Cox (Margaret River)

Mia Scott (Margaret River)

Under 14 Grom Boys

Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough)

Okie Fraser (Margaret River)

Remy North (Yallingup)

Jack Lacey (Duncriag)

Sebastien Low (Trigg)

Under 14 Grom Girls

Isi Campbell (Denmark)

Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River)

Olive Hardy (Margaret River)

Ruby Berry (Augusta)