Multiple State Champions have been crowned in clean and powerful surf at Flat Rocks, south of Geraldton, with the 2021 Woolworths WA Junior Surf Titles presented by SunSmart concluding in an exciting and memorable fashion.
Western Australia's newest generation of surfing stars lit up the Batavia coastline over the weekend, battling through two days of amazing winter conditions in hopes of claiming a prestigious State Championship Title and for the opportunity to represent WA at the 2021 Australian Junior Surfing Titles.
Light offshore winds combined with a groomed groundswell to provide 2-4 feet surf all weekend long, with a high standard on display across the seven divisions that hit the water.
Geraldton local Jake Hagan claimed an impressive victory in the blue-ribbon Under-18 Boys.
Gracetown's Solomon Pogue-Englert, Otis North from Yallingup and 2021 State Champion George Simpson from Gracetown were all left chasing good or excellent scores, with Hagan's razor sharp backhand attack hard to match.
Margaret River's Willow Hardy was one of the standout surfers of the event, showing a new competitive edge after earning a World Surf League (WSL) wildcard position into the Margaret River Pro earlier this year.
Hardy had already claimed the Under-18 Girls State Title with wins in Margaret River and Trigg, but she made it a clean sweep in Geraldton, with her third straight win of the series.
Displaying power and grace, Hardy dropped a two-wave combined two-wave total of 13.45 (from a possible 20), to defeat Sorrento's Skyla Tothill, Zali Hewson and Lilli Cox from Margaret River.
"I've had the best time up north and this weekend's conditions have been amazing," said Hardy. "I couldn't be happier to have won the 18 Girls Title."
The Under-16 Cadet Boys final was a pleasure to watch, with some critical and flashy surfing offered up by all four finalists.
Cowaramup's Macklin Flynn shone the brightest during the 25-minute final, scoring a combined total 15.40 (from a possible 20), to take down inform surfers Okie Fraser from Margaret River, Mandurah's Spike Jacobs and Kade Martin from Dunsborough.
Flynn displayed the hallmarks of a future champion, dropping an excellent 9.25 and backing it up with a 6.15 for some flawless top to bottom backhand surfing.
"I haven't won a comp in a while so I'm buzzing right now," said Flynn. "Thanks to everyone who supported me and thanks to everyone for a great weekend of waves."
Willow Hardy backed up her win in the Under-18 Junior Girls division with victory and the State Championship Title in the Under-16 Cadet Girls.
Picking off great waves and using her powerful rail game, Hardy claimed her second State Title of the year, by taking down Augusta's Ruby Berry, Kaleisha Launders from Margaret River, and Denmark's Isi Campbell.
"I'm so excited to have won both the 16's and the 18's Titles it's been a really fun event with some great waves," said Hardy. "All the girls have been ripping and they pushed me hard in that final."
Olive Hardy matched her sister's efforts and kept the winning ways rolling for her family by capturing the Under-14 Grommet Girls State Title with a dominant performance.
Hardy used her backhand to extract maximum points and proved too strong for Mandurah's Mia Jacobs, Leila Fraser from Margaret River and Cowaramup's Grace Cook.
"I'm speechless right now," said Hardy. "I want to thank everyone for such a such a fun event, my family, my friends and even my cat, who have all helped me get here."
In other results from the weekend, Dunsborough's Cruz Uros proved he's a star on the rise claiming an impressive double victory in the Under-14 Grommet Boys and Under-12 Micro Groms divisions.
Uros seemed to click into perfect sync with the waves at Flat Rocks and was on fire in the Under-14 Boys final.
Uros linked major manoeuvres and was able to keep his competitors at bay, with Gracetown's Sid Englert, Okie Fraser from Margaret River and Secret Harbour's Jack Bulloch rounding out an impressive top four.
"I've had the best day ever," said Uros. "The waves have been so fun and I really love the waves here at Flatties."
Although not making the final, Mandurah's Maverick Wilson was crowned Under-14 Grommet Boys State Champion for 2021 on the strength of his performances at Margaret River and Trigg earlier this year.
Cruz Uros was over the moon to win his first State Championship Title with victory in the hotly contested Under-12 Micro Groms division.
Surfing with maturity beyond his years, Uros was pushed all the way by a pack of energetic young frothers including Rhys Bulloch from Secret Harbour, Geraldton's Cruz MacDonald and Aston Grime from Secret Harbour.
"This is a day I'm not going to forget for a while," said Uros, "I'm really happy and want to thank Wooly for his coaching and Surfing WA for the comp."
After an epic three event series, Surfing WA will now focus on preparing their State Champions and State Team qualifiers for the Australian Junior Surfing Titles scheduled to be held in Queensland in December.
"After great events in Margaret River, Trigg and here in Geraldton, I'd like to congratulate our 2021 WA Junior State Champions, divisional winners and finalists for an exciting title race," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks.
"This event has displayed the depth of talent we have in WA at the moment and it as great to watch it all play out.
"Woolworths are committed to encouraging healthy eating habits amongst Aussie kids and gave away over 25 million pieces of free fruit last year as part of their free fruit for kids program.
Surfing WA acknowledges the State Government's support through the Road Safety Commission and reminds all our traveling competitors and families of the dangers of sending a text message or using a mobile phone while behind the wheel - Remember #NoTxtNoWrecks.