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MARGARET RIVER BOARDRIDERS CLUB CLAIM VICTORY AT THE SURF BOARDROOM SURF LEAGUE
The Margaret River Boardriders Club claimed victory yesterday at Western Australia's longest running and most prestigious inter-club surfing event, The Surf Boardroom Surf League presented by Rip Curl.
photo: Magic Majeks
First run back in 1986, Surf League's 31st instalment will be remembered as one of the biggest and most hotly contested battles in recent years, as a total of nine metropolitan and regional boardriding clubs went head-to-head in punchy windswept peaks at Scarborough Beach.
In a sign that club surfing is alive and kicking in Western Australia at the moment, boardriders clubs from Geraldton, Two Rocks, Trigg Point, Scarborough, Contacio, City Beach, Yallingup, Cowarmaup Bay & Margaret River converged with six of their best surfers in tow (4x Opens, 1x O/30 Master & 1x U/18 Junior), all of them out to etch their club's name onto one of WA's most prized perpetual trophies.
Despite some tough and testing ocean conditions, surfers put their best foot forward for their respective clubs, with the high performance action in the water creating an exciting on-beach atmosphere.
With over $5k in cash and prizes up for grabs, a talented field of competitors made the most of the conditions on offer, whilst providing a viewing spectacular for the strong on-beach crowd who had pilled in to support their favourite club.
Preliminary heats saw the Cow Bay Boardriders dominate in their first-ever Surf League event. Filled with talented youngsters, Cow Bay joined Geraldton, Scarborough and Contacio in moving through to the semi final round.
Semi final one saw Margaret River, City Beach, Geraldton and Contacio surf off for their spot in the blu-ribbon final. While Semi final two saw Yallingup, Trigg Point, Cow Bay and Scarborough do battle.
After two enthralling and highly entertaining 90-minute semi finals that displayed the amazing depth of local and regional boardriding club talent, it was Margaret River, Yallingup, Geraldton and Cow Bay who qualified for the Surf League grand final.
The 2017 Surf Boardroom Surf League created some new history, with no metropolitan clubs represented in the final. For the first time it would be an all regional club match up in the final.
The Margaret River Boardriders, started strongly and maintained their consistency throughout the final, posting a combined team total of 85.89, to secure back-to-back Surf League victories. Margaret River's consistency and ability under pressure was hard to match, with all six surfers keeping their combined total moving up after each surfer exchange.
When the final siren sounded, Margaret River came out on top, with under five points separating second, third and fourth, confirming just how close this year's competition really was.
Yallingup (73.65) had to settle for a second place finish head of Geraldton (70.93) in third and Cow Bay (69.34) in fourth.
The Margaret River team included; 2017 Open Men's State Champion Jerome Forrest, 2017 Under-18 Junior State Champion Jack Haslau, as well as Jethro Hedstrom, Andrew Sheridan, Jed Mattinson and Ben Spence.
"It's been an unbelievable day, I couldn't be happier with how they boys performed," said Margaret River's Captain Andrew Sheridan. "I think I've competed in almost every one of these events and they just keep getting better. The waves have been tricky, but at least we had some solid swell and we're stoked to come away with the win. A big thanks The Surf Boardroom and all the clubs for a sick day."
Margaret River's Ben Spence was awarded the prestigious Perry Hatchett Medal, an honour reserved for the best individual surfer in the final. Spence's powerful and committed on-rail surfing saw him notch up an all important 13.00 (from a possible 20), which helped guaranteed victory for his club.
"Perry Hatchett is a legend and I'm stoked to help Margs get the win," said Spence. "I've spent a lot of time with Perry filming over the past year and he'll be stoked to hear I won his award."
The Surf League forms an integral part of the West Australian surfing scene, with 2017 marking the 25th consecutive year that local surf retailer, The Surf Boardroom have been supporting this iconic and much loved event.
"We've been involved with the Surf League since 1992 and to be a part of an event that encourages grass roots WA boardriding clubs is something pretty special," said The Surf Boardroom owner Geoff Counsel. "I'd like to congratulate Margaret River on their great win, and all nine of the clubs who competed today, as well as our industry partners who have backed our vision for the Surf League over the years."
Surfing Western Australia's Event Manager Justin Majeks was elated with the Surf League's ongoing success and was excited to see the depth of talent on offer from nine of the states best boardriding clubs.
"It's clear that events such as this are a big deal for WA clubs, so to see the level of enthusiasm, excitement and high standard of surfing despite some testing conditions was really great," said Majeks. "We look forward to seeing more and more clubs competing in the Surf League in the future."
THE SURF BOARDROOM SURF LEAGUE FINAL RESULTS 2017:
1st Place ($1,200) - Margaret River Boardriders 85.89 points
2nd Place ($750) - Yallingup Boardriders 73.65 points
3rd Place ($550) - Geraldton Boardriders 70.93 points
4th Place ($400) - Cow Bay Boardriders 69.34 points
5th Place Trigg Point Boardriders
6th Place City Beach Surfriders
7th Place - Scarborough Boardriders
8th Place Contacio Boardriders
9th Place Two Rocks Boardriders
SURF LEAGUE SPECIALTY AWARDS:
Most Supportive Club > Cow Bay Boardriders
Perry Hatchett Medal (Best Surfer In Final) > Ben Spence (Margaret River)
Creatures Best Tube (Best Tube) > Jolan Bonelli (Cow Bay)
Creatures Ripper Award (Highest Individual Score) > Duke Nagtzaam (Yallingup) 9.33 ride.
The Surf Meal Co. Best Coaching Performance > Dave Williams (Geraldton)
Otis Eyewear Cover Your Eyes (Best Wipeout) > Fletcher Llanwarne (Trigg Point)
Creatures Cream Of The Crop (Best Manoeuvre) > Danny Williams (Geraldton)
Reef Baywatch Award (Best Run / Tag) > Yallingup Boardriders
Rip Curl Falling Star (Best Master Surfer) > Dave Englert (Cow Bay)
Otis Eyewear Powerhouse Surfer (Best Power Move) > Ben McGay (Geraldton)
The Surf Meal Co. Best Air > Ben MacDonald (Geraldton)
Channel Island Surfboards Freaky Talent (Best Junior Surfer) > Ollie Henry (Yallingup)