- 25 May 2009 | Bodyboarding
After some pretty serious weather in the metro area leading into the event, conditions that greeted competitors on day one weren’t exactly pleasant.
A solid swell and fresh southerly winds made the going tricky, with most Perth beaches maxing out or with huge rips running through them. Event officials were forced to move the event from Scarborough to City Beach, where the groynes provided some protection from the breeze as well as some great barrelling right and left hand bowls in the 3-4 foot range.
“We looked right along the coast this morning from as far south as Fremantle right to Scarborough to try and find the best location. Given the size of the swell and wind direction most spots were pretty crazy, we have to consider competitor safety as well as the weather forecast when choosing the best event site.” Said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks, who was suitably impressed with the waves that were on offer.
“There were some really good ones, nice barrel sections as well as plenty of ramps for boosting.”
After a record number of entries at the first event for 2009, the second round was no different with over 80 competitors looking qualify of the WA State Bodyboard Team. With the 2009 Bodyboard National Titles scheduled to be held at Duranbah in Queensland, there was a lot of motivation to do well.
The preliminary heats of the Open Men’s division were highlighted by the performances of Alex Whitehead (North Beach), Rob Fergusson (Woodlands), Brendan Gabel (Mandurah), Ben Veitch (Margaret River), and Johno Russell (Madora Bay). But it was the new up and comers that were turning heads as well.
Alex Halsey (Woodvale), Lewy Finnegan (Ocean Reef) Aiden Stampalia (Joondalup) and Charlie Carter (Dianella) all surfed above their age divisions and put some of their older rivals on notice with some solid scoring waves. None more so than Halsey, who was by far the most consistent competitor of the weekend, and looked to be the man to beat in both the Open and Junior Men’s.
Other’s to impress on day one were Brydyn Vivian (Dunsborough), Pat Meyers (Kingsley), Cameron Dicks (Mandurah), Scott Henderson (Trigg), and Tom Morris (Duncraig) in the U18 Junior Men’s division. Tom Purvis (Margaret River), Cameron Hutchins (Ocean Reef), George Humphries (Mandurah) and Jake Metcalfe (Hillarys) were the stand outs for the U16 Cadets division.
With the swell moderating overnight, day two saw competition return to Scarborough Beach with clean offshore winds and sunny skies making a welcome appearance. Although the waves were smaller on Sunday, after the week of big swell and strong winds the banks were well groomed and provided some good shape for those that had made it into the finals.
The blue ribbon Open Men’s final saw the best surfers from the weekend all vying for the win. Alex Halsey led the charge with Rob Fergusson close on his heals. Halsey picked of the better waves and was rewarded with a heat winning 7.50pt ride for a waves on which he completed four massive rolls on.
Fergusson had to settle for second, and after a while away from the competition arena it was a great result for him. Ryan Hands (Mandurah) finished third and Bryce Nettle (Scarborough) had to settle for fourth place.
Halsey now moves to the top of the Open Men’s ratings after his second place finish to Ryan Hardy at the Mandurah Wedge. Its been a big year for Halsey who has recently signed big deals with bodyboarding industry heavy weights Unite Clothing and Science bodyboards.
Halsey went on to take out the U18 Junior Men’s division as well and with that result secured the 2009 U18 State Title. Halsey defeated Charlie Carter, Scott Henderson and Aiden Stampalia, who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
“Im stoked with the result, this title means a lot to mean and to win the Open’s has made for an excellent weekend,” said Halsey who will look to defend his Open Men’s Title when the final round of the three event series heads to the South-West later in the year.
In other results from the weekend Tim Fowler (Padbury), won the Senior Men’s division ahead of John Barker (Mandurah) in second, Lee Szcepanski (Margaret River) third and Shem Mahoney (Mosman Park) fourth. Fowler threaded a deep tube to oust Barker from the lead in the dying minutes of the final.
The Drop Knee division was won by Chad Abbott (Singleton) who picked wrapped up the State Title with two wins from as many starts. Abbotts longevity continues to impress with his cool and collected approach. Abbott defeated Mike Dobson (Fremantle) for the win, with Mark Boehm (Scarborough) in third place, and Steve Portilla (Joondalup) finishing in fourth.
“Its just good to have some new faces to compete against and its always good to have a win”. Commented Abbott.
George Humphries (Mandurah) celebrated his fifteenth birthday in style winning the U16 Cadets division ahead of close friend Lewy Finnegan in second. Jake Metcalfe finished in third and Tom Purivs rounded out the top four.
Other winners from the weekend included Lauren Williams (Margaret River) in the Open Women’s division, Kacey Lee Middleton (Geraldton) won her first ever State Title after winning the the Junior Women’s division. Davis Blackwell (Mandurah) was another to secure a State Title after back to back wins in the U14 Grommets division. Steve Black (Thornlie) won the Masters division and also the State Title.
Once again the metro area provided great waves for the EBB State Bodyboard Series, all attention now turns to the final round of competition and the highly anticipated EBB Pro, which will be the biggest weekend of bodyboarding that WA has ever seen.
1. Alex Halsey (Woodvale), 2. Rob Fergusson (Woodlands), 3. Ryan Hands (Mandurah) 4. Bryce Nettle (Scarborough).
1. Lauren Williams (Margaret River), 2.Kirby Smith (Lansdale), 3. Christina Orso (Mt Hawthorn), 4. Rio Clarke (Mosman Park).
1. Chad Abbott (Singleton), 2. Mike Dobson (Scarborough), 3. Mark Boehm (Scarborough), 4. Steve Portilla (Joondalup).
Under 18 Girls:
1. Kacey Lee Middleton (Geraldton)
Under 18 Boys:
1. Alex Halsey (Woodvale), 2. Charlie Carter (Dianella), 3. Scott Henderson (Trigg), 4. Aiden Stampalia (Joondalup).
Under 16 Boys:
1. George Humphreys (Mandurah), 2. Lewy Finnegan (Ocean Reef), 3 Jake Metcalfe (Hillarys)., 4. Tom Purvis (Margaret River)
Under 14 Boys:
1. Davis Blackwell (Mandurah), 2. Connor Golder (Sorrento)
1. Tim Fowler (Padbury), 2. John Barker (Mandurah), 3. Lee Szcepanski (Margaret River), 4. Shem Mahoney (Mosman Park).
1. Steve Black (Thornlie)