# 1 Presented by SunSmart
Surfing Western Australia Margaret River, Western Australia 26 - 27 February 2011
Local surfers shine as Margaret River kicks off the HIF Pro Am Series in style
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 March, 2011 : - - South-West surfers have dominated the first event of the HIF Pro Am Series held in Gracetown over the weekend. After initial forecasts pointed towards a big swell heading for the Margaret River coastline, the swell didn’t eventuate forcing the event to go mobile in search of the best waves on offer.
The small surf meant the event had to shift from its prime location at Gas Bay, to the ever reliable breaks at the back of Gracetown. The shift of location provided competitors with consistent surf in the 2 – 3 feet (1.0 metre) range, and it was local surfers that revelled in the conditions.
Jesse Molloy claimed the ‘Firewire Freakish Talent’ award © Surfing WA / Woolacott
The HIF Pro Am Series attracted competitors from as far as north as Geraldton and as far south as Albany to contest to all important opening event. With the opportunity to represent Western Australia at the Australian Surfmasters Titles in New South Wales in August, plus the allure of prize money and awesome giveaways on offer, the level of surfing across the weekend was exceptional. None performed better than Margaret River local Jarrad Davies, who snuck under the radar to claim an impressive win in the dying seconds of the blue ribbon Open Men’s final.
The powerful goofy footer used his strong backhand attack to outmuscle his more fancied opponents in an entertaining final heat of the weekend. Davies, who works as a fulltime surf instructor in Margaret River showed his class with a heat winning 7.07 ride (from a possible 10) to snatch victory from Jerome Forrest (Margaret River) with only seconds left in the heat. Davies combined two wave score of 12.74 (from a possible 20) was less than half a point ahead of Forrest who finished on 12.37 points.
“I’m so happy right now it’s hard to find the words to explain. I’ve been competing in these events for awhile now and my best ever result was a third here in Margaret River, so to actually win one is such a sweet thing.” Said an elated Davies after picking up the $500 winner’s cheque, and the lead in the series ratings.
Jerome Forrest was unlucky to finish runner-up after leading for much of the final. Forrest has recently returned to WA after winning the Arnette Roulette air show event in NSW and was one of the most progressive surfers of the weekend, continually pushing the boundaries of high performance surfing. Forrest was still happy to place second and used to competition as practice for the upcoming Telstra Drug Aware Pro which he’ll be competing in during April.
“I’m still pretty stoked with the result today and was just silly not to have challenged more for that final wave Jarrad caught, but overall it’s been a great weekend for me and I can’t complain.” Said Forrest.
Finishing in third position was one of the stalwarts of WA surfing, Paul ‘Antman’ Paterson (City Beach) who powered his way through a strong field to stake a claim at a HIF Pro Am Title. Paterson, who has an international reputation for taking on massive and life threatening waves, showed his small wave skills are just as sharp with a close fought finish.
Another surfer who has shown massive improvement in the past six months was Sam Tucker (Yallingup) who was unlucky to finish fourth behind some great surfers. Tucker was simply on fire for the duration of the event mixing up strong rail to rail surfing with some explosive aerial maneuvers on route to the final. Tucker was the dark horse going into the final, posting a number of 9 point plus rides to be awarded the ‘HIF Wave of the Weekend’.
Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks was ecstatic with the quality of surfers that made the trip south for the opening event of the series.
“The Open Men’s field was one of out best to date with some new and old face coming together to challenge for the State Title is an awesome thing. We’re delighted to have HIF (Health Insurance Fund of Australia) on board as our new naming rights partner, plus a host to core industry support that has attracted some of the best surfers in the state here to compete.” He commented.
In other results from the weekend, Jaala Baldock (Kalaroo) made a welcome return to competition surfing with close win in the Open Women’s division. A former National Title holder Baldock showed she hasn’t lost any of her class beating local favourite Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown) by less than half a point. Macaulay led for much of the heat before being wound in by Baldock in the dying minutes. Yallingup’s Mikaela Greene surfed well to finish in third position with another young Yallingup girl Holly Thomas finishing in fourth and making quite an impression in her first Pro Am Series event.
In the U21 Pro Junior division, Margaret River’s Jethro Hedstrom was electric in his demolition of the 25 minute final. Hedstrom caught only four waves but easily won the heat posting two excellent scores to finish on 15.26 (from a possible 20) to defeat the 2010 Pro Junior State Champion Brody Maclean (Yallingup) who finished second. Shaun Green & Josh Burke of Margaret River finished third and fourth respectively.
Other winners from the weekend included, Paul Paterson in the O35 Masters, Brad Cowan (Margaret River) in the O40 Senior Masters, Mark Clift (Hillary’s) in the O45 Grand Masters, Steve Williams (Karrinyup) in the O50 Legends and Michael Whiteley (Scarborough) in the O55 Kahunas division.
In a new innovation for the HIF Pro Am Series, event sponsor Firewire Surfboards demoed their new range of boards and ran a 25 minute expression session to find the ‘Firewire Freakish Talent’. This was taken out by Jesse Molloy (Geraldton) for two massive no grab air reverses that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
“Its so sick to have Firewire involved and to have an opportunity to pick up a brand new surfboard even though you’ve been eliminated from the event is the best. Big thanks to HIF, Firewire and Surfing WA for supporting grass roots surfing at its very best.” Said Molloy after picking up a 6’2 FlexFire for his amazing aerial efforts.
The next event of the HIF Pro Am Series travels north to Geraldton on 14th – 15th May with anticipation already building for the second event of the series. Be sure to jump online at surfingwa.com.au to check out the video highlights package from the weekend as well as all enter all upcoming events. For more information on this event or any other surfing event in WA be sure to contact the Surfing WA Office on (08) 9448 0004.
HIF WA Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart & proudly supported by Firewire Surfboards, Otis Eyewear, Future Fins, Brownes Chill, PowerBalance & Surfing WA.
Open Men: 1. Jarrad Davies (Margaret River), 2. Jerome Forrest (Gracetown), 3. Paul Paterson (City Beach), 4. Sam Tucker (Yallingup).
Open Women: 1. Jaala Baldock (Kalaroo), 2. Bronte Macaulay (Gracetown), 3. Mikalea Greene (Yallingup), 4. Holly Thomas (Yallingup).
U21 Pro Junior: 1. Jethro Hedstrom (Margaret River), 2. Brody McLean (Yallingup), 3. Shaun Green (Margaret River), 4. Josh Burke (Margaret River), 5. Jacob Wilcox (Margaret River).
O35 Masters: 1. Paul Paterson (City Beach), 2. Mark Clift (Hillarys), 3. Andrew Sheridan (Margaret River), 4. Lee Matthews (Albany).
O40 Snr Masters: 1. Brad Cowan (Margaret River), 2. Damian Lipscombe (Dunsborough), 3. Todd Taylor (Dunsborough), 4. Peter McCallum (Scarborough).
O45 Grand Masters: 1. Mark Clift (Hillarys), 2. Brad Cowan (Margaret River), 3. John Kildahl (Butler).
O50 Legends: 1. Steve Williams (Karrinyup), 2. Mick Shaw (Margaret River), 3. Michael Whiteley (Scarborough), 4. Leon Norris (Geraldton). O55 Kahunas: 1. Michael Whiteley (Scarborough), 2. Leon Norris (Geraldton), 3. Steve Pozzi (Woodvale), 4. Mick Molloy (Geraldton).
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Surfing Western Australia - Event Manager Justin Majeks
Surfing Western Australia - Event Photographer Nick Woolacott
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