Willow Hardy and Maverick Wilson score big at Australian Junior Surfing Titles

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Willow Hardy in her finals contest.
Camera IconWillow Hardy in her finals contest. Credit: Surfing Australia

Margaret River firebrand Willow Hardy has claimed the top division at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles on Phillip Island, with the region narrowly missing out on the top male division prize too.

Hardy bested Australia’s leading female surfers to claim the under-18 women’s division at Cape Woolamai, using her strong backhand attack to post two winning seven-point rides that proved too good for her rivals.

Sadly it wasn’t Macklin Flynn’s day on the east coast, going down to NSW surfer Eden Hasson in the under-18 men’s final.

However, State champion Maverick Wilson also flew the Margaret River flag in his under-16 male final on Sunday, coming out on top as conditions improved to suit the Capes up-and-comer.

Judges deemed Wilson “produced something special” to win his final, scoring a 9.50 on his last wave in an exciting comeback under pressure from Mitchell Peterson (Queensland) and Ben Zannatta (NSW).

Wilson also won the contest’s Duke Kahanamoku award, while Hardy scored the Isabel Letham award in an overall showing for WA that put the State second in the overall rankings.

In the wash-up from her comp, Hardy said she was thrilled to win through to competing at next year’s ISA World Junior Surfing competition.

“It feels so surreal, so sick to actually get to show that I deserve to go in this kind of surf,” she said.

“I’m just so grateful. I had pretty good heats leading up to it, some of the best heats I think I’ve surfed.

“But it could’ve been anyone’s. I was just taking my time, being patient. The weather conditions, being a little bit grovelly, you can’t really force anything.”

Contest director Liam Roberston said the finals wrapped the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in excellent form.

“We were greeted with playful two-foot waves, which saw some amazing surfing and great battles go down,” he said.

“A massive congratulations to all the champions and overall State champion Queensland. The future of surfing in Australia is in good hands.”

In other wins for the region, Wilson and Okie Fraser secured the under-16 boys’ all-star championship, while Ruby Berry and Hardy claimed the under-19 women’s MR Shield division for Margaret River Senior High School.

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