Top talent ride high

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
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Margeret River’s Ben Spence takes to the air during the WA surfing Masters.
Camera IconMargeret River’s Ben Spence takes to the air during the WA surfing Masters. Credit: Picture: Justin Majeks

WA’s best surfing talent descended on Gas Bay in Margaret River on the weekend for the opening event of the Volte Wetsuits WA Surf Masters Titles in windswept 2-3-foot swells.

Competitors battled it out for the chance to represent WA at the national titles in NSW in August with Pascal Hutchinson overcoming a star-studded local field to win the hotly contested, blue-ribbon open men’s division.

Hutchinson set the pace leaving opponents local trio Cyrus Cox, Jack Challis and Ben Spence chasing either good or excellent scores for the win.

“It reminds me a lot of Trigg Point out there so I felt comfortable with the wind and surfing on my backhand, thanks to the boys and everyone for a great weekend,” Hutchinson said.

Reigning open women’s State champion April McPherson and Yallingup’s reigning under-18 girls State champion Emma Cattlinwent head-to-head with the more experienced McPherson emerging victorious by the narrowest of margins.

“It’s been a really fun weekend, and although it’s far from pumping out there today, all the girls have been ripping and pushing each other which is the most encouraging part of this whole thing,” McPherson said.

Margaret River’s own Ben Spence took out the under-21 pro junior division, taking to the air to post the highest combined total of the day with 15.84.

“This is my first Surf Masters event and I’m stoked to see some familiar faces down here and I’m stoked to get the win,” Spence said.

Dunsborough’s Barrie McKinnon drew on his years of surfing experience using smooth rail-to-rail manoeuvres to take the over-60 men’s win.

“I’m a longboarder by trade, but this has been a great opportunity to ride different boards,” McKinnon said.

Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks applauded all the competitors for battling through some tough conditions and congratulated the round 1 event winners.

“We successfully trialled a new competition format which kept things dynamic and exciting over the weekend,” Majeks said.

Ben Spence also won the Firewire Surfboard Performance Award for his high speed above-the-lip surfing.

The Volte Wetsuits WA Surf Masters Titles was presented by SunSmart.

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