Yallingup legend wins Cape Naturaliste Pro

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Cape Naturaliste Pro womens champion Claire Bevilacqua is chaired from Injidup beach yesterday after winning the final
Camera IconCape Naturaliste Pro womens champion Claire Bevilacqua is chaired from Injidup beach yesterday after winning the final Credit: Surfing WA, Justin Majeks

Yallingup surfer Claire Bevilacqua used her home ground advantage to claim the Cape Naturaliste Pro crown over the weekend.

Bevilacqua defeated fellow West Aussie Felicity Palmateer in a pulsating final at Injidup Beach on Sunday.

Conditions were ideal with offshore winds and 4-6 foot waves greeting surfers on the final day of the World Surf League Qualifying Series event.

Bevilacqua was cheered on by family and friends to surge passed former big wave and championship tour surfer, Palmateer, in the final.

Using her local knowledge and crafty competition experience, European champion Bevilacqua chose the best waves in a pumping 30-minute final, carving back and shredding the large swell to post a combined score of 14.5.

Yallingup’s Claire Bevilacqua in action during the final of the Cape Naturaliste Pro at Injidup beach yesterday
Camera IconYallingup’s Claire Bevilacqua in action during the final of the Cape Naturaliste Pro at Injidup beach yesterday Credit: Surfing WA, Justin Majeks

After the event Bevilacqua said she had a lot of respect for long-time friend Palmateer.

“The waves were just so good and there’s a bit of luck involved in competitive surfing but I was confident,” she said.

It has been 15 years since Bevilacqua first started on the World Championship Tour.

The hometown hero said she would continue to listen to her body when it came to competing at a professional level.

“I love to live a healthy and athletic lifestyle and I think women in their 30s are still in their prime,” she said.

“We get told by society and our hormones to settle down but right now I feel strong and young and I’m doing well.”

Palmateer used some fantastic backhand surfing to reach the final but was left chasing a score of 7.26 to steal victory with the last wave of the day.

Her gutsy performance left her with a combined total of 14.05, and while she fell just short of a remarkable comeback victory, Palmateer said she was proud of her performance.

Lennox Head’s Mikey McDonagh won the men’s division with a massive two-wave total of 17.65.

After a difficult 2019 season, where he has been plagued by injury, McDonagh was in disbelief at his maiden Qualifying Series win.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails