A sporting goodbye to 2021, the return to the field in the Capes
Athletes were itching to get back on the field, in the ring and on the court as their favourite games returned in 2021 following a year of sporting uncertainty, cancellations and postponements.
Here’s a look back at the sporting highlights for the first half of the year.
Capes product Natasha Rigby reflected on the “weird” year that was 2020 and predicted an even better 2021 season.
Gracetown board rider Sol Pogue-Englert made predictions 2021 would be just as tough on athletes as 2020 was for the surfing community, expecting to continue to compete virtually for the remainder of the year.
The Busselton Margaret River Cricket Association returned from its Christmas break with YOBS captain Haig Colombera rightly predicted to be a star contributor for the remainder of the season.
Busselton’s Demi Liddle started 2021 excited as she accepted a spot on the West Coast Eagles AFLW list, only three years after picking up a football for the first time.
Just a day after Ben Stratton’s last 2020 AFL game, the three time premiership player returned home to Yallingup for a bit of reflection.
Dunsborough’s Isabella Bidesi was one of the handful of local athletes to sprint to the finish line at the Athletics West State Country Championships where she snagged first place in the 1500m and 400m track and brought home a silver in the 200m.
Busselton Magpies youth girls team began the hunt for players as the season fast approached.
Former Bunbury swimmer and rising star Kyle Lee went back-to-back in the Busselton Jetty Swim and completed the 3.6km paddle around the iconic landmark in record time.
The South West Football League released its 2021 fixtures with Busselton looking to the first and last four games of the season for opportunities to get ahead.
WA Longboard and Logger Titles saw Yallingup veteran Karl Leavy and Quindalup woman Emily Gibbs take out the top spots.
After a 12-month hiatus thanks to COVID-19 the Dunsborough X-Adventure off-road triathlon returned in style, with more than 1500 athletes descending on the Capes from as far away as Victoria.
Yallingup-Oddbods seamer Matt Connaughton found himself the talk of the town after taking the first three balls of an innings in a rare moment of cricket this month.
Former Busselton colts player Zak Tetlow trekked the well worn path of Capes footballers as he made the move to Perth and pulled on the famous East Perth Football Club jumper.
Fresh off the back of the King and Queen of the Point at Trigg, Kael Walsh and Felicity Palmateer confirmed their credentials at the State title and secured wildcard spots on the World Surf League’s Champion Tour.
The Hockeyroos ventured to Busselton to take part in training drills and workshops with local players to foster the growing talent in the region.
Despite a strong start to their first SWFL game of the season, the Busselton Magpies were left grounded by the final siren against Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault 93-82.
The Busselton women’s team saw a better start to the SWFL season, beating HBL 33-0.
In what was one of the biggest Gravity Enduro mountain biking competitions seen in WA, 21-year-old Jayden Fraser was the second rider to cross the finish line at the Enduro World Series Qualifier.
Fixtures were postponed in the SWFL due to COVID-19 lockdown protocols impacting the State.
Surfers took over the Capes as the Margaret River Pro returned and international surfers Tatiana Weston-Webb and Filipe Toledo completed a Brazilian blitz.
Near perfect conditions welcomed triathletes to the 20th annual Busselton Ironman 70.3 and crowd favourite Matt Burton secured gold.
Busselton Magpies jumped into the top five for the first time in the season, defeating Harvey Bulls 76-32 in one of the wettest games of the season.
Former Busselton Magpie Damon Greaves returned to the Hawthorn line up for the first time in the season, taking on Carlton.
Vasse surfing fan battling motor neuron disease, Steve Pollock, received an unexpected gift from former world surfing champ Italo Ferreira when he handed over a brand new signed surfboard.
Jye Amiss and James Tunstill’s future AFL careers began to take shape when they were named in the State Under 19s squad.
The women’s competition in the SWFL saw its first draw when Busselton Magpies drew with South Bunbury Tigers 23 all.
Junior athletes suffered another COVID-19 related blow as the much anticipated annual country week school competition was cancelled due to three COVID-19 cases being recorded in Perth.
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