HIF PRO AM SERIES CHAMPIONS CHALLENGED IN TESTING CONDITIONS OFF MARGARET RIVER

Jake Edwards (Cottesloe) has overcome testing conditions and a star studded field to claim victory at the opening event of the Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) WA Pro Am Series presented by SunSmart.

Unfortunately the surf-rich Margaret River region didn't deliver great weekend waves, with surfers from around the state battling through tricky windswept 2-4 feet peaks at Gas Bay.
 
The win for Edwards sees him awarded the final position into the Drug Aware Trials, the precursor  to the World Surf League (WSL) Margaret River Pro. Edwards mastered the punchy and powerful waves with ease and these skills were on display during the blue-ribbon Open Men's final.

Despite a slow start, Edwards found his rhythm and was able to link together a series of critical forehand manoeuvres to post a combined two-wave total of 13.27 (from a possible 20).

Despite the best efforts of Jack Haslau (Margaret River), Zak Ogram (Yallingup) and Jack Osman (Yallingup), Edwards left his fellow finalists chasing either good or excellent scores to win.

“I'm so stoked to have won and earn my spot into the Drug Aware Trials,” said Edwards. “It was so hectic out there, so much wind and water moving I had no idea what was going on until I hit the beach. All the boys have been ripping and I'm really excited to compete in the Trials in April.”

Former WSL World Championship Tour surfer Felicity Palmateer (Burleigh Heads), made a welcome return WA's HIF Pro Am Series, winning the Open Women's division with some strong rail surfing.

“I think it was 2009 on Rottnest Island the last time that I competed in a WA State Title event,” said Palmateer. “I'm a proud West Australian and I've been back doing some coaching work with Jake Paterson and the event was a great opportunity to compete under priority in some quality waves.”
 
Palmateer defeated some up and coming female talent in WA and showed great gusto in the challenging surf at Gas Bay. Palmateer was too strong for April McPherson (Mandurah), who finished in second ahead of Holly Thomas (Yallingup), and Chloe Weir (Ocean Reef).

“I grew up competing in these events and it's cool to come back after all this time and walk away a win,” Palmateer continued. 

In an exciting glimpse into the future of WA surfing, the Under-21 Pro Junior final was brimming with talent, as Jack Haslau (Margaret River), Ethan Barry (Geraldton), and Gracetown brothers Ben and Jed Gradisen, went all-out in a thrilling display.

Jack Haslau (Margaret River) is a Gas Bay local and his familiarity with the lineup saw his catch the best waves on offer to finish on a combined total of 16.03 (from a possible 20), which included two eight-point plus rides.

“I surf this place all the time and I think that really helped me a lot today,” said Haslau. “I'm stoked to make two finals this weekend and finish with a first in the Junior's and a second in the Open's.”

The HIF Pro Am Series also attracted a host of WA's most experienced surfers, who competed in an array of older age divisions.
 
Jake Paterson (Yallingup), another former World Championship Tour surfer used his vast competition experience to claim victory in both the Over-35 Masters and Over-40 Senior Masters divisions.

Paterson used razor sharp rail turns to slice and dice his way through the waves at Gas Bay with ease. While he now focuses on coaching some of the world's best surfers, Paterson showed his still at the top of his game with some powerful surfing and impressive carves.

“It was really cool to compete under priority for the first time at the State Titles,” said Paterson. “I think it's been a great call to come here to Gas and despite the wind really howling the past couple of days, overall it's been a great weekend.”

Paul Paterson (City Beach) kept the wins rolling for the Paterson family, taking out the Over-45 Grand Masters division. Scoring a combined total of 15.50 (from a possible 20), Paterson defeated Shane Drew (Mandurah), Todd Taylor (Dunsborough) and Mark Clift (Trigg).

“It’s always good to surf a wave with consequence,” said Paterson. “It's been a windy summer here in the south-west, but I'm stoked to take the win.”

Mark Clift (Trigg) won a wave-starved Over-50 Legends final, finding the only waves that provided multiple scoring sections. Clift amassed a low total of 9.93 (from a possible 20), but it was enough to keep Ian Ainsworth (Dunsborough), Brad Cowan (Margaret River) and Adrian Shepherd (Albany) at bay.

In other results from the weekend, Frank Grey (Secret Harbour) was a dominant double winner claiming victory in the Over-55 Kahunas and Over-60 Dukes divisions.
 
Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks commended all the competitors for battling through some tough conditions and congratulated the opening round winners. “We successfully implemented a priority system for the first time at the HIF Pro Am Series,” said Majeks. “It was rewarding to see multiple generations of West Australian surfers competing so well in testing conditions.”
 
Jano Belo (Margaret River) was awarded the ‘West Coast Suspensions Wave of the Weekend' for the events only perfect 10 ride.

All attentions now turn towards the second event of the HIF Pro Am Series, which will be held in Geraldton in June. Stay tuned to www.surfingwa.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the event.

FINAL RESULTS HIF WA PRO AM SERIES ROUND # 1 – GAS BAY, MARGARET RIVER
 
Open Men:
1. Jake Edwards (Cottesloe) 13.27 - $500
2. Jack Haslau (Margaret River) 12.67 - $250
3. Zac Ogram (Yallingup) 12.67 - $150
4. Jake Osman (Yallingup) 9.04 - $100
 
Open Women:
1. Felicity Palmateer (Burleigh Heads) 25.13
2. April McPherson (Mandurah) 20.3
3. Holly Thomas (Yallingup) 18.59
4. Chloe Weir (Ocean Reef) 8.20
*combined best two waves from 2x finals

Under 21 Pro Junior:
1. Jack Haslau (Margaret River) 16.03
2. Ben Gradisen (Gracetown) 13.74
3. Jed Gradisen (Gracetown) 11.1
4. Ethan Barry (Geraldton) 6.97
 
Over 35 Masters:
1. Jake Paterson (Yallingup) 26.51
2. Josh Harrington (Mandurah) 24.57
3. Drew Everest (Scarborough) 13.77
4. Nick Black (Mandurah) 7.04
 *combined best two waves from 2x finals

Over 40 Senior Masters:
1. Jake Paterson (Yallingup) 14.50
2. Paul Paterson (City Beach) 12.30
3. Tommy Trigwell (Yallingup) 11.57
4. Paul Burke (Dunsborough) 8.16
 
Over 45 Grand Masters:
1. Paul Paterson (City Beach) 15.50
2. Shane Drew (Secret Harbour) 9.73
3. Todd Taylor (Dunsborough) 9.50
4. Mark Clift (Trigg) 8.23
 
Over 50 Legends:
1. Mark Clift (Trigg) 9.93
2. Ian Ainsworth (Dunsborough) 7.93
3. Brad Cowan (Margaret River) 5.40
4.  Adrian Shepherd (Albany) 5.17
 
Over 55 Kahunas:
1. Frank Grey (Secret Harbour) 17.90
2. Patrick Connell (City Beach) 14.66
3. Adrian Shepherd (Albany) 14.10
4. Barry McKinnon (Dunsborough) 12.70
5. Sheldon Spencer (Mandurah) 0.53
 *combined best two waves from 2x finals
 
Over 60 Dukes:
1. Frank Grey (Secret Harbour) 25.26
2. Michael Molloy (Geraldton) 18.33
 *combined best two waves from 2x finals

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