WA is preparing to play host to some of the country’s best bodyboarders this weekend with Gas Bay in Margaret River set to showcase a mix of amateur and professional riders.
In what is gearing up to be a truly memorable weekend of competition, the opening event of the SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles will run alongside the first stop of the 2018 Australian Bodyboard Association Tour.
Surfing WA is excited to join forces once again with the ABA and welcome back riders from all corners of the country to arguably one of the most high-performance location on tour.
WA is a known breeding ground for amazing bodyboard talent and the combined events provide a great opportunity for local grassroots talent to watch and compete alongside some of the best in the bodyboard business.
Adding to the excitement this weekend is the positive surf forecast being generated by Tropical Cyclone Marcus, which is currently sitting approximately 950 kilometres off the WA coastline sending a pulsing groundswell towards the South West.
Ryan Hardy (Margaret River), WA’s most successful professional bodyboarder and global icon will come into the event as a hot favourite after last claiming an ABA victory back in 2015.
Hardy will have a busy few days ahead as a competitor, competing in the WA State Titles and Good Earth West Oz Pro, but also as a coaching, offering his years of experience back to the youth of today.
Hardy will be running a series of free bodyboarding clinics thanks to Bali Bodyboarding and is looking forward to sharing his expertise to the new generation of WA bodyboarders coming through the ranks.
"After travelling around the world for the past 20 years, I'm motivated to pass on the skills and knowledge to the grommets of our sport," he said.
"I first started by bodyboard journey competing in the state titles and to be back here all these years later is really cool.
“The forecast is looking really good and I'm excited to compete alongside some of the countries best and up and comers."
Hardy joins a host of local WA talent competing this weekend including reigning Open Men's State Champion Lee Wilson (Margaret River), Ben Veitch (Margaret River), Davis Blackwell (Mandurah), stalwart Joe Jordanoff (Dunsborough) and defending Good Earth West Oz Pro Champion Kyle Ward (Joondalup), all considered the major threats.
2017 ABA Tour Champion Lachlan Cramsie (NSW), the ever dangerous Joe Clarke (QLD) and exciting young guns Liam Lucas (NSW) and Simon Cassidy (QLD), will be amongst a classy field aiming to claim victory at the opening event of the 2018 tour.
An exciting new initiative forged between Surfing WA and the ABA will see four WA bodyboarders awarded Good Earth Wildcards into the ABA Tour event. Lee Wilson (Margaret River), Lachlan Hearne (Geraldton), Patrick Franklyn (East Fremantle) and Max McGregor (Margaret River) will all be out to do big things as 2017 State Champions.
"To have some of the best riders in Australia competing along side our local talent is great for the development of bodyboarding in WA," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks.
"Providing a pathway for young bodyboarders starts by inspiring them to compete and I think this weekend will provide plenty of highlights," he said.
The SunSmart WA Bodyboard Titles and Good Earth West Oz Pro will kick off on Saturday at Gas Bay with champions set to be crowned on Sunday.
Surfing WA will be streaming live heat scores and results from the event so people can to follow the event anywhere on the planet. Be sure to check out surfingwalive.asn.au
Surfing WA reminds all our travelling competitors and families of the dangers of sending a text message or using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.
The #NoTxtNoWrecks message is supported by our road safety partner RAC.
For more information on this or any other WA event be sure to log onto surfingwa.com.au and check out all the Surfing WA social media platforms for event updates and information.