Alex McGuffin and Flick Palmateer score State titles at Gracetown and Injidup

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Alex McGuffin.
Camera IconAlex McGuffin. Credit: Majeks/Surfing WA/Surfing WA

Margaret River surfers Felicity Palmateer and Alex McGuffin have claimed the open men and women’s titles amid a slew of awards for locals at the first round of WA’s Surf Masters State Championships.

Held in good conditions at Cobblestones and Injidup at the weekend, the contest saw veterans and newcomers claim a total of 12 awards.

Sunday’s finals at Injidup were held in clean, 3-4ft swells in what Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks described as “a perfect canvas for what was an exceptional standard of surfing from all divisions that hit the water”.

Also on the podium was Margaret River’s Jack Mitchell in the Under 21 Pro Junior division, Dunsborough’s Richard Sills for the Over-35 Men’s, and Yallingup’s Paul Paterson in the Over-45 Men’s.

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Three days of “epic” surfing were well attended by onlookers.

McGuffin impressed the judges with a skilful display of backhand surfing in a close final that saw him claim his first State Championship since 2019.

McGuffin caught the most waves of all surfers in the final, and built his scores under priority of fellow goofy footers, Pascal Hutchinson from Trigg, and Jack Thomas and Josh Cattlin from Yallingup.

McGuffin dropped an excellent 8.05 and backed it up with a 7.25 to finish on a combined total of 15.30 (from a possible 20).

“I’m so stoked to get that win,” he said.

“It gives me a lot of confidence heading in the run of QS events on the east coast.”

Reality TV star Palmateer won her final against the best of WA’s female surfers, including Claire Bevilacqua (Yallingup), Emma Cattlin (Yallingup) and Bailee Hastie (Gracetown).

Palmateer scored an 8.00 on her opening wave of the final to finish on a combined two-wave total of 13.20, defending her 2020 Open Women’s State Title in the process.

“It was nice to have a little rematch with Claire from the QS here a few years ago, but it was just nice to finish an event in good waves like we’ve had,” she said.

Mitchell’s win in the Under-21s was against strong competition too, but the Margs surfer’s strong backhand was the advantage.

In other awards, Paterson snagged the Wave of the Weekend prize for an excellent 9.25 during his final, while McGuffin and Palmateer both scored Memorable Moment Awards.

Majeks told the Times he was thrilled with the calibre of weekend surfing.

“That was a memorable event with some world-class performances to match,” he said.

“Logistically we had some challenges, but Injidup is such a great competition venue.”

Surfing WA’s focus now turns towards the King and Queen of the Point at Trigg on March 12 and 13.

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