Ben Spence and Mia McCarthy win wildcard spots for upcoming Margaret River Pro

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Mia McCarthy
Camera IconMia McCarthy Credit: Jack O’grady

Margaret River young surf stars Ben Spence and Mia McCarthy have won wildcard entry to this weekend’s Pro.

In a star-studded comp on Wednesday featuring many of the region’s best up-and-coming surfers, the two battlers won out in prime conditions at Surfers Point.

Classic autumn weather prevailed all day long as clean and groomed swells in the 5-6 feet range provided plenty of chances for big scores, with 24 surfers taking each other on for the chance to face the world’s best surfers on home soil.

Spence looked unstoppable and qualified for his maiden Championship Tour event after an impressive run on the World Surf League Qualifying Series events during the past two months on the east coast.

Displaying exquisite technique, Spence posted a combined heat total of 16.47 (out of a possible 20), to take the win over an in-form Jack Thomas (Yallingup), who finished on a combined total of 13.13.

“These are some of the best surfers in WA and this is my biggest win ever,” Spence said.

“I haven’t had big results in my time in surfing, but that’s why I kept at it, for the hunger and for moments like this.”

In the women’s contest, Cowaramup’s McCarthy claimed the final spot in the event and will be preparing to surf in her second Margaret River Pro after winning in the trials in 2019.

McCarthy looked in sync with the ocean all day and finished the women’s final on 14.44, ahead of Emma Cattlin from Yallingup in second, who finished on 5.00 after struggling to find a decent score.

“Growing up in Margaret River has always been something so special to me and I just love surfing the waves here,” McCarthy said.

“All the locals are so awesome and it’s great to be able to represent Margaret River in the main event.” McCarthy beat last year’s wildcard winner Willow Hardy on her way to victory and will face off against one of the best-performing females at Margaret River in Hawaii’s Carissa Moore.

Spence looks likely to face off against defending Margaret River Pro champion and new WSL ratings leader Filipe Toledo in the opening round of competition.

Spence joins an impressive list of local Margaret River surfers to compete in the main event of the Pro as a wildcard including, Jack Robinson, Jacob Willcox and Cyrus Cox.

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