The WA junior surf team heavily stacked with Margaret River region surfers managed a respectable fourth place at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles at North Stradbroke Island. With competition stretching into last weekend, none of the region’s young guns achieved podium finishes in the events across multiple locations marred by often underwhelming waves. Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks said the youngsters tackled the competition well, and noted Margaret River Senior High School surfers would be serious contenders as they matured. “Although there were no individual Australian Titles won by Western Australians in 2022, the WA team walked away from the event with finalists in the under-18 junior boys division and all school surfing divisions,” he said. The seven-day event was the first of its kind since 2019 and brought together the top junior surfers from across the country to compete in individual, team and schools divisions. Top WA performer in the individual divisions was Cowaramup’s Macklin Flynn who placed fourth in the under-18 junior men’s final. Other standouts included State champ Willow Hardy with an equal fifth in the under-18 women’s, younger sister Olive who also placed fifth in the under-14 grommet girls, and Dunsborough pair Maverick Wilson and Kade Martin who walked away with an equal seventh-place finish in their respective divisions. In the MR Shield Schools divisions Margaret River Senior High School placed third in the under 19 boys (Macklin Flynn and Ben Cook), fourth in the under-19 girls (Ruby Berry and Kaleisha Launders), and fourth in the under-16 girls (Willow Hines and Grace Cook). St Mary Mackillop Catholic College in Busselton finished third in the under-16 boys thanks to Maverick Wilson and Jye Edmond. In the AllStars schools divisions, the State placed third in the under-19 boys (Jesse Siedmiogrodzki and Otis North), second in the under-19 girls (Willow Hardy, Mia Scott and Zali Hewson), and fourth in the under-16 boys with Okie Fraser and Sid Englert. Surfing WA sports development manager Matt Wilson acknowledged it was “a challenging week of waves and weather”.