Margaret River’s Willow Hardy has claimed victory against an international field at the inaugural Nias Utara International Surfing Competition. The competition was held from June 22 to 24 at the left-hand Afulu break at the Sumatran island Nias. Hardy dominated the women’s final with four waves in the six points-plus range, including a 7.33 and 7.23 for a series of powerful snaps and carves in clean three to five-foot waves. It was another career highlight for the Margaret River product. She overcame challenges from Brazilian Annie Dos Santos, Italy’s Giada Legati and Balinese surfer Hanasuri Jabrik. While Dos Santos scored the highest wave score of the final — an 8.33 out of 10 — Hardy was always on the best waves during the final and put up great scores to come out on top. The 16-year-old competed at Afulu, travelling with her father Gene after competing in the Krui Pro QS5000 and Pro Junior, with Gene also competing. “Since I was already in Indonesia at Krui for the contest, and this opportunity came up, it was hard to say no to trying a new spot,” she said. “I had no idea what the place was going to be like, if we would be sleeping in tents or what the waves were like. “We heard it was a bit like the jungle, but the wave looked really good, so we decided to come. “The waves here are pretty similar to home, with beach breaks and lots of left-hand reefs, but the water is much warmer.” A few friendly faces made the contest even more worthwhile for Hardy. “I feel so stoked, so grateful to be able to surf with my friends here and to win in such great waves,” she said.