Otis North outing at Margaret River Pro an ‘inspiration’ for all young athletes

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Otis North in Heat 6 of the opening round of the Margaret River Pro.
Camera IconOtis North in Heat 6 of the opening round of the Margaret River Pro. Credit: Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League

Young Yallingup surfer Otis North has been hailed for stepping up to the big league by competing as a wild card at the recent Margaret River Pro.

Surf experts noted the youngster faced some tough match-ups after he won in the local competition and dipped into major competition at the World Surf League Championship Tour event.

Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks said the revered contest was “a once in a lifetime opportunity for a grom like Otis”.

“To rub shoulders with the likes of Kelly Slater and Griffin Colapinto is something dreams are made of,” Majeks said.

“Otis, at 17 years of age, was the youngest competitor in the event and earned his opportunity by winning the Under-18 Junior Boys State Championship.

“The Pathway to the Pro is a year-round opportunity for WA surfers to earn their spot into the trials and potentially the Pro,” Majeks said.

“I’m sure that Otis learned a lot through the experience and will be back to challenge for a spot in 2025.”

North faced red-hot champion Colapinto in his opening round and went into elimination against John John Florence, acknowledged by all as a very hard target.

The publicity-shy 17-year-old left it to family to speak on his behalf.

The family thanked Surfing WA and WSL for the opportunity provided.

“It’s been inspiring for Otis to be a part of this level of competition,” they said.

“Kids have their own journeys and personal cards of life to play.

“We’re so pleased for Otis to succeed through character.”

South West Academy of Sport chief executive Bernice Butlion also sang the young star’s praises.

“Otis North captured hearts and headlines after receiving an impressive wildcard entry into the prestigious event,” Ms Butlion said last week.

“Despite being eliminated in his round against formidable opponents including some of the sport’s giants, Otis’ performance exceeded all expectations.”

Ms Butlion said North’s participation served as an inspiration to young athletes in all sports as to what was possible at the top level.

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