Stand up paddle champions crowned at Mandurah’s Avalon Bay | photos

Six new state champions have been crowned in testing conditions at Avalon Bay in Mandurah over the weekend, as the final event of the WA Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Titles concluded with strong winds and stormy seas.

Avalon’s iconic left-hand point break looked more like a washing machine as strong onshore winds and building swells delivered waves in the two metre range that challenged the field of competitors who had converged from across WA with hopes of qualifying for the Australian SUP Titles to be contested in Queensland in November.

Using his waterman skills and repertoire of exciting forehand turns, Rick Jakovich (Gracetown), proved to be at the top of his game winning the open men’s state championships in emphatic style. 

Jakovich picked off the best waves on offer during the 25-minute final.

Flowing with great speed through every turn, Jakovich posted an impressive two-wave combined total of 16.43 (from a possible 20), that included an 9.43 (from a possible 10).

Despite the best efforts of inform surfers Chris Twomey (Karrinyup) and Crawford Olney (Spearwood), it was Jakovich who managed the tricky conditions at Avalon best. 

“Well, that was the toughest event I can remember competing in over the years,” he said.

“It’s always nice to get the win, but to do it when the ocean is angry as it was today makes the win even more special.”

Beaconsfield’s Susannah Wilson was another impressive performer at Avalon, claiming her maiden state championship title in the open women’s.

Wilson defeated sisters Monica and Silvia De Araujo (Scarborough) and Patrice Richardson (Cottesloe) and was ecstatic with her performance and being crowned state champion for 2018.

Chris Twomey in testing conditions. Photo: SurfingWA/Woolacott.

Chris Twomey in testing conditions. Photo: SurfingWA/Woolacott.

“I'm stoked to win today in the most full on conditions at Avalon,” she said.

“Hats off to the competitors for getting out there and it’s a bonus to come away as the state champion.”

Peter Tomsett (Greenwood) claimed his maiden state championship title with consecutive wins on Rottnest Island and in Mandurah for the over 40 men’s, while Twomey was arguably the best competitor of the event featuring in three finals and winning the over 50 men’s.

Richardson took the over 40 women’s division, claiming the state championship in the process, while Sam McCollough (Melville) proved he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the future taking out WA’s first ever under 18 state title.

After two successful events in Rottnest and Mandurah, attention now turns towards best preparing the WA SUP team for the upcoming national titles in Currumbin, Queensland.

​For more information on the championships visit surfingwa.com.au