Young gun surfers April McPherson and Macklin Flynn are set to compete on home soil against some of the very best surfers from across the Australia Oceania region after being named as local wildcards to compete in the World Surf League Mandurah Pro Qualifying Series scheduled to take place next month.
The local pair were nominated by the Mandurah Boardriders for the coveted positions and will be flying the flag for the entire region when they hit the waves in the first ever internationally sanctioned surfing event to take place off our shores.
The 17-year-old McPherson has grown up surfing the region’s breaks since she was six and claimed the 2018 WA open women’s state championship and finished runner-up in WA’s under 18 junior girls state title.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and I'm pretty excited to compete,” she said.
“It definitely helps surfing all the breaks around here for so long, hopefully it gives me an advantage against some of the girls who’ll be coming over to compete.
“I’ve just been trying to surf as much as I can and I’ll be practicing even harder now.”
Flynn is one of the best young surfers coming out of WA and will find himself as the youngest competitor in the Mandurah Pro at just 12 years of age.
Having won a multitude of junior events in a short space of time, Flynn qualified for his maiden Australian Junior Surfing Titles in 2018 and can’t wait to compete in his maiden WSL qualifying series event.
“It’s an awesome feeling to know I’ll be surfing in a WSL event, a big thanks to Surfing WA, City of Mandurah and the Mandurah Boardriders for making this all happen,” he said.
“I’m a little bit nervous to be honest, but hopefully the waves are small which will be to my advantage over the bigger guys.”
Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks outlined the significance of the duo’s opportunity.
“Both April and Macklin are amazing young surfers who will represent their local area with great gusto,” he said.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to surf in a World Surf League event in your backyard.”
City of Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams was on hand to congratulate the young wildcards.
“This is massively exciting for our community and definitely all about giving these two young surfers the opportunity to come out show us and the other competitors what they’ve got,” he said.
The Western Australian Pro Surf Series will commence with the Mandurah Pro from October 13-16, before heading south to Yallingup for the Cape Naturaliste Pro.
Entries for both the men’s and women’s Mandurah Pro events are open via worldsurfleague.com