I usually cover surf events in Hawaii so it was a treat to watch one in my local area. The Margaret River Telstra Drug Aware Pro is now a six star event and runs every year in early April in Western Australia. I worked with Courtney Conlogue last winter in Hawaii so I was cheering for her as she surfed her way to the final of the event. My AAA press pass was great. It got me everywhere except into the VIP tent with the free food and booze (darn it!). I ended up paying $8.50 for a powerade and a tiny piece of cake.
The women's semi finals saw Sage Erickson defeat local favorite Felicity Palmateer and Courtney Conlogue take down Australian Rebecca Woods. I was sitting on the beach taking photos as Courtney paddled in from her heat. She was super excited as she walked up the beach. She stopped in front of me, looked kinda confused and said,
"Ooooh I left my extra board out there!"
Here's a photo of her moment of realization! She paddled all the way back out to pick it up and then got the jet ski to drop her back to shore.
The women's final ran in less than ideal conditions. It was really small. For a good 10 minutes of the heat the girls just sat out there. It looked like a lake. However both competitors rose to the challenge, running neck and neck up until the end when Courtney sealed the deal posting a 5.7 to add on to her earlier strong score of 7.
The girls were all smiles on the podium, both complimentary of each other in their speeches.
"Winning the Margaret River event was amazing.", Courtney told me.
"I was able to have a chance to share a final with Sage Erickson, who I competed against a lot at home in NSSA before we were on the WQS. This being the second 6 star event of the year, I am off to a pretty good start and I am now looking forward to Bells.".
Congratulations Courtney and good luck at Bells! Full story coming soon to the WSSM website.
1). WA local Felicity Palmateer in the semis
2). The cheque
3). Sage Erickson heads for the podium
4). Courtney Conlogue in the final