Surfing Western Australia is pleased to announce that Harry McPherson and younger sister April McPherson have been named as the local wildcards to compete in the upcoming Mandurah Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event that is set to commence in the coming weeks.
The surfing siblings from Falcon were nominated by the Mandurah Boardriders Club to fill the highly sought-after positions after some impressive performances at local, state and national level over the past 12 months. The duo will now have the opportunity to compete on home soil against some of the very best surfers from across the Australia/Oceania region, with competitors from nine separate nations set to line up for the opening event of the Western Australian Pro Surf Series for 2019.
18-year old April McPherson has had an outstanding year, claiming back-to-back Open Women's State Championships and finishing second behind Mia McCarthy at the Drug Aware WA Trials, the precursor to the WSL Margaret River Pro.
"I'm really excited, it's an unbelievable opportunity to be named the Mandurah Pro women's wildcard," said April McPherson. "I didn't surf very well in last year's event and I'm looking forward to redeeming myself this year. I've been training really hard and surfing as much as possible in preparation. To have my brother Harry competing in the same event gives me great confidence as he's always coached and supported me through my big events."
23-year old Harry McPherson had a phenomenal junior career that saw him represent WA on multiple occasions and although not surfing competitively quite as much as he used to, McPherson is still one of Mandurah's finest performers when the swells get big.
"Yeah I'm stoked to be awarded the Mandurah Pro wildcard, a big thanks to Surfing WA, City of Mandurah and of course the Mandurah Boardriders for the opportunity and for making this all happen," said McPherson. "Mandurah has some great waves and it'll be good to see surfers from across the planet heading to our hometown to compete. It'll be awesome surfing alongside my sister April and flying the flag for Mandurah in front of all our family and friends."
Rhys Williams, City of Mandurah Mayor was on hand to congratulate the local wildcards and was wrapped that Mandurah would once again play host to such an exciting international event.
"Harry and April are really well known to us here in the community and I'm stoked that they've got this opportunity to surf with some of their hero's," said Mayor Williams. "The Mandurah Pro is a great way to profile what our City has to offer, but it's also a great way to engage with our local sporting clubs and our top athletes. We're doing a lot of work trying to get a heap of different events here in the community across all different sports. I'm really grateful to Surfing WA for hosting the WA Pro Surf Series here in Mandurah and hope the weather turns on for the surfers."
Mandurah Boardriders President Simon Wroth was wrapped to see the McPherson's get their chance to compete in a WSL event.
"Both Harry and April are amazing surfers and we're really grateful to Surfing WA for this opportunity to include local talent in this internationally rated event," said Wroth. "Harry is our 2019 Club Champion and April has been setting the bar for girls in the area for many years. The Mandurah Pro is a brilliant opportunity for the new generation of Mandurah surfers coming through the grassroots levels. They can come down here watch all the pro's ripping it up and seeing a few locals out there competing with them will hopefully spur them on to bigger and better things."
Surfing WA's partnership with the City of Mandurah is a long and successful one that will hopefully see many Mandurah surfers continue to have the opportunity to compete on the international stage.
"I've known both Harry and April since they were grommets competing in junior events, so to see them all grown up and still surfing at such a high level is testament to their love of the sport," said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. "I wish them both the best of luck in the event and hope the Mandurah surfing community get down to support their local wildcards. It's not every day you get to compete in a World Surf League event in your backyard and Surfing WA is committed to developing these events for WA surfers just like the McPherson's."
The first event of the WA Pro Surf Series, the Mandurah Pro, will take place at one of WA's favourite holiday destinations. A place renowned for its amazing boating and water sport lifestyle, Mandurah offers some incredible options for surf regardless of the conditions, as seen at the inaugural event in 2018. Competition will commence on the 19th October with a four-day event window spanning through to the 22nd of October.
The WA Pro Surf Series has been made possible thanks to a successful partnership between Surfing WA, WSL, City of Mandurah, Visit Mandurah, City of Busselton, and the Western Australian Government, through Tourism WA.