Mikey McDonagh and Claire Bevilacqua have mastered conditions and conquered big surf off Yallingup, capturing victory at the Cape Naturaliste Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event. The fourth and final day of competition delivered for surfers, as a powerful groundswell combined with clean offshore winds providing an exciting conclusion to the Western Australian Pro Surf Series for 2019. With the whole South West Coastline being pounded by swell, Injidup provided groomed 4-6 feet waves that McDonagh and Bevilacqua tore to pieces on their way to victory.
Bevilacqua claimed an emotional win in her hometown of Yallingup, taking out the Cape Naturaliste Pro ahead of fellow West AustralianFelicity Palmateer. Bevilacqua was cheered on by friends and family and used her local knowledge to perfection. Picking off the best-shaped waves of the 30-minute final, Bevilacqua posted a two-wave combined total of 14.50 (from a possible 20), leaving former Championship Tour (CT) surfer, Palmateer, chasing a 7.26 or better for the win.
"This is dream come true, I've got goosebumps right now," said Bevilacqua. "I can't believe how good the wave are and you know, I'm coming close to the end of my career so I'll definitely hold this win close to my heart."
Despite some amazing backhand surfing, Palmateer finished on a combined total of 14.05 (from a possible 20) but couldn't find the required wave when needed.
"I came back to West Aus to hang out with friends and family and I saw the events and thought I should enter them," said Palmateer. "I've had an ongoing back injury so it's nice to progress through some heats, especially here in Yallingup it's so beautiful."
The men's final was an all Australian matchup between Noosa's Cooper Davies and Lennox's Mikey McDonagh. Glassy conditions and pulsing afternoon sets saw both surfers exchanged excellent scores, but it was McDonagh that was able to extract the most from his opportunities when they presented. Opening with a near-perfect 9.00 (from a possible 10), McDonagh was in sync with the ocean and his equipment. After threading a deep tube McDonagh posted a backup 8.65 to amass a whopping combined heat total of 17.65 (from a possible 20). McDonagh's maiden WSL QS win comes off the back of a tough 2019 season plagued with injuries and poor results.
"I'm lost for words, I don't really know what to say," said McDonagh. "These conditions suited my surfing and I can't remember ever having a final in waves as good as these. I love Yallingup so much this place is amazing and getting my first QS win here obviously it means even more to me now."
Although displaying some excellent surfing of his own, Davies's impressive run in Yallingup came to an end, finishing on a combined total of 16.35 (from a possible 20) and was left chasing a 9.40 (from a possible 10) for the win.
"It's every surfer's dream to have waves like this for an event and how it's all come together has been amazing," said Davies. "I knew it was going to be a tough final from the get-go, I knew good surfing wasn't going to cut it, but I'm still really happy with my result and this trip to WA has been unforgettable."
Claire Bevilacqua and Thomas Cervi were recognised as the best performing surfers at Western Australian Pro Surf Series for 2019. Bevilacqua won in Yallingup and had a quarterfinal finish at the Mandurah Pro. While Cervi's consistency saw him reach the semifinals in Yallingup and quarters in Mandurah.
The Cape Naturaliste Pro concludes the WA Pro Surf Series which saw close to 80 surfers from 10 different nations take a quintessential West Australian road trip along WA's stunning coast, surfing, competing and immersing themselves in WA's unique surf culture.
"We couldn't be happier with the years Cape Naturaliste Pro," said Surfing WA Competition Director Justin Majeks. "I'd like to congratulate our champions and thank everyone involved in making this and the Mandurah Pro such great events that we hope to continue to build and grow into the future."
The Cape Naturaliste Pro men's and women's QS1,000 events ran from October 24 - 27.