Bodyboarders take talent to world stage
Bodyboarders take talent to world stage

Every day they hit the world-renowned breaks of the South West, but now emerging bodyboarders Mawake Gudgeon and Lee Wilson are aiming to put themselves on the map.

Gudgeon, from Australind, and Wilson, a Margaret River boy, will represent WA at the National Bodyboarding Titles at Kiama, NSW, later this month.

More than 200 riders from Australia and New Zealand are expected to challenge for the silverware at the competition, which starts on November 26 and runs for five days.

As part of the tournament, the world’s best professional bodyboarders will hit the waves for the Rebel Sport Pro, a popular landmark on the sport’s calendar where $10,000 is on the line.

In order to qualify for the national titles, the duo had to negotiate the WA Bodyboard Titles, which were fought over three rounds at Mandurah, Scarborough and Yallingup.

Gudgeon, 17, said he had been pleased with his performances at the State titles and was stoked to have the chance to represent his State.

His best performance came in round two at Scarborough, where he finished third in the Open division and took out the Under-18s event.

“I have been bodyboarding for four years but my older brothers have been doing it since they were young — it kind of got handed down to me,” Gudgeon said.

Wilson, 16, competed at the nationals last year but said he felt better prepared for this year’s event.

“Last year I found out how competitive some of the guys actually are in national competition compared to the State rounds,” he said.

“This year, I am just going to go a lot harder than I did last year.”

Wilson, who, despite his age, is ranked third in WA, set up his State Title series by winning round two.

The duo are sponsored by Good Earth Surf Shop in Bunbury and store owner Darren Hotker said the sport had a growing presence here.

“This is where it starts — it begins at grassroots level in Bunbury,” he said.

“These guys have taken it from there — the possibilities are endless at the end of the day.”

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