2024 Margaret River Wave Classic

Epic “Margs” event

The 2024 Margaret River Wave Classic was a weekend of high-level competition, featuring non-stop action from start to finish! A strong fleet of more than 50 windsurfers signed in for this year’s contest making it one of the biggest fleets in recent years.

Some of the best windsurfers from home and abroad battled it out for the top honors while an ever-growing group of groms kept pushing the envelope with big airs and radical rides.

Opening photo by Jens Hogenkamp.

This year’s event was a success for team Severne, with Jane Seman taking the win in the women’s division and Jaeger Stone, an original Severne rider, snatching the top spot in the men’s division. In the Junior and Youth divisions, Jake Ghiretti dominated with stylish riding and big airs. The U18 girls title went to Sara Kanyon. Here’s a rundown of this year’s 2024 Margaret River Wave Classic.

Saturday morning (Feb 3) started cold and rainy and didn’t look like the day that would deliver action until the late afternoon. But soon enough, the skies cleared, and the conditions switched on. With many divisions to complete, zero time was wasted. The first green flag went up at 12.00, and the competition went on until after sunset!

Groms such as Jake Ghiretti, Oliver Desforges, and Quinn Auricht were out to make a name for themselves. They all went big from the very beginning, risking it all and taking the consequences that followed. But that didn’t discourage any of them from pushing heat by heat.

The conditions held on nicely throughout the whole day, and everyone got to ride proper set waves. The wind wasn’t its usual cross offshore direction, but rather side side-on which made it trickier to navigate the lineup. 

The open division competed in a “dingle elimination” format that includes a “repechage” round for those riders that get knocked in the first round for a second chance at advancing through the elimination.

The open division was particularly packed, every single heat was close, and as the elimination progressed, the heats resembled finals, and big names started to drop. Margaret River is a tricky spot to sail, and those who put in the time sailing this spot certainly have an advantage.

The fleet eventually got reduced to just eight riders as Jaeger Stone, Hendrix Stone, Ben Severne, Scott McKercher, Federico Infantino, Rick Vandertoorn, and Ash Nicol all came through to snag the semi-final spots.

By the time the semi-finals were on, the wind had turned into the classic cross-offshore direction, and the finals were sailed in typical “Margs” sunset conditions opening up opportunities for bigger airs and bigger turns.

At this point, the competition was brutal, but the finalists would ultimately be Ben Severne, Rick Vandertoorn, Jaeger Stone, and Ash Nicol. Eliminated from the semi-finals was local legend Scott McKercher who had to sit out on his first final in recent years. Event organiser and local ripper Federico Infantino also saw an end to his impressive run and had to settle with watching the finals from the beach.

In another close final heat, Jaeger Stone came out on top with very stylish riding and an incredible flow throughout the whole final. He was followed by Rick Vandertoorn, also a local ripper, and Ben Severne.

Finding his flow towards the end of the day, Jaeger ultimately levelled up above the competition and displayed truly world class riding.

Commenting on yet another Margaret River Wave Classic, Jaeger had this to say:
There’s a very, very passionate group of locals here, and a lot of windsurfers, professional and ex-professional dedicate a lot of their time to windsurfing this wave. So the reputation here of the windsurfers is really, really high. And yeah, it’s really impressive as well to see a lot of junior sailors now coming through and learning to windsurf this wave. To have an event here is great. It’s perfect for spectators, it’s perfect for judging. It’s a really great set up.

With the open fleet finalised, it was time to turn the focus to the youth, junior, women, masters, and legends divisions, and there was no shortage of action from the get-go.

The youth and junior fleets set off with big action, big crashes, but also an impressive display of windsurfing. The youth fleet in Australia is truly building up some serious talent. It was local grom Jake Ghiretti who took the win in both youth and junior divisions with very impressive riding rivaling some of the best seen at this year’s contest. Behind him is a large group of groms that we undoubtedly will see more of in the upcoming seasons.

The U18 girls division was no exception. The girls had no fear as they charged Margaret River’s mainbreak set waves and rode until the very last second of each heat. Ahead of the pack was Sarah Kanyon who set herself apart with well timed and linked turns, and a great style. Sarah also finished second in the women’s division behind local legend Jane Seman.

The day ended with the final of the masters division, and it was not surprising that Ash Nicol took the win given his impressive fourth place finish in the open division. Behind him followed Stephane Lefebre and Serge Pillonel. The masters division was no easy feat. Packed with experienced local riders, as well as, international riders, there was plenty of action to watch all the way until the epic showdown between the finalists in classical Margaret River conditions.

Full results

OPEN
1 Jaeger Stone
2 Rick Vandertoorn
3 Ben Severne
4 Ash Nicole
5 Federico Infantino
5 Matthew Gwynne
7 Hendrix Stone
7 Scott Mckercher
9 Ian Pott
9 Jake Ghiretti
9 Simon Thhule
9 Oliver Desforges
9 Ivan Zecca
9 Peter Kenyon
9 Brett Wallrodt
9 Thomas Berner
17 Johan Desforges
17 Stephane Lefebvre
17 Pierre Fallourd
17 Leo Bruns
17 Peter Tomsett
17 Serge Pillonel
17 Quinn Auricht
17 Stuart Slocombe
25 Jane Seeman
25 Nick Bentley
25 Phil Cuter
25 Flavio Calderoni

Women
1 Jane Seeman
2 Sarah Kenyon
3 Jaiya
4 Santina Pillonel
5 Sybille Bode

Masters (top 4)
1 Ash Nicol
2 Stephane Lefebvre
3 Serge Pillonel
4 Pierre Fallourd

Legends
1 Paul Jackman
2 Raul

U18
1 Jake Ghiretti
2 Ben Ilet
3 Tyler Wallrodt
4 Joshua Ledger
5 Maximos Ford
5 Dylon Szandtren
5 Zachary Debenham

U21
1 Jake Ghiretti
2 Ben Ilet
3 Tyler Wallrodt
4 Quinn Auricht
5 Adam Pitcher
6 Oliver Desforges

U18 girls
1 Sarah Kanyon
2 Jaiya
3 Santina Pillonel

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