Surf’s up

By David Kavanagh | posted on May 16, 2019

Returning open women’s champion Holly Minter is aspiring to take the win for a second year in a row at this weekend’s Albany Boardriders Wavefest competition.

The 16-year-old Albany Senior High School student last year dethroned reigning winner Emy Campbell, who until then had topped the open women’s charts for five consecutive years.

“I’m pretty excited, hopefully I can do it all again this year,” Ms Minter said.

“I’ve probably been surfing for about 10 or 11 years … my dad got me into it and has been the reason I surf, pretty much. I just love being in the ocean with my friends and family; it’s just fun.”

Ms Minter has been competing in senior Wavefest events for around four years, and will this year face three of her peers who have risen through the ranks alongside her.

Pemba Spargo, Sascha Roberts and Evie Dupuy are all hoping to take the top spot when they hit the waters this weekend.

Albany Boardriders committee member and Ms Minter’s father Ian ‘Oxy’ Minter said the trio would be a fair challenge for his daughter.

“These girls have sort of been battling for years and I was just really proud of Holly last year when she was able to win it,” he said.

“They’re all such exceptional surfers, it’s always good watching that group surf because they always bring their game on Wavefest day.”

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the annual surfing competition and will see a total of 32 competitors across four divisions battle it out.

President of Albany Boardriders Peter Bolt described the competition as both an opportunity for the local surfing community to come together and as a means of assessing the quality of regional surfing.

“Wavefest is the premier surf contest on the south coast of Western Australia, there’s no other bigger contest than the open Wavefest in Albany,” he said.

“It’s a measure of how we’re going with our surfing but also a chance for local surfers to sharpen up some of those competitive skills.”

Mr Bolt said Albany Boardriders members regularly head off to compete in state rounds, with some, like Emy Campbell, even taking home national titles.

Although the stakes are high, Ms Minter said it takes a level head to win these types of contests.

“[You need to be] relaxed and not stressing too much about it and having fun,” she said.

“Then just try to do your best and get as many waves as possible.”

The May 18 and 19 event’s final location will depend on weather conditions.

Anyone interested can find updates on the Albany Boardriders Facebook page or at www.