Albany duo shine in Pro Am Series opener

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Albany surfing duo Adrian Shepherd and Pemba Spargo began the WA Pro Am Series in strong fashion at Margaret River’s Gas Bay on the weekend, with both featuring in their respective finals.

Shepherd, a State shortboard champion in 2013 and 2014, reached the final of the over-50 legends division at the event, which started on Friday and concluded on Saturday in 4ft-6ft waves at Gas Bay.

In the four-man final, Shepherd finished with 9.2 points and was officially third after being shaded by Trigg’s Mark Clift (15.4 points) and local surfer Matthew Webb (10.2), while Brad Cowan was in fourth place with 7.66 points.

The high-level surf coach also competed in the over-45 grand masters division but was unable to progress to the final, finishing seventh overall in the opening round.

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Spargo’s performance in round 1 was another strong sign of her capabilities, tackling the star-studded open women’s category featuring some of the best up-and-coming competitors in WA.

The talented teenager was one of five competitors in the hotly contested division and finished fifth after judges combined the best two wave scores from each surfer across two finals.

Spargo scored 13.4 points in a fantastic performance to claim fifth, while current national under-16 champion Jamaica Selby from Margaret River won with 25.39 points.

April McPherson (24.27) was second ahead of Emma Cattlin (20.5) and Phoebe McGregor (19.04).

The second round of the series will be contested on Rottnest Island in May.

Meanwhile, the opening round of WA Longboard Titles was held from February 17-19 in Yallingup, with Albany’s Tony Harrison and Denmark’s Mike Neunuebel competing.

Harrison finished second in the over-65 men’s final, falling 1.8 points short of local Bob Monkman, while Neunuebel was third in the over-55 men’s final, scoring 3.33 points to be finish well behind Barrie McKinnon (14.17) and Glenn Solomon (8.94).

The second round of that series will be held in Mandurah in June.

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