Albany bodyboard star Elijah Medling has clinched his maiden WA bodyboard title after a wonderful performance on the waves at Clayton’s Beach on Saturday. Medling was crowned the under-18 junior boys’ champion at the 2022 SunSmart Bodyboard State Championships at the Mindarie break. A small but elite field of competitors converged on Clayton’s Beach to take part in the event across seven different divisions. The North Albany Senior High School student fell narrowly short of winning last year’s under-18 title, finishing runner-up. However, the talented 17-year old bounced back this year, finishing with a combined total of 27.81 across two finals to capture the State crown. Medling finished nearly four points ahead of reigning under-18 champion Riley Schell (24.14) from Mindarie, while Quinns Rock’s John Salmond was third in the final with 17.1. “I’m stoked to take the win, and to be State champion has been a long time coming,” Medling said. “The forecast was looking a bit rough, but it turned out to be a great event. “Last year was super-close and I only just came second. “Whereas in this year’s comp, I was just up with not too much time left so I was waiting for a wave for ages and then in the last three minutes, I managed to get a 9.07 and that bumped me up for the win.” His performance also netted the West Coast Suspensions wave of the weekend for an excellent air-roll-spin that scored 9.07 from a possible 10. Although Medling’s second-placed finish in last year’s championship was enough to secure him a place on the WA team for the 2021 Australian National Titles, the event was cancelled because of COVID-19. The 2022 Australian Surf Championships are set to take place in Port Macquarie in New South Wales and Medling said he was looking to forward to finally getting the opportunity to compete with the best surfers in the country. “Unfortunately it got canned last year, which was a bit of a bummer, but it will be good to over there this year. I’m really looking forward to the Aussie titles,” he said. “I’m so keen to get over there. “Bodyboarding is definitely what I’m best at. “I’m not too good at the other team sports but I love this. “It’s super-fun and next year I’ll be looking to compete again.” Medling also competed in the drop-knee category at the State titles and finished second behind champion Mark Boehm (10.67) after returning a score of 6.07.