Surfing Western Australia has labelled two Falcon siblings as local wildcards to compete in the upcoming World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series, the Mandurah Pro.
Surfing siblings, Harry and April McPherson, were nominated by the Mandurah Boardriders Club to fill the highly sought-after positions after impressive performances at local, state and national level over the past 12 months.
The duo will now have the opportunity to compete on home soil against some of the very best surfers from across the Australia/Oceania region, with competitors from nine separate nations set to line up for the opening event of the Western Australian Pro Surf Series for 2019.
Surfing WA said April McPherson, 18, has had a great year, claiming back-to-back Open Women’s State Championships and finishing second behind Mia McCarthy at the Drug Aware WA Trials, the precursor to the WSL Margaret River Pro.
Ms McPherson said it was an unbelievable opportunity to be named the Mandurah Pro women’s wildcard.
“I didn’t surf very well in last year’s event and I’m looking forward to redeeming myself this year,” said Ms McPherson.
“I’ve been training really hard and surfing as much as possible in preparation.
“To have my brother Harry competing in the same event gives me great confidence as he’s always coached and supported me through my big events.”
Surfing WA said Harry McPherson, 23, had a phenomenal junior career that saw him represent WA on multiple occasions and although not surfing competitively quite as much as he used to, McPherson is still one of Mandurah’s finest performers when the swells get big.
Mr McPherson said he was stoked to be awarded the Mandurah Pro wildcard and was looking forward to the event.
“Mandurah has some great waves and it’ll be good to see surfers from across the planet heading to our hometown to compete,” said Mr McPherson.
“It’ll be awesome surfing alongside my sister April and flying the flag for Mandurah in front of all our family and friends.”
City of Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams was on hand to congratulate the local wildcards and was wrapped that Mandurah would once again play host to such an exciting international event.
“Harry and April are really well known to us here in the community and I’m stoked that they’ve got this opportunity to surf with some of their hero’s,” said Mr Williams.
“The Mandurah Pro is a great way to profile what our City has to offer, but it’s also a great way to engage with our local sporting clubs and our top athletes.
“We’re doing a lot of work trying to get a heap of different events here in the community across all different sports.
“I’m really grateful to Surfing WA for hosting the WA Pro Surf Series here in Mandurah and hope the weather turns on for the surfers.”
Mandurah Boardriders President Simon Wroth sais he was wrapped to see the McPherson’s get their chance to compete in a WSL event.
“Harry is our 2019 Club Champion and April has been setting the bar for girls in the area for many years,” Mr Wroth said.
“The Mandurah Pro is a brilliant opportunity for the new generation of Mandurah surfers coming through the grassroots levels.
“They can come down here watch all the pro’s ripping it up and seeing a few locals out there competing with them will hopefully spur them on to bigger and better things.”
The competition is set to commence on October 19 and run over a four day period.