Dunsborough’s Ollie Henry and Yallingup’s Emma Cattlin have been named wildcards for the inaugural Cape Naturaliste Pro next week after being nominated by the Yallingup Boardriders Club.
The Cape Naturaliste Pro is the first internationally sanctioned surfing event in Yallingup, and the small coastal town is home to WA surfers Taj Burrow, Jake Paterson, Claire Bevilacqua, and Melanie Redman-Carr.
Cattlin, 16, is one of WA’s best female surfers and is set to represent Australia at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach in the US later this month.
“It feels so amazing to receive a wildcard to compete in this big event coming to my home break,” she said.
“There’s a great field of girls that will be surfing and it’s a perfect way for me to warm up and get some good heat practice in before heading away to the ISA Worlds.”
Henry grew up on the Gold Coast before moving to WA with his family, and said he looked forward to the competition.
“I appreciate the faith that the Yallingup Boardriders have put in me when giving me the wildcard position,” he said.
“I’m not a real comp dude.
“This is my first WSL event and it could possibly be my last but I’m going to give it my all out there.”
Yallingup Boardriders Club president Garth Mullumby was thrilled to see local surfers get the opportunity to compete in a WSL Qualifying Series event in their backyard.
“There’s a lot of buzz and excitement around the town and I know a lot of groms are keen to come and watch,” he said.
“We chose Ollie because it would be an opportunity he wouldn’t have had without the support of the club and Surfing WA.
“We’ve been watching Emma progress and improve for years and we hope this event can help kickstart her professional career.”
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley congratulated the pair and said the Pro was a “real win” for the community.
“Clearly this is an amazing pathway opportunity for talented surfers like Emma and Ollie, while the Cape Naturaliste Pro will draw many people into our amazing region,” he said.
The Western Australian Pro Surf Series will start with the Mandurah Pro from tomorrow until Tuesday, and the Cape Naturaliste Pro will be from October 18-21.