2018 Year in Review: Sport Edition

There is nothing we love more than sharing stories of our community’s sporting successes and triumphs.

The year began with the cricket season. Yallingup Oddbods took out A-Grade, will they back it up and claim the 2018/19 season? They are a strong chance, however, St Mary’s are heavily tipped for a premiership tilt.

The region’s surf stars put on a show and the first ever Cape Naturaliste Pro was held.

Busselton Bowling Club won a slew of awards and Busselton hosted the National Masters Hockey competition.

It was also the ‘year of the young gun’, with many of the region’s sporting up-and-comers proving themselves on the state and national fields, courts and arenas.

If we mentioned all the running and triathlon events we would ‘run’ out of room! The region also hosted mountain biking events and extreme endurance races.

In the South West Football League, the competition that stops the South West and sees divides/rivalries grow between neighbouring communities, the Busselton Magpies league team failed to make finals. The squad suffered a few crucial injuries throughout the year, however, the future looks bright at the nest. The Colts had an amazing season, only to be pipped at the post by those northerners in Bunbury. The women’s side also just missed finals, but made a staggering improvement from their debut season.

In the South West Netball League, Busselton Magpies were the undisputed Queens of the Court the whole season. The club claimed triple premiership crowns in the League, Reserves and under 18s. Defenders Riley Riley Culnane and Ella Taylor had stellar years and earned scholarships for the Western Australian Institute of Sport. 

With the cricket season already in full swing, and the football preseason starting shortly, it is guaranteed to be another big year of sport in 2019.

The Mail would like to thank the clubs, community members and our contributors who support our sports coverage. We wish you a Happy New Year. Enjoy the 2018 Sport in Review.

Emma Cattlin had an amazing year. Image Woolacott.

Emma Cattlin had an amazing year. Image Woolacott.


Busselton and Margaret River’s two cricket sides in Senior Country Week endured a tough start in Perth when they both lost their opening two games by comfortable margins. 

Sixteen-year-old Troyden Thorp top-scored for Busselton-Margaret River’s No. 1 side in Perth when he made 41 runs against Upper Great Southern. 

Yallingup turned on classic surf conditions for the three day Taj’s Small Fries event with the final day moved to Smiths beach for the first time in the event history. Some of Australia’s and WA’s best grommets were amped to surf the perfect grommet waves at Shallows and Smiths Reef with a new level of ripping being on show for spectators and parents. Emma Cattlin from Yallingup went back-to-back, winning the 16 & Under Girls division ahead of Margaret River’s Maddie Cawood. 

The Geography Bay Yacht Club held it’s annual Australia Day regatta over with sailors coming from across WA to compete in six races throughout the long weekend. GBYC also hosted the 33rd WA championships for the tasar class with a total of 22 tasars competing.


Almost 2000 people swam in the Busselton Jetty Swim.  Andrew Donaldson was first male to finish while Rebekah Weller was the first female.

More than 1200 people ran in the SunSmart Half Marathon. Nic Harmen won the 21km race and Maia Simmonds was the first female over the line.

Busselton hockey star Charlotte Massey skipped a family holiday to make her dream of playing State become a reality. After narrowly missing out on selection in 2017, the South West Strikers player cracked the 2018 Hockey WA State Under 18 team after 12 months of hard work and dedication.

An impressive group of champions were crowned at Yallingup’s main break, after an exciting conclusion to the Health Insurance Fund of Australia WA Longboard Titles presented by SunSmart.

Busselton’s Ben van Overdijk was selected to don the black and gold for WA in Hockey Australia’s under 15 National Championships

Fisherman battled the high seas and coastline to snag the perfect catch in this year’s Blue Water Classic held by the Naturaliste Game and Sport Fishing Club. 

Geographe Bay Yacht Club were proud to host another successful Race Week with more than 45 yachts from all over WA taking part in the event. 


It was blue skies for the SuperFoilers Grand Prix off the Busselton Jetty. The iconic jetty provided a stunning viewing platform for the national event.

A top five finish in the 2018 South West Football League was firmly in the sights of Busselton Football Club league coach Steve Lester and captain Aidan Fraser

Busselton Bowling Club dominated the South West League Ladies’ Pennant competition, winning the title in each division

Seven ladies from the Dunsborough Coasters Netball Club represented the region on the international stage. The netball team, made up of Karen Speck, Bethaney Bendall, Perri White, Carol Hayley, Anya Dawson, Lisa Richards and Cass Wheel played in the Golden Oldies Netball Festival in Christchurch.

The Busselton Masters Swimming Club earned themselves Club of Year in the Masters Swimming WA awards for 2017. Their captain Darryl Kelly also earned himself the Perc Edwards Volunteer of the Year award having held the club’s helm since it first formed in 2015.

South West surfer Bronte Macaulay added another trophy to the family’s ever-growing collection with her selection as the World Surfing League’s Rookie of the Year in her first full time year competing on the Championship Tour.

Only eight runs separated premiers YOBS from runners-up Dunsborough at the end of an outstanding A-grade cricket grand final for the Barnard Cup at the Dunsborough Playing Fields.

Busselton’s Ice Queen Kylie Hutt did it! She won her Australian National Boxing Federation welterweight fight and brought home the national title belt.

The best skateboarders from around Australia slid their way around the big bowl at the Busselton skate park  to take part in the 2018 King of Concrete competition. 

Aston Brooks could be the next big thing in the footy world.

Aston Brooks could be the next big thing in the footy world.


Busselton Bowling Club ladies achieved the most points and won the Bowls WA shield, that they have not won in the last 50 years, at Country Week.

In the opening round of the South West Netball Football League season the Busselton Magpies played at home against the Eaton Boomers.

The women’s team was ready for their first round match after toppling the Harvey-Leschenault-Brunswick Lions by 40 points in the preseason carnival.

Michael Lori and Kristen Gardner were crowned X-Adventure Dunsborough and State champions in the 2018 Long Course and Cross Triathlon State Championship titles. Dunsborough’s Jess Reynolds was the top local competitor securing third place in the women’s event. More than 1200 competitors competed for two big days of racing at the off-road triathlon and new Aquathlon-X, battling not only for prize money but also a spot at the World Championships and glory of a State Title.


Severe weather did not dampen the spirits of 1756 triathletes who took part in this year’s Ironman 70.3 in Busselton, which saw the swim leg cancelled. Athletes participated in a duathlon instead adding a 3 km run to their race. 

Four members of the Busselton Swimming Club represented their club and Western Australia at the 2018 Georgina Hope Foundation National Age Swimming Championships at the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre in Sydney.

Three of Busselton’s star netballers represented the region in the WA Netball League, just a few weeks after donning the black and gold for WA. Souwest Jets players Riley Culnane, Brooke Gibson and Harmony Sutherland returned from playing for the state at the 2018 National Netball Championships.


Busselton Bowling Club capped off a stellar 2017- 18 season by receiving Bowls WA’s Jim Murray Award for the most outstanding country club in the state

Dunsborough’s Sam Huxley represented WA for the second time when he took to the field at the National Schools Championship. 

Three Busselton Magpies earned a call-up for the South West in the Landmark Country Football Championships. Liam Creighton, Kyle Tickle and Harvey Golding were selected to represent the region in the competition. Magpies Colts coach David Lewis was chosen to again coach the South West side. 

The fierce rivalry between Busselton and Augusta-Margaret River continued in the 2018 SWFL season.

The fierce rivalry between Busselton and Augusta-Margaret River continued in the 2018 SWFL season.


Busselton’s outrigger canoe star Beau Haynes travelled to Tahiti to compete in the Va’a World Sprint Championships. It was the first time the dedicated paddler has performed at an international level.

Around 165 riders made the most of the South West’s conditions during the 41st Capel 200 Trail Bike Rally. Riders from across Western Australia headed to Capel for a weekend of thrilling trail-bike action.

After two years of missing out, the South West Landmark Carnival team took out the Division One premiership.

Outstanding performances for their state earned South West netballers Riley Culnane and Ella Taylor scholarships for the Western Australian Institute of Sport. Riley, from Busselton, and Ella, from Dunsborough, form the dynamic defensive duo for the ECU Souwest Jets team. The pair were also teammates at Bunbury’s South West Academy of Sport

Home-side Dunsborough Towner’s Football Club won the South West Soccer Association’s Men’s Pioneer Cup in a hard fought match against the Dalyellup Park Rangers

Busselton Football Club dominated in their win over Hay Park United in the South West Soccer Association’s Women’s Pioneer Cup. Busselton won convincingly with five goals to nil. 

The Busselton Football Club league side traded in their black and white stripes tfor special one-off blue and white jumpers for the Leukaemia Foundation. Club treasurer Shontelle Bowman also took part in the foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave. The events were an act of support for three-year-old Busselton boy Oliver Roberts, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia earlier this year

Busselton Swimming Club members Ella Butler and Maddison Johnston-Walker were selected in the WA State Team participating in the Schoolsport Australia Swimming Championships.


Gymnasts from Vasse’s Horizon Gymnastics Club returned to the region with a bunch of medals to their name after competing in Perth. 

The Busselton Magpies played at home against the Augusta Margaret River Hawks at the Geographe Leisure Centre with all three teams coming away with convincing wins.

Soccer star Asha McClurg made the School Sport WA team.

Busselton’s Aston Brooks, 11, won the ‘Freo Long Bomb’ under 13 title at a state-wide competition.

Forty-nine teams from around WA pedalled their way around Busselton’s foreshore precinct during this year’s Pedal Prix on the weekend. 

Three local junior surfers have qualified for the elite ISA World Junior Championships in California. Yallingup young gun Emma Cattlin was  chosen to compete in the Under 16 girls division along with fellow south westriders, Cy Cox and Seth Van Haeften from Margaret River.

In the Busselton Netball Association’s Net Set Go competition,the Aces Diamonds completed the season in the under 9s division undefeated.

The Busselton netball community gathered to celebrate the association’s 70th anniversary. Busselton Netball Association was established in 1948. 


THE Busselton colts team didn’t make the same mistake twice as it romped to a dominant 47-point win over Augusta Margaret River to qualify for the grand final. Sadly, they collapsed at the final hurdle and lost the grand final to Bunbury by 60 points.

Busselton Magpies Netball Club took out every division in the 2018 South West Netball Football League.

Seventeen-year-old mountain bike rider, Jayden Fraser continued his powerhouse results, with an unexpected State Champion podium winning deviation from his normal Enduro MTB events when, he took to the Cross Country track at the State School’s Competition.

Busselton rising star Blake Murdoch was recruited to the under 13 WA state hockey team.

The Dunsborough Yallingup Mulies were the 2018 Onshore Cup premiers after defeating the Busselton Bombers in a tough match. The Mulies won with 6.5 (41) to the Bombers’ 5.3 (33).

The Eagles visited with the premiership cup in December.

The Eagles visited with the premiership cup in December.


The region’s top soccer sides competed in the 2018 South West Cup, with several Busselton teams taking home honours

Busselton laid out the red carpet, and prepared the green turf, to welcome women’s masters teams from around the country. 

St Mary’s Cricket Club, the oldest club in the Busselton-Margaret River region, was tipped to have its best chance of breaking its 35-year Barnard Cup premiership drought when the A-Grade cricket season kicked off. The return of all-rounder Danny Hatton from Dunsborough and former House Medallist Ben Lloyd from retirement, and the recruit of batsman Nick Barr and medium-pacer Peter Morris gave the Saints a huge boost on paper.

However, reigning premiers Yallingup Oddbods believed their junior structure would ensure quality cricket from the club for years to come.

Cape Naturaliste student and keen sailor Rosie Rowell was recognised for her Olympian-like qualities. Rosie was one of 43 WA high school students who the Australian Olympic Committee honoured with the prestigious 2018 Pierre de Coubertin Award

Liam O’Brien and Alyssa Lock conquered big swells and testing conditions to claim victory at the inaugural Cape Naturaliste Pro, a World Surf League Qualifying Series 1000 event for Men and Women.

Canberra’s Brendan Johnston rode himself into the record books going back to back at the iconic four day MTB stage race Cape to Cape and becoming the first rider to win the Australian MTB Series -Triple Crown. 

Dunsborough Primary School was named Most Outstanding School at the 2018 WA Tennis Industry awards.

Busselton Football Club’s Tenardi family were the big winners at the club’s awards night. Mitch Tenardi, who returned to the club from a season with East Perth, was named as the League best and fairest with 103 votes over teammate Jackson Arbon, who scored 95 votes. His mother, Trish, who is the club secretary, was named at the Dick Pettit Memorial Clubperson of the Year for her selfless efforts throughout the season.


First year captain Nick Ritchie and new recruit Mick Walker rewrote the record book when they established an all-wicket partnership record for Dunsborough Cricket Club. Ritchie struck a virtually chanceless 117 not out and combined with Walker (89no) in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 212.

Hawthorn premiership player Ben Stratton pulled on the flouro yellow uniform of the Lemons in his debut match in the Busselton T20 Cricket Competition.

Three young Busselton basketballers travelled to the United States for a series of games and training camps. Travis Vogel, Finn Moore and Rohan Stokes flew to Ohio after four days of training with Victorian club, the Nunawading Spectres.

Amelia Park Farm manager Sarah Brown and horse breaker Jesse Byrne signed up for the 2019 Mongol Derby. The duo are among just 40 riders chosen to compete in the 10 day race through the Mongolian Steppe.

Members of the Busselton Masters Swimming Club gathered to celebrate the launch of the 2018/2019 open water swimming season. The club is welcoming new members. 


The 15th Ironman WA in Busselton saw triathletes from around the globe race in a 3.8 kilometre swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run.

A sea of blue and yellow washed over Sir Stewart Bovall Oval in Busselton with thousands of people flocking the grounds for a chance to get up close and personal with the West Coast Eagles. 

The Yallingup Boardriders turned back the clock to the 1970’s during their annual Single Fin Theory contest.  Local legend and big wave devotee, Paul ‘Antman’ Patterson showed he is also handy on the old school boards by tearing apart the fun right-handers to lift the winning trophy with his victorious first place.

Busselton Bowling Club is looking forward to an exciting 2019 season after receiving two generous community grants. The club was selected from more than 400 sporting clubs around the state to receive $4000 sports grant from Community TAB.