|Wildcard Bronte Macaulay Takes Down World No. 1 Molly Picklum
In one of the biggest upsets of the day, local surfer and event wildcard Bronte Macaulay (AUS) took out World No. 1 Molly Picklum (AUS). Macaulay’s local knowledge benefited her once again as she was able to identify the waves with opportunity. Picklum was left chasing a 5.22 as time ran out. By missing the Semifinals, Picklum will have to give up the yellow Leader jersey to Tyler Wright (AUS).
“It was a scrappy one, neither of us surfed the way we really wanted to surf, but you have to take those sometimes, and I’ll take the win for sure,” said Macaulay. “I was just trying to stay calm, 35 minutes is a long time, and you have lots of opportunities with the jet ski, so I was just focused on relaxing.”
Stephanie Gilmore Confirmed Above Mid Season Cut
Reigning 8X World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) confirmed her place in the second half of the season after overcoming Gabriela Bryan (HAW) in the Round of 16. She then went on to face Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Quarterfinals but was unable to progress, with Wright taking the win and moving into the Semifinals, where she will take on Caroline Marks (USA)
“So stressful, that’s far out,” said Gilmore. “I just knew seeing Bettylou (Sakura Johnson) lose yesterday and Lakey (Peterson) coming through with that clutch last-second win; I thought she was on a tear and was going to take me out. To go from winning the Title to being back on the bubble again, maybe it’s a nice little theory. Just sneaking in 10th, just sneaking in 5th, finishing number 1 (laughs). Thanks for the support, everyone, there are some great events after the cut, stoked to make the cut.”
Another Aussie CT veteran who came into the Western Australia Margaret River Pro needing a big result to make the Mid-seaon Cut was Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS). Although she looked solid in the early rounds, Fitzgibbons was unable to better Mark’s excellent heat total of 16.50 (out of a possible 20) in the Quarterfinals. Fitzgibbons will finish the event in equal 5th, meaning she will fall below the Cut. With Fitzgibbons out, Gabriela Bryan (HAW) has been confirmed to claim the final spot in the second half of the season.