|Local Hero Bronte Macaulay Takes Down World Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore
West Australia’s Bronte Macaulay has had an incredible run so far at the Margaret River Pro, upsetting the competition with massive wins over five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Round of 16 and seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. Macaulay, the 28-year-old hailing from Gracetown, got her spot into this event as the injury replacement after missing qualification to the 2022 CT. Macaulay now has the opportunity to secure her own place past the Mid-season Cut pending her results in the Semifinals when competition resumes.
“I think Steph and I had a bit of a shocker,” Macaulay said. “It went pretty flat out there and I made a few mistakes, I was just nervous, to be honest so I’m stoked to get through. It’s awesome to be in the Semis. Steph is such an awesome person and has always been one of my favorite surfers and someone that has always looked out for me on tour. When we were paddling out I was thinking how cool it was to share a heat with her at Main Break. I’m not thinking too much about the cut, I’m just enjoying the opportunity I’ve had to be here competing.”
“I’m happy to make the cut, that was a really stressful situation,” Gilmore said. “I found out before the heat so I was hoping to surf with that weight off my shoulders but we never really got the opportunity. You just have to laugh at those heats. Bronte and I would have liked to battle it out with excellent scores but it just wasn’t to be. I could have defended a bit more but she got it in the end. I’m stoked for Bronte, it would be cool to see her do well here and even requalify for the backend of the CT. I love it here in Margaret River. It’s a fabulous place and feels like authentic Australia so it’s good to be back.”
It was a tough day for the other top seeds at the Margaret River Pro with the eliminations of Tyler Wright (AUS) by Molly Picklum (AUS); Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) falling to rookie Gabriella Bryan (HAW); and Lakey Peterson (USA) couldn’t find the waves to take down CT sophomore Isabella Nichols (AUS), who eliminated current World No. 5 Johanne Defay (FRA).