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World’s Best Surfers Take Over Main Break for Opening Round of Margaret River Pro

    • Veterans Get Campaigns Off to Strong Start at Main Break
    • Mixed Results For Rookies on the Cut Line Following Opening Round 1
    • Next Call: Tomorrow at 7:15 AM AWST (1:15pm HI time Monday)
    Pictured: 2022 CT rookie Molly Picklum (AUS) put on a massive performance to take out her Opening Round heat at the Margaret River Pro today. Credit: © WSL / Dunbar

    MARGARET RIVER, Western Australia, (Monday, April 25, 2022) – The Margaret River Pro, the fifth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), has commenced today with the women’s Opening Round running in semi-clean three-to-four foot surf at Main Break. With the Mid-season Cut coming into effect after this event, some of surfing’s biggest names dug deep to avoid the dreaded Elimination Round. 

    Veterans Get Campaign Off to Strong Start at Main Break

    Two veterans of the CT who are in desperate need of a big result here at Margaret River are Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) who are both right on the cut-line as competition commences. With each of them having found the ultimate success at this event in previous years, they’ll both be looking to replicate those results in 2022 as they aim to save their spots on Tour. Today, they both got off to the best possible start, each progressing into the Round of 16. Conlogue came second in her heat with Brisa Hennessy (CRI) whilst Fitzgibbons took a solid win over reigning World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), who progressed in second place.

    “I’m definitely in a pickle from the start of the season as everyone knows,” Fitzgibbons said. “I just need to enjoy it and see how I go. I know my surfing is still relative and I just want to keep the flow going and do what I can to get where I need to go. This is a special place where it’s so rugged and raw and just you in the elements and I do love coming back. I just need to keep applying myself and see what happens.”

    Seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) is another big name in the hunt for a solid result here in Margaret River as she looks for a maiden win at the location and needs to place about the cut in order to continue through the back half of the CT. Today she progressed through to the Round of 16 with a solid performance in the Opening Round. Gilmore will join Johanne Defay (FRA) and current World No. 2 Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Round of 16.

    Mixed Results For Rookies on the Cut Line 

    Aussie youngster Molly Picklum displayed her hunger to save her spot on Tour, claiming an impressive heat win over seven-time WSL Champion Gilmore and former Margaret River event winner Lakey Peterson (USA). Picklum was on a roll, attacking the end section at Main Break, guaranteeing herself a spot in the Round of 16.

    “That was a dream heat for me,” Picklum said. “To verse two women like that in Lakey and Steph was inspiring to be honest. I got here early to practice and it seemed to help. I hope I looked like I knew what I was doing. My goal for this year was to make the cut and be at every stop on Tour so I really need to do well here at this event and get up on top of the cutline. That start was a great one for my confidence, it was almost like surfing a Final but it was my opening heat.”

    Another Australian rookie who progressed into the Round of 16 with a runner-up finish in the Opening Round was India Robinson (AUS), who looked at home in the chunky West Aus conditions. Robinson came in a close second to Johanne Defay (FRA) who is hoping to hold onto her spot inside the Top 5 as the 2022 season progresses.

    “It was a little bit tricky out there today,” Defay said. “It was a bit windy and a bit smaller than what we usually have here, but I just tried to keep busy and focus on building my scores throughout the heat. I also tried to be smart with priority and force the others into waves I didn’t want and it worked so I’m happy. I have been consistent this year but I want to break into the Semifinals at this event at least.”

    Hawaii’s Luana Silva, Betylou Sakura-Johnson, and Gabriela Bryan now find themselves in the Elimination Round as they all finished third in their Opening Round Heats today. There will be plenty on the line with the three teenagers needing massive results here in Western Australia if they are to keep their spots on the CT alive in 2022.

    For updates and highlights from the Margaret River Pro, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

    Margaret River Pro Women’s Opening Round 1 Results:
    HEAT 1: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 8.96 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 8.50, Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 5.20
    HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.40 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 9.67, Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 7.80
    HEAT 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.83 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.50, Mia McCarthy (AUS) 5.54
    HEAT 4: Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.34 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.00, Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.73
    HEAT 5: Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.30 DEF. India Robinson (AUS) 7.90, Luana Silva (HAW) 6.33
    HEAT 6: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.60 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.57, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 8.87Margaret River Pro Women’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
    HEAT 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Luana Silva (HAW) vs. Mia McCarthy (AUS)
    HEAT 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) vs. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)Margaret River Pro Men’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
    HEAT 1: Callum Robson (AUS), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
    HEAT 2: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Jackson Baker (AUS), Matthew McGillvray (ZAF)
    HEAT 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
    HEAT 4: John John Florence (HAW), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
    HEAT 5: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Conner Coffin (USA), Ben Spence (AUS)
    HEAT 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jack Thomas (AUS)
    HEAT 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
    HEAT 8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Deivid Silva (BRA)
    HEAT 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Morgan Cibilic (AUS)
    HEAT 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Joao Chianca (BRA)
    HEAT 11: Seth Moniz (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
    HEAT 12: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Jack Robinson (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT)
  • EARLIER UPDATE BELOW
Pictured: Local hero Bronte Macaulay (AUS) will hit the water in Heat 2 of the Opening Round this morning at the Margaret River Pro. Credit: © WSL / Miers

MARGARET RIVER, Western Australia, (Monday, April 25, 2022) – The Margaret River Pro, the fifth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), will kick off with the women’s Opening Round at 8:35 a.m. AWST in clean, building, three-to-five foot surf at Main Break. The men’s Opening Round and the women’s Elimination Round are on standby.

Local hero Bronte Macaulay (AUS) has competed in the last three of four CT competitions as the injury replacement for Caroline Marks (USA). Macaulay will continue on the CT today back in her home of Western Australia. A stone’s throw from her home in Gracetown, Macaulay has a deep relationship with this venue, earning solid results over the years, and also with a family connection. Macaulay’s father, Dave, is the only surfer from Western Australia to claim a CT victory in Margaret River. She will be up in Heat 2, facing two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) and rookie Gabriela Bryan (HAW).

The last heat of the women’s Opening Round will see the 2021 Margaret River Pro winner Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) against the West Australian specialist Malia Manuel (HAW) and CT sophomore Isabella Nichols (AUS) as she looks to save her spot on CT ahead of the Mid-season Cut.

Margaret River Pro Women’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Mia McCarthy (AUS)
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Molly Picklum (AUS)
HEAT 5: Johanne Defay (FRA), India Robinson (AUS), Luana Silva (HAW)
HEAT 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Isabella Nichols (AUS)Margaret River Pro Men’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Callum Robson (AUS), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
HEAT 2: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Jackson Baker (AUS), Matthew McGillvray (ZAF)
HEAT 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
HEAT 4: John John Florence (HAW), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
HEAT 5: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Conner Coffin (USA), Ben Spence (AUS)
HEAT 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jack Thomas (AUS)
HEAT 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Deivid Silva (BRA)
HEAT 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Morgan Cibilic (AUS)
HEAT 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 11: Seth Moniz (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
HEAT 12: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Jack Robinson (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT)

 

(Recent) Day one of Holding period postponed

 

Pictured: A clean but small ocean has greeted competitors on the opening day of the Margaret River Pro. Credit: © WSL / Hughes

MARGARET RIVER, Western Australia, (Sunday, April 24, 2022) – The Margaret River Pro, the fifth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), has been called OFF for its opening day due to small surf on offer at Main Break. With plenty of swell expected for the remainder of the event window, competition organizers will make another call tomorrow morning for a potential start at Main Break.

“It’s awesome to be back in the West,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “It is really quiet today, beautiful conditions, but not really any waves. We are going to be off for today. It is looking like there will be a bit of promise happening in the forecast. There’s going to be a window even for tomorrow that we are going to look really closely at but nothing for today.”

When competition does get underway there will be some incredible matchups including Heat 4 of the Opening Round, which will see Main Break standout John John Florence (HAW) take on 2022 CT rookie Lucca Mesinas (PER) and local favorite Jacob Willcox (AUS).

The last heat of the women’s Opening Round will see the Margaret River Pro reigning event winner Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) take on a West Australian specialist Malia Manuel (HAW) and CT sophomore Isabella Nichols (AUS) as she looks to save her spot on CT ahead of the Mid-season Cut.

Margaret River Pro Women’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Mia McCarthy (AUS)
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Molly Picklum (AUS)
HEAT 5: Johanne Defay (FRA), India Robinson (AUS), Luana Silva (HAW)
HEAT 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Isabella Nichols (AUS)Margaret River Pro Men’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Callum Robson (AUS), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
HEAT 2: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Jackson Baker (AUS), Matthew McGillvray (ZAF)
HEAT 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
HEAT 4: John John Florence (HAW), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
HEAT 5: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Conner Coffin (USA), Ben Spence (AUS)
HEAT 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jack Thomas (AUS)
HEAT 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Deivid Silva (BRA)
HEAT 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Morgan Cibilic (AUS)
HEAT 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 11: Seth Moniz (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
HEAT 12: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Jack Robinson (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT)

Prior Update from: Margaret River Pro (18 hours ahead of Hawaii…status/call around 1pm Saturday in Hawaii or 1pm Sunday at Margarets) 

Small surf kicks off day 1 of waiting period. A better chance Monday then a bigger swell (but sketchier conditions) Tuesday-Thursday.

  • World No. 1s Moore and Toledo On Hunt for Second Margaret River Titles
  • Competitors Brace for New Mid-season Cut
  • Gabriel Medina Awarded WSL CT Season Wildcard for Events Following Mid-season Cut
Pictured: [L-R] Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW), Filipe Toledo (BRA), and Jack Robinson (AUS) at today’s Margaret River Pro Press Conference. Credit: © WSL / Dunbar

MARGARET RIVER, Western Australia, (Saturday, April 23, 2022) – 

The Margaret River Pro, the fifth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), opens tomorrow with the world’s best returning to Western Australia ahead of the first-ever Mid-season Cut. Some of surfing’s biggest names will be fighting for their spot on the CT as the surfing world’s attention shifts to Western Australia from April 24 to May 4, 2022.

World No. 1s Moore and Toledo in The Hunt for Second Margaret River Pro Title

Two competitors who will not be too concerned about the Mid-season Cut are current rankings leaders Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Carissa Moore (HAW), who come into Margaret River off a first and second result, respectively, at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. Five-time WSL Champion Moore will be looking for her second Margaret River title eight years, while Toledo will be looking for back-to-back wins at Main Break.

“I’m so happy to be back in Western Australia,” Moore said. “It’s a place that holds a special place in my heart and I think that even after my time on tour, I’ll always come back. The waves are great, it’s beautiful and I have great friends here. It’s been an interesting year so far with the new format and some new locations so I’ve been navigating it in a different way but I feel really grateful to be back in the yellow jersey at mid-season.”

Local Favorites Bronte Macaulay and Jack Robinson Ready for Hometown Event 

The state of Western Australia will be cheering on two CT local competitors at this year’s Margaret River Pro, Bronte Macaulay and Jack Robinson as well as wildcards Jacob WillcoxMia McCarthy, and Jack Thomas. Macaulay, who finished equal third at last year’s event will be looking to go two spots further this year while CT sophomore Robinson will be hoping to continue his form, coming into his home event ranked 13th in the world.

“I think my favorite part of this event being here is getting to show off the beautiful place I live to the rest of the competitors on tour,” Macaulay said. “It’s always nice seeing how much everyone from around the world loves coming here and enjoying the region and everything it has to offer. It looks like there are some waves on the way so it should be another awesome week here in the west.”

“It feels amazing to be home,” Robinson said. “I haven’t been here for 10 months so it’s good to be back and getting into the swing of things. I feel like coming into this year’s event, I am in such a different mental space than last year, I just feel a lot more relaxed and ready, like I belong here. I’m keen to keep the feeling going and enjoy my time back at home and hope the success continues.I just want to put on a show for everyone.”

Competitors Brace for New Mid-season Cut

The Margaret River Pro is the last competition before the Mid-season Cut, where surfers below 20th on the men’s rankings and below 10th on the women’s rankings will be relegated off the CT and will need to requalify through the Challenger Series. With this being the last event before the dreaded cut, it will play a pivotal role in the future of many surfers’ careers. Lucca Mesinas (PER) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) sit just above the line with Conner Coffin (USA) and Owen Wright (AUS) sitting just below it on the men’s side, while on the women’s side, veterans Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) are sitting on the cusp of requalification and are in desperate need to fend off their competitors in this competition for a chance to lock themselves in for Tour following the cut.

Gabriel Medina Awarded WSL CT Season Wildcard for Events Following Mid-Season Cut

Gabriel Medina (BRA) has been awarded the men’s 2022 WSL season wildcard, which gives him entry into all Championship Tour (CT) events following the Mid-season Cut. The WSL season wildcard also grants entry onto the CT for the following season, therefore Medina will receive a place at the start of the 2023 CT season. The WSL season wildcard is selected by the WSL Tours and Competition team following applications from athletes. The wildcard selection process takes into account competitive performance, such as World Titles, CT and Challenger Series rankings, and event results, as well as a medical evaluation if applicable.

“Gabriel Medina will officially be the men’s WSL Season wildcard for all competitions following the Mid-season Cut, starting with the Quiksilver Pro G-Land,” said Renato Hickel, WSL Director of Tours and Competition. “With this wildcard, Gabriel will be eligible to qualify for the WSL Final 5, and he will also receive a spot in the 2023 CT season. We still have more wildcards to be determined: one more men’s WSL season wildcard for the 2023 season, the the women’s 2022 WSL season wildcard following the Mid-season Cut, the women’s 2023 season wildcard, as well as the men’s and women’s wilcards for each competition. We are still reviewing these applications and will have a decision on the season wildcards by May 9.”

The WSL season wildcards for the women and the men’s 2023 season wildcard will be determined by May 9. The WSL Tours and Competition team are still accepting and reviewing applications for this position.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfleague.com.

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