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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Sun, 15 April 2018

Bummer! Mikey February battled through the Round 2 elimination, only to find himself against Jordy Smith in Round 3 of the Margaret River Pro. Sad for both of them.


BAD LUCK BRU: Mikey and Jordy have been drawn against each other. Photo WSL / Cestari

The third stop on the Championship Tour (CT) moved from the heaving tubes of alternate venue North Point to the event’s primary location of Main Break, which was 6-8' and going off.

February, who officially becomes a full-time CT competitor at Margaret River (in case you've just awoken from a deep slumber he gets it courtesy of Mick Fanning’s retirement after the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach), has had two early losses so far on the elite Tour as a wildcard. However, his win today over Frederico Morais (PRT) gives him the opportunity to earn a breakthrough result.

“This is only the second heat I have won on the CT, so it feels really good,” February said. “My goal going into that heat was to catch more waves as I have had a few slow heats this year, and I didn’t want to lose another heat that way. Coming onto this tour takes a lot of adjusting and getting used to, but I just try and do my own thing."

He's going to have to get used to doing battle against the only other South Africa on the tour, unfortunately. Jordy took the direct route to Round 3 after dispatching Tomas Hermes (BRA) and Ian Gouveia (BRA) in Round One in heaving 8 foot barrels at North Point two days ago.

Event wildcards Mikey Wright (AUS) and Kael Walsh (AUS) pulled off upsets in their Round 2 elimination heats, with wins over top seeds Adrian Buchan (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), respectively. In a rematch of their Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast heat, Wright will fight to again knock out reigning two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW). Walsh will surf against #1 Julian Wilson (AUS) to make a run for a win in front of his home crowd.

Current Jeep Leader Italo Ferreira (BRA) was lucky to overcome injury replacement Miguel Pupo (BRA) in their Round 2 matchup. Pupo was on fire early, posting the highest single wave score of the day, an 8.33 in the opening exchange after a series of critical backhand snaps. Ferreira was on the ropes - needing a 7.00 - until the dying minutes of the heat. Then he found a set wave to post a 7.50 and narrowly avoid elimination.

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FOUND HIS FEET: Griffin Colapinto was defeated by a desparate Yago Dora. Photo WSL / Cestari

Two of the most highly touted members of the 2018 rookie class, Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Yago Dora (BRA), went head-to-head. Colapinto has found his feet at the elite level, but Dora was still searching for a way out of Round 2. His desperation showed and he attacked the solid walls of Main Break on his backhand to overcome Colapinto and escape a third-straight last-place finish.

“It feels really good to finally get a heat win here on the Tour,” Dora said. “Griffin (Colapinto) is one of my favorite surfers on the CT, so I was really nervous to come up against him. I do like taking to the air, but this wave is more suited to power surfing, so I chose to stick to the face and do some big turns. It’s good to get some confidence from that win, especially against Griffin. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from how he has surfed this year.”

Another rookie, Michael Rodrigues (BRA), did well when he overcame Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) with one of the highest heat totals of Round 2, a 14.34. Rodrigues mixed power and style to dominate, but now faces #1 Ferreira in Round 3.

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KNOCKED OUT: Ian Gouveia bowed out of the event in Round 2. Photo WSL / Dunbar

There were mixed results for the other CT freshman with Wade Carmichael (AUS) falling to Joan Duru (FRA), while Jesse Mendes (BRA) got the win over Tomas Hermes (BRA) in their all-rookie matchup. The first heat of the day saw Owen Wright (AUS) take a comfortable win over Drag Aware WA Trials winner Dave Delroy-Carr (AUS), who bowed out in Equal 25th in his first CT appearance.

With an onshore breeze strengthening towards the end of the round, the Commissioner's Office decided to put the next rounds on standby until tomorrow morning when clean conditions are expected to return.

The Surfline forecast calls for fading SW swell, with head to overhead sets still showing on Monday morning with favorable winds. Then onshore winds push later and blow Tuesday as the surf keeps dropping. A decent pulse of new WSW swell moves in on Wednesday but winds are not favorable Wednesday. However, it looks okay for Thursday morning. There is good potential for a solid SW-WSW swell on the weekend but conditions do not look good.

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WRIGHT SIDE: Mikey Wright will face John John, again. Photo WSL / Dunbar

Margaret River Men’s Pro Round 2 Results
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 9.77 def. Dave Delroy-Carr (AUS) 5.43
Heat 2: Kael Walsh (AUS) 9.77 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 5.07
Heat 3: Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.14
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.67 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.16
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.16 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.10
Heat 6: Michael February (ZAF) 12.73 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.17
Heat 7: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.76 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.93
Heat 8: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.34 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.27
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.83 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.57
Heat 10: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.50 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.50
Heat 11: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 9.37 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 9.10
Heat 12: Joan Duru (FRA) 14.57 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.80

Margaret River Men’s Pro Round 3 Matchups
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 5: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Kael Walsh (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)

Margaret River Women’s Pro Round 2 Matchups
Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Mikaela Greene (AUS)
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 5: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 6: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)

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