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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Sat, 14 April 2018

The Margaret River Pro continued in heavy six foot surf today, with the men’s Round 1 completed, while WSL history was made as North Point hosted its first women's event.

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THICKNESS: Willian Cardoso sets up the tube and a spot in Round 3. Photo WSL / Cestari

North Point, the backup site of the third stop on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) known for its intense barrels, hosted the world’s best female CT surfers for the first time in history. Despite slower and more challenging conditions, the women dominated, including the highest single-wave scores of the event from Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and Carissa Moore (HAW).

With the Margaret River Pro relocated to Bronte Macaulay’s (AUS) backyard, the Gracetown local chased the bigger set waves but was unable to complete her rides. This left room for three-time WSL Champion Moore and Sage Erickson (AUS) to move in. Moore pulled into a deep barrel for a solid 7.50, and the win.

“Surfing new and challenging spots like this is so good for the women’s Tour and it really pushes our performance,” Moore said.

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TUCKING IN: Carissa Moore squeezes more points from the judging tower. Photo WSL / Dunbar

Six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) looked relaxed and confident to vault into an early lead over event wildcard Mikaela Greene (AUS) and current #5 Keely Andrew (AUS), which she held on to. "I was so pumped after watching all of the men’s action yesterday and then seeing that barrel that Carissa (Moore) got, but the wind went a bit funky in my heat, which made it difficult. It was definitely a cool experience though and a win is a win.”

The 16-year-old is quickly becoming recognised for her technical backhand surfingRookie Caroline Marks (USA) continued her epic form at North Point by taking down Paige Hareb (NZL) and compatriot Lakey Peterson. The 16-year-old is quickly becoming recognised for her technical backhand surfing, which was in full flight in the powerful West Australian waves.

The event’s highest single-wave score went to Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), who posted a near-perfect 9.00-point ride with two huge backhand turns. Weston-Webb’s commitment was rewarded by the judges, and although she didn’t find a solid backup score, it was enough to overcome reigning two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) and injury replacement Macy Callaghan (AUS).

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), the CT veteran focused on defending her Margaret River Pro win, defeated Coco Ho (HAW) and Silvana Lima (BRA). Ho and Lima will face potential elimination in Round 2.

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FIRST SITTING: Tatiana Weston-Webb got the highest individual wave score. Photo WSL / Dunbar

Heat 6 saw a dramatic end to the day when Malia Manuel (HAW) had a rude encounter with the rocks, and she had to replace her board mid-heat. It was a tough setback for the Hawaiian, who was chasing an average score to overtake Johanne Defay (FRA). Manuel struggled to find waves after the incident, leaving Defay to take the win. Manuel and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) will surf in elimination Round 2.

Earlier today, the men battled through difficult conditions in the remaining five heats of Round 1 to decide who skips to Round 3, and who gets relegated to elimination Round 2.

2015 WSL Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA) had a breakthrough: his first Round 1 heat win of the season. A former Margaret River Pro champion, he found an early keeper in a slow heat to overcome Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and rookie Yago Dora (BRA).

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SKY HIGH: Ezekiel Lau goes to the air to improve his heat position but failed. Photo WSL / Cestari

Former Margaret River Pro champion and North Point standout, Sebastian Zietz (HAW), took charge against current Jeep leader Italo Ferreira (BRA) and rookie Michael Rodrigues (BRA) with a combination of rail turns and short barrels.

The Surfline forecast is for fading, but still fairly solid, surf and a favourable morning prevails tomorrow, easing on Monday. Mid size W swell looks possible Wed-Thu, although wind may trend back onshore. Another solid SW to WSW swell remains possible for the end of the event window around the 20th-22nd.

Margaret River Men’s Pro Remaining Round 1 Results
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5.00, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 3.74, Yago Dora (BRA) 1.60
Heat 9: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 7.53, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5.93, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 3.83
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 5.40, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 2.90, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 2.23
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.20, Frederico Morais (PRT) 5.93, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 6.54
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.34, Michel Bourez (PYF) 2.24, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 1.30

Margaret River Men’s Pro Round 2 Matchups
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dave Delroy-Carr (AUS)
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Kael Walsh (AUS)
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 6: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 7: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 10: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Tomas Hermes (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 12: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

Margaret River Women’s Pro Round 1 Results
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.00, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.84, Silvana Lima (BRA) 5.93
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.33, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 2.37, Sage Erickson (USA) 2.03
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.56, Mikaela Greene (AUS) 6.43, Keely Andrew (AUS) 4.63
Heat 4: Caroline Marks (USA) 7.90, Paige Hareb (NZL) 4.80, Lakey Peterson (USA) 4.24
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.17, Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.50, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 9.34
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.37, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.17, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 5.13

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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