Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
WSL Men's CT Event
WSL Women's CT Event
Margaret River, Western Australia
15 - 25 April 2015
First few days of wait period forecast to have very solid swell
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 April, 2015 - Margaret River: Following an exciting event at Bells Beach the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, gets underway in less than a week. The world’s best surfers are heading to Western Australia to close out the opening leg of this year's elite tour.
Western Australia has existed as an annual pilgrimage site for competitive and free surfers for decades now and the region’s world-class waves combined with its unparalleled beauty make it a tour favorite. A long-time staple on the Qualifying Series (QS), 2014 was first time since 1990 that Margaret River has been a CT stop for both the men and women.
The women’s event regained CT status in 2013 having last featured in 1996, while last year saw the men’s event upgraded to become part of the CT after over twenty years on the QS. 2015 marks 30 years of the world’s best at Margaret River, beginning its history on the men's CT as the Swan Margaret River Thriller in 1985 where March Occhilupo (AUS) took out the inaugural event.
Defending WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) is current world no. 9 following a fifth place at Bells Beach and is looking to better his Quarterfinal finish at last year’s Drug Aware Margaret River Pro to put him in contention for the 2015 world title. Medina will face Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) and wildcard Alejo Muinz (BRA) in Round 1.
“Margaret River is such a good wave and I think it’s better than Bells Beach so I’m looking for a good result over there,” said Medina. “There’s only been two events so far and after a good result in Bells I hope that continues and I can fight for the title at the end of the year.”
Defending event winner Carissa Moore (HAW) is heading into the contest wearing the Jeep leader jersey after a strong start to 2015 with back-to-back wins on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach. Moore matches up against Coco Ho (HAW) and the trials winner in the opening round of competition.
“I really love Margaret River and I’m so excited to get back over there,” Moore said. “It’s such a beautiful part of the world and has great vibes, plus my boyfriend is coming over so I can’t wait to get there. The forecast looks crazy, like it’s going to be pretty big so that will be a new challenge too. I’ve never surfed the Box so if we are called on over there I’ll be a little scared but I’ll give it my best shot.”
Current no. 2 on the QS and former CT surfer Alejo Muniz (BRA) has been selected as the wildcard for the event. In a bid to requalify for the elite tour in 2016 the Brazilian has secured a win and a 9th-place finish on the QS so far this year and has been rewarded with a place in the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro as the highest ranked QS surfer that isn’t currently on the CT.
The trials event, which takes place on Tuesday, April 14, will determine which two athletes will join WSL Top 34 and Top 17 to complete the field for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Competing for the remaining spot in the men’s draw are nine local surfers from WA who will battle it out at Margaret River’s Main Break. Eight regional female athletes will also contest for the final place to compete against the world’s best female surfers at Margaret River.
Surfline's Kevin Wallis reports:
Swell/Surf Outlook: The first swell should start to build on Tuesday the 14th, with a peak in surf on Wednesday the 15th (opening day of the waiting period). This swell would be slightly more ‘west' in direction, coming from the SW 240-220 degrees. The follow up swell could build Thursday afternoon the 16th from the SW 230-215 degrees, transitioning more SW/SSW 220-200 degrees Fri/Sat the 17th-18th and potentially maintaining good size. Decreasing surf looks likely by Sunday.
At this point both of these swells look relatively similar in size, with long period deepwater/offshore swell in the 12-15' range. That would translate to surf size in the 3-5x's overhead zone at Margaret River. We'll need to watch these storms actually develop over the next few days before we can really nail down specifics, but the take away is that we anticipate very strong swell/surf for the first few days of the waiting period.
At this point it also looks like we'll get at least periods of favorable local wind on Wed/Thur. We'll be transitioning from southerly flow on Tuesday (the day before the event starts) to a more SE'erly flow Wed/Thur as high pressure is forecast to nudge over the region from the west.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW), Alejo Muinz (BRA)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Keanue Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF), Nat Young (USA), Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS)
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), TBD
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS)