Gracetown local Macaulay represents West Oz on world stage
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 March, 2016 - First injury replacement on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) Bronte Macaulay is all set to shine at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach Victoria that started yesterday.
West Australian Gracetown local Macaulay, 21, replaced CT Women’s surfer Lakey Peterson in the WSL First Stop on the Gold Coast after Peterson sustained an ankle injury. Macaulay impressed, making it through to Round Four, eliminating revered surfer Sally Fitzgibbons in the process.
Last year, Macaulay clocked up two Semifinal finishes and two Quarterfinal finishes at Qualifying Series (QS) contests. That consistency put her within striking distance of making the elite Tour for 2016, but she just missed the cutoff.
Surfing WA CEO and Drug Aware Margarer River Pro Event Director Mark Lane said that it was a fantastic opportunity for Macaulay.
“Bronte did so well at Snapper Rocks – she had the highest scoring ride in the entire women’s event, and I’m sure that’ll give her a huge injection of self belief,” Lane said.
“She only just missed out on qualifying for the CT last year. She’s got a great opportunity now and we reckon she’s got what it takes to do well at the highest level.”
Macaulay said she could prepare a little more comfortably the week before the Quiksilver Pro CT, which was a luxury.
“It was my second time competing there, I won the trials last year, and to surf Snapper with one other girl out just can't be beaten! It was really fun, and I was very happy to get another chance to compete there,” Macaulay said.
“I think knowing that I can get scores on the CT was really positive, because when you don't surf them very often you just don't know how you'll go against everyone. So to get a couple of waves that came in around the eight range was a really good feeling, even if I didn't get a massive result.”
Referring to the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, Macaulay said it was a privilege to have a home CT event.
“It's awesome! Not many people have that privilege, so if I get in it'll be a cool opportunity. We'd always go and watch it when I was younger, and to have the best surfers in the world surfing just down the road is very cool.”
Macaulay comes from surfing stock - her father Dave was on the elite Tour in the 1980s and 1990s and has carved himself a career as a respected surf-board shaper.
“The best advice dad’s given me is to trust yourself. I usually ignore his advice when he’s trying to get me to be more organised or use a board bag when I have the board in the car,” Macaulay said.
“My goal this year is qualify for the CT with a good seed and win a QS event,” she said.
The third stop on the WSL CT is the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, which will be held at Surfers Point from April 8 to 19.
The world’s best surfers including Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina, Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore and local surfing hero Taj Burrow will compete for points over 12 days. The WSL CT brings the top 34 ranked male (plus two wild card entries) and top 17 ranked female (plus one wild card entry) surfers to the extraordinary waves in the South West of Western Australia.