The staggering beauty of Western Australia combined with the world-class surf will play host to the second stop on this season’s dream tour, where the world’s best surfers will continue their campaign to claim the title of World Champion.
A long-time staple on the ASP Qualification Series (QS), this year is the first time in over 20 years that Margaret River has been a WCT stop for both the men and women. The women’s event regained WCT status in 2013 having last featured in 1996, while this year sees the men’s event upgraded to become part of the WCT for the first time since 1990.
“We’re really excited about holding the event in an extended twelve day window in an historically great month for surf. Surfing WA along with our major stakeholders have worked extremely hard to get this event elevated to WCT status where it belongs and we’re all looking forward to watching the world’s best surfers compete in Western Australian waters,” said Mark Lane, Surfing WA CEO and Event Director.
The ASP Top 34 and Top 17 will battle it out at Margaret River Main Break, a left-and right-hand reefbreak that can produce excellent waves from two to 20 feet, with infamous right-handers, The Box and North Point offering secondary locations.
“I’ve never done well there but Western Australia has great waves,” Gabriel Medina, current ASP WCT No. 1, said. “I have never been in the ratings’ lead before so I’m just going to focus on surfing my best and getting some more experience in Margaret River before the event starts.”
The 2013 Margaret River Pro Women’s event held in Western Australia saw Laura Enever (AUS) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) go head-to-head in a heated battle for the best score. Watch the replay of the rugby check that Fitzgibbons throws down during their heat:
“It’s great to get a win at the first event on Tour and be back in the hunt,” Stephanie Gilmore, five timeWomen’s World Champion and current ratings’ leader, said. “The Margaret River area is absolutely beautiful and I’m excited to get back there. Looking forward to a great event.”
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will be held from April 2 – 13, 2014.
DRUG AWARE MARGARET RIVER PRO ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), TBD
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA), John John Florence (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA)
DRUG AWARE MARGARET RIVER WOMEN’S PRO ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW), TBD
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Lakey Peterson (USA), Laura Enever (AUS)