Day One of the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River saw all of the women’s first round and most of the men’s completed at medium sized Main Break, where right was the direction of choice for most competitors.
But do you care? It’s kinda hard to get psyched about Main Break’s awkward brand of vanilla — technically demanding, perhaps, but offering little opportunity for excitement — when the Box and North Point, both likely to remain dormant throughout the waiting period, lie in such close proximity. Not to mention the myriad other riches that adorn the Western Australian coastline…
Still, there was enough on show yesterday to sate the appetites of hungry surf fans. The women’s event unfolded more or less as expected until Heat 5, when Nikki Van Dijk toppled Tyler Wright, who was struck with an interference call; then in Heat 6 Bronte Macaulay — perhaps the most Australian name ever — easily overcame Stephanie Gilmore, who had a shocker. As for the men, the big threats on the evidence so far include Julian Wilson, who recorded the day’s highest heat score, Gabriel Medina, who got “dry docked” on the inside section, the always lively Italo Ferreira, and Taj Burrow, who looked rejuvenated on his home court. Parko and Wilko also advanced, as did Adriano de Souza, Michel Bourez and Nat Young, all of whose styles (or lack thereof) are well suited to the terrain.