A Warm, Sunny Morning Eclipsed By The Mid-Year Cut Guillotine - Stab Mag
"I had one of the best days of my life here last year. Today, I had one of my worst... That's competitive sports for you," said reigning champion Issy Nichols - the second casualty of the mid-year cut. Photo by WSL

A Warm, Sunny Morning Eclipsed By The Mid-Year Cut Guillotine

Margaret River hands two Australians their CT eviction letters.

news // Apr 20, 2023
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Nice brisk morning in the West. Sunny, offshore with plenty of swell. The Woz ran Women’s round one, then the women’s elimination round. 8 heats punctuated with a solar eclipse!


  • Four feet and offshore Main break to run the women’s opening and elimination rounds
  • Standouts: Tyler Wright, Riss Moore, Steph Gilmore, Lakey Peterson, BLSJ, Simmers
  • Johanne Defay, Tati WW, Brisa Hennessy, Teresa Bonvalot qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics
  • Two Australians become first victims of mid-year cut
  • 11:27am solar eclipse – Pink Floyd is rumored to play in Exmouth tonight *Queue Dark side of the Moon*

Joel Parkinson has a theory that as wind increases you need to lower the start of your face turns proportionally. Carissa Moore put Parko’s theorem into practice in the stiff morning offshore and emerged with 14-points.

An interesting moment in the first heat was when Sophie McCulloch and Riss both ended up on the inside together. Rather than paddle-battling Riss, Sophie caught the ski getting second priority despite reaching the lineup afterwards. It was a clever move from the rookie, but then Riss picked off an insider and got a 6.83. Issy into the elimination round (couldn’t find a backup), Riss down one earring.

Time to bust out the metal detectors

Tyler convincingly defeated Macy Callaghan and Johanne Defay in the second heat. Tyler notched up 16.83 points for her three-piece combos – the highest heat total of the opening round. She’s been playing it pretty cool in her post-heat interviews, I reckon she still wants to put the field on the coals.

Steph Gilmore and Lakey Peterson sent Caity Simmers to the ER with big powerful carves. Both surfers got 15+ totals, while Caity fell just short of double digits. Lakey got the big w.

The next few heats were a bit slower, BLSJ injected some energy with the biggest turn of the day – a critical fin ditch on the close out section that scored an 8.83.

Elimination Round

Macy Callaghan is the first mid-year cut casualty after losing to Caity Simmers and Courtney Conlogue in the first heat of the ER. There was a hot minute post-Stab Highway when we thought Macy might never put a rash back on after hanging out with freesurfers Chippa Wilson and Coby Perkovich for 10 days. Macy sounded gutted post-heat.

Reigning WA champion Issy Nichols did not repeat her magical run from 2022. Issy will be heading back to the Gold Coast to do the Challenger Series. The upside is it’s pumping. Issy was very measured in her post-heat interview. It was a bit of a masterclass in staying composed in a tough moment.

Come ups

  • Peak performance: Tyler Wright R1H2
  • Hit replay: R1H4, R1H5
  • Monster maneuver: Bettylou 8.83 R1H5
  • One-liner: “Couldn’t get asked for anything better” – Kaips

Is the mid-year cut the best thing to ever happen to the Margies Comp/Tourism WA? When was the last time you’ve heard “shark” mentioned next to this event? It used to be the only drama available.

Let Downs

  • Caught behind: Issy Nichols 5.33 ER Heat 2

Ironically the hardest place to do a comp recap

is on site. You forget the broadcast is picking out all the best/most relevant parts of the day and giving it to you in an easily digestible morsel.

Gamble Ramble

Mikey C’s off to another positive start in the west, which historically speaking means he’ll likely lose the plot by finals day. Time will tell.

Women’s R1

$100 on Carissa Moore at -200 to win $50 WON
$20 on Johanne Defay at +375 to win $75 LOST
$30 on Brisa Hennessy at +300 to win $90 LOST
$20 on Lakey Peterson at +250 to win $50 WON
$30 on BLSJ at +200 to win $60 WON
$20 on Gabriela Bryan at +275 to win $55 LOST

Day 1 total: $90
Event total: $90

For tomorrow

Men’s R1
$20 on Zeke Lau at +265 to win $53
$40 on Sammy Pupo at +215 to win $86
$100 on Griffin Cola at -140 to win $71
$20 on Jacko Baker at +230 ton win $46
$20 on LOB at +400 to win $80
$100 on Joao Chianca at -105 to win $95
$20 on Leo Fioravanti at +165 to win $33
$20 on Rio Waida at +275 to win $55
$20 on Michael Rodrigues at +300 to win $60
$20 on Barron Mamiya at +250 to win $50
$20 on Yago Dora at +250 to win $50

Women’s R3

$20 on Courtney Conlouge at +160 to win $32
$100 on BLSJ at -200 to win $50
$300 on Carissa Moore at -350 to win $86
$100 on Lakey P at +110 to win $100
$20 on Johanne Defay at +300 to win $60
$30 on Gabriela Bryant at +16- to win $48
$50 on Caity Simmers at -140 to win $36
$50 on Brisa Hennessy at +225 to win $113

Much waves to come. Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League


Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Opening Round Results:
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 11.70, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 9.27
HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.83 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.34, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.07
HEAT 3: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.10 DEF. Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.50, Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 10.50
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.07 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.00, Caitlin Simmers (USA) 9.97
HEAT 5: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 16.66 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.20, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.20
HEAT 6: Caroline Marks (USA) 15.17 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.77, Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 11.26

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 15.24 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.77, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 7.60
HEAT 2: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 14.84 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 13.77, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 5.33

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Round of 16 Matchups
HEAT 1: Molly Picklum (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
HEAT 2: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Sophie McCulloch (AUS)
HEAT 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
HEAT 5: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
HEAT 6: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
HEAT 7: Caitlin Simmers (USA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 8: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRC)

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Men’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Ian Gentil (HAW) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
HEAT 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
HEAT 3: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Nat Young (USA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
HEAT 4: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS) vs. Jarvis Earle (AUS)
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS) vs. Jerome Forrest (AUS)
HEAT 6: Joao Chianca (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jack Thomas (AUS)
HEAT 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Carlos Munoz (CRC)
HEAT 8: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
HEAT 9: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Rio Waida (INA) vs. Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
HEAT 11: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (RSA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
HEAT 12: Matthew McGillivray (RSA) vs. Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW)


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