Fantasy Alert! Mikey Wright To Surf Margie’s
With no major sponsor backing this event, the highest ranked Australian QS surfer has been given a wildcard into the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Hello Mikey Wright!
Just when you thought the WSL couldn’t get any more exciting–what with Italo’s inaugural win, Mick’s touching farewell, the Zeke/John snafu–they go and announce that Mikey Wright has been given a wildcard into the Margaret River Pro, a mere four days away.
Typically, a CT event has two wildcard slots. The first goes to the competition’s main sponsor (sometimes simply handed to surfer, other times earned through a trial event), while the other is bestowed upon an area local (also through a trials event). However, with no major sponsor backing this year’s Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the Commissioner, Kieren Perrow, was given the choice of how to proceed with the “sponsor” wildcard.
Theoretically, the wildcard could have gone to the number one ranked QS surfer, Alejo Muniz, who has spent the last 10ish years bouncing between the Major and Minor leagues. But Alejo doesn’t have what you might call… mass appeal. He’s a good enough surfer, but no one has ever said, “I NEED to watch that Alejo Muniz heat.”
But plenty of people, myself included, have felt that way about the number two ranked QS surfer, Mr. Mikey Wright. And that crowd-turning factor is exactly what the WSL is looking for with its new business model.
So through a minor loophole, Kieren was able to get Mikey Wright into the third event of the CT’s Aussie leg, on account of Mikey being the top-ranked Australian on the QS.
As we know, Mikey Wright made a statement at the first event of the year by taking out World Numbers One and Two respectively, John John Florence and Gabriel Medina. Interestingly, it could be argued that the wave of Snapper Rocks is not particularly well-suited to Mikey’s blend of power and aerial antics, however Western Australia, with its typically large, powerful swells and oftentimes air-favorable winds, is.
In theory, Mikey is more of a threat at Main Break, the Box, and North Point than he would be almost anywhere else in the world. Which makes his inclusion in this event a touch of brilliance for viewers, and a punch to the gut of his competitors.
Another wildcard getting into this event is Miguel Pupo, who as the highest rated surfer (besides Bede Durbidge) not to requalify last year, will take the still-injured Kelly Slater’s spot in the contest.
The local wildcard will be decided through a trials event the day before the main competition begins (April 10th), which if the forecast holds true, will feature bombing conditions at Main Break. Some of the local favorites include Jay Davies, Jacob Willcox, Jack Robinson, and Kael Walsh–all of whom are capable of taking down the world’s best, as proven in past Margie’s events.
With all of these exciting wildcard entries and another major swell forming for the early waiting period, this competition is shaping up to be a banger. Perhaps not quite as great Bells (which, wow, never thought I’d say that), but certainly a must-watch event. See you in WA!
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