Stab Magazine | The day of competition that the WSL needed: Margaret River Pro

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The day of competition that the WSL needed: Margaret River Pro

“Kieren Perrow loves The Box.” God bless Ronnie Blakey! This morning, all our petty little dreams were answered with the decision to run Drug Aware Pro heats at The Box, rather than Margaret River main break. It was a return serve from WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow: After receiving criticism for the lack of swell at the last two events (yes, […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Kieren Perrow loves The Box.” God bless Ronnie Blakey! This morning, all our petty little dreams were answered with the decision to run Drug Aware Pro heats at The Box, rather than Margaret River main break. It was a return serve from WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow: After receiving criticism for the lack of swell at the last two events (yes, real talk, and it makes no sense, but life requires scapegoats), Kiz was never gonna run heats anywhere else if there was a glimmer of hope. His eyes popped as he told the camera that round one would be opening at The Box, barely keeping his flawless media training in check over bubbling excitement. And so, John John Florence, Wiggolly Dantas and Dusty Payne made their way out back. Above and below are some replays of how Mr Florence rode, and he won the heat like he was always going to.

“When we got down here this morning we saw some really good waves,” said John John. “There’s an end step, which makes it really challenging. It’s hard to pick the right waves and it’s really gnarly if you don’t. It’s definitely scary but I’m so stoked because it’s fun to surf some clean, bigger waves and amazing to get barrelled at The Box.”

There was plenty of pain felt. Ricardo Christie might’ve had the day’s best wipeout, but it’s a hard award to gift, as you’ll see below:

Seabass flexed his Hawaiian jazz, too. “Adriano got off to a great start — I saw his first wave and it was mental,” said Bass. “I just kept catching waves, you never know what’s going to come your way out there. Then that one came my way, I just stood tall in the first section and then I thought I was gone and I somehow made it.”

Two of the best rides of the day featured tail drifts out of the barrel. John John did it in heat one, and Ace Buchan did it to beat Josh Kerr and Keanu Asing. “It was dangerous out there!” said Ace afterwards. “That one let me in behind the section, ironically the deeper you are, the safer you are a lot of the time. There was a lot of lumps and bumps and I slipped sideways but somehow managed to hang on. I had one really big set that I had to bail my board on and luckily there wasn’t a wave behind because I was in a really bad position. The fans want to see us in those gnarly waves and that’s what we do.”

After Ace’s heat, the event went on hold for a minute while the ocean sorted itself. When the siren sounded again, attention was back on Margies main break. I loathe making calls on wave size, but it was goddamn big, as you’ll no doubt see in the Heats On Demand. Kinda five-times overhead type stuff. Unfortunately with that comes a whole lot of directional-changes and drawn out turns, coupled with guys trying to feel out their step-ups after prepping on standard shortboards all week. But, it evened the playing field, and there were absolutely some exciting moments. And more importantly than any of that… at least it wasn’t small.

Check back in the morning with your fingers crossed for more heats at The Box. Jay Davies and Gabs Medina? Thought you’d never ask!

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 13.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 4.46, Dusty Payne (HAW) 2.60
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.73, Jadson Andre (BRA) 3.40, Brett Simpson (USA) 0.50
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 8.20, Kai Otton (AUS) 3.33, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 3.27
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.23, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.40
Heat 5: Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 4.30, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 3.96, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.27
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00, Jay Davies (AUS) 10.27, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 3.34
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.74, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.73, Keanu Asing (HAW) 3.33
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.43, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.36
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.00, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.33
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.73, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.24, Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.00
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.76, Nat Young (USA) 14.70, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 9.93
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.60, Matt Banting (AUS) 8.30, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.80

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 11: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

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