One of the most exciting events on West Australia’s calendar is the World Surf League’s 2nd stop down at Margaret River. Coming off the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast where Owen Wright stunned everyone by making an unbelievable comeback to competition, following a long road to recovery, taking out the event over fellow goofy-footer Matt Wilkinson. The form is tough for this event of the World Tour because we now have three very different waves, that depending on conditions, can be used throughout the competition.
1. Surfer’s Point, Margaret River is an iconic wave with a split peak offering a long left hand break that can provide a nice canvas for turns and the occasional barrel if conditions are big enough, and also a more critical right hand break that is a bit shorter but more often barrels and even has potential for an air section if the winds are favourable.
2. The Box, Margaret River is just on the other side of the Rivermouth and is one of the most hectic waves on tour. A deep, open barrel is what awaits competitors if the event runs over at this break. Surfers have to make a really steep and critical drop into this large cavern, where all of their scores will come from how deep, long and crazy the barrel ride was.
3. North Point, Grace Town is a relatively new addition to event as a potential competition venue. This wave is one of the best right hand breaks in the world when conditions are favourable. Long, deep barrels with steep and critical take offs as well as having potential for an air section towards the end of the wave, all of this running off a rocky headland, will certainly make for some crazy viewing if the competition runs at North Point.
Let me throw out a few names that I think will be the best picks for taking out the 2nd leg of the 2017 WSL Championship Tour based on surfing across these three waves:
Winning form counts for a lot and sometimes, particularly when you are young, if you get that good winning feeling from a location then it can certainly put you into the groove. Coming off a win at last year’s Margaret River Pro I will chuck Seabass into the mix for this year again.
Sebastian Zietz (source: surfing.com)
Early season form looked pretty good for the 45-year old. I witnessed his performance in a heat down there at Surfer’s Point where he snagged a 10 point ride with a huge barrel when there were no barrels to find all day, always hard to count Kelly out. Strong in big barrels makes him more than competitive throughout all three venues!
Particularly if the event runs at North Point, Parko will feel right at home with a big right hand barrel wrapping behind a rocky point. Equally capable to shred Surfer’s Point to pieces with his smooth style and coming off a semi-final finish in last year’s event so keep an eye on Parko.
Joel Parkinson (source: lifesynergy.com)
John John Florence
What else can we say about John. He has spent a fair bit of time in the region and has made some epic video parts from the waves down there including North Point and The Box so he will no doubt feel pretty comfortable. Hopefully the waves are pumping and John can put on a clinic!
John John Florence (source: johnjohn-florence.com)
The Championship Tour these days is so competitive that it is always very difficult to narrow down winners. Let’s cross the fingers and toes for some quality waves so we can all witness the world’s best surfers go to town on waves in our backyard!
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