Autumn is undoubtedly the best time of year to go surfing in WA – with winter on the horizon intense low pressure systems to the south whip up some serious swells, while left over high pressure systems from summer keep the winds favourable. And as we approach the end of the autumn period, the top-class waves of Margaret River will once again play host to the world’s best surfers as part of the World Surfing League’s World Championship Tour event, kicking off on Wednesday 29 March, with a two-week event window running through til June 9.
It’s stop number 4 on the tour (with event #3 currently going down in Bali), and has become one of the WCT’s most anticipated events given the wild and unpredictable nature of the region and the wave quality. It also hasn’t come without its controversy over the years, most recently last year’s even had to be re-located to Uluwatu in Bali following a couple of (non-fatal) shark attacks during the event window. After this some competitors and pundits calling for the stop to be scrapped altogether, though cooler heads prevailed and 32 of the world’s best male surfers and 18 of the world’s best female surfers will be in town looking for victory.
The event usually runs at Surfer’s Point in Prevelly, which makes for some incredible viewing on the cliffs, although will occasionally move across the bay to the notorious Box, or North Point in Gracetown if conditions are more favourable there.
For those who like to combine their surfing with music, The Drop festival returns after its first event last year, featuring a huge lineup of some of this country’s biggest artists, including Angus & Julia Stone, The Jungle Giants, Hockey Dad and more. It hits Barnard Park in Busselton on Saturday 1 June, and you can get more info via their website.
And finally, if you need any further reason to head down to the Margaret River Pro, there’s a very good chance this will be your last opportunity to ever see the GOAT AKA Kelly Slater competing in Western Australian waters, with this year predicted to be his last on tour.
Header image via World Surf League.