While the surf may not have fully played ball at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach last week, the results were incredibly compelling, with Ethan Ewing winning the Men’s Final exactly 40 years after his mum did the same way back in 1983!
In similarly thrilling fashion, fellow Australian Tyler Wright was able to ring the iconic bell for the second time in as many years with a huge win over World #1 Molly Picklum, the same week as her brother Owen Wright officially retired from professional surfing.
Attention now turns our way for Stop #5 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour, the Western Australia Margaret River Pro, and a dramatic 10 days awaits with much anticipated mid-season cut determining the future of many surfers’ careers, including 11-time world champ Kelly Slater.
It also welcomes a new men’s leader, with Brazil’s Joao Chianca taking the yellow jersey from West Aussie Jack Robinson, who’ll be looking for a repeat of his historic win at last year’s Margaret River Pro over John John Florence.
Along with Chianca, Picklum’s breakout year continues with her being in the yellow jersey for the past four events, with both surfers already making the Final 5 and securing their chance to win maiden world championships.
Lower down the rung, Kelly Slater will be looking for a good result to avoid the mid-season cutting, currently sitting at a precarious tie for 26th (the cut line being everyone above 22nd).
It’s shaping up to be an exciting 10 days when the competition window kicks off on Thursday 20 April down at Main Break, with this time of year offering the best chance for optimal surf conditions and even the potential for the comp to shift across the Margaret River mouth to its gnarly neighbour, The Box.
Head to the Margaret River Pro Website for all the latest.
Image Credit: Carissa Moore at the Margaret River Pro 2021 by Cait Miers/WSL