MARGARET RIVER, WA/Australia – The second stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) got underway yesterday with the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Trials and press conference in advance of the first day of competition.
Trial winners, Nathan Hedge (Sydney/AUS), Yadin Nicol (WA/AUS) and Laura Macaulay (WA/AUS), take the event wildcards and join the ASP Top 34 and Top 17 to complete the field for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
Men’s trials winner Yadin Nicol will face 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 5 and Nathan Hedge will match up against reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 6. Women’s trials winner Laura Greene will face reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and Alessa Quizon (HAW) in Round 1 Heat 3.
Athletes in attendance at the press conference were:
- Mick Fanning (AUS) – reigning three-time ASP World Champion.
- Gabriel Medina (BRA) – Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner and current ASP WCT No. 1.
- John John Florence (HAW) – former WA event winner.
- Taj Burrow (AUS) – Western Australian and perennial ASP World Title contender.
- Carissa Moore (HAW) – reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and Margaret River Drug Aware Pro winner.
- Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) – Roxy Pro Gold Coast winner and five-time ASP Women’s World Champion.
- Tyler Wright (AUS) – 2013 ASP Women’s World Title runner-up.
“Everyone seems really refreshed and fired up for this event. The level really stepped up at the Gold Coast,” said Mick Fanning. “Both the men and women took it through the roof even though there were tricky conditions that caught a few people out. I’m really excited about this year.”
“I’ve been here before a couple of years ago and it was good. My win at the Gold Coast has given me confidence for this year but I know it’s just the beginning; there are lots of events still to come. It feels weird to be up there on top,” said Gabriel Medina.
Taj Burrow said “it’s great to be here with my friends and family, to be sleeping in my own bed and competing in a home event. I’m really excited about this year, I’ve had a great start and I’m looking forward to it.”
“I had a terrible start at the Gold Coast but I’m so happy to be here in Margaret River and surfing in this event. I love it here,” said John John Florence.
“Margaret River is a great addition to the Tour. It’s a tricky wave and you have to place your maneuvers in just the right part of the wave. The event really adds variety and I’m really excited to be back here,” said Carissa Moore.
“I need to find my groove again after a win at the Gold Coast. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and will do the best I can here. It’s important to stay consistent; you can win the first event but quickly lose that advantage,” said Stephanie Gilmore.
“With six foot waves and good wind it’s perfect here at Margaret River. It’s good fun and there’s lots of options,” said Tyler Wright.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA), John John Florence (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Drug Aware Margaret River Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW), Laura Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
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