We’ve reached finals day... almost. We’ve seen some epic waves at the Box and some pretty average waves at Main Peak. To be honest it would be amazing to see the entire event held at the Box because we’d see professional surfing at its best at one of the heaviest waves on tour but because it only breaks with the right swell, wind and tide conditions it isn’t plausible so we’ll have to make do with 3 turns before a close out on a rock ledge. We also have North Point just down the road, which again needs the right swell and wind to break and over the years we’ve seen some epic heats there but Main Peak sees the majority of the action.
Italo at the Box
But maybe this is what adds to the beauty and excitement of the Margaret River Pro. With 3 waves available for the event we get to see a blend competitive surfing in varying conditions that bring out the best in the competitors.
Slater at Main Peak
The Main Peak is a heavy and wally right and left and to be fair we have seen some amazing surfing go down over the years, just think back to John John’s 9+ down carves and Slaters barrel to turn combo which earned him a 10. But most of the time we see a bouncy and tricky wave which when going right closes out on a dry rock ledge or if you go left it bends out to sea and rarely has a wall to attack. When it’s 8-10ft this is when the Main Peak comes into its own and it gives the worlds top surfers a chance to show us what they can do on a powerful deep water reef break.
John John’s 2018 down carve
The Box, a long paddle across the channel, is one of the heaviest right hand slabs in the world and makes watching the event so exciting because there’s a very thin line between making the barrel of your life or getting the beating of your life. Some competitors have even said they don’t really want to surf the Box (Medina almost refused to go out in 2015) and some think it’s unfair on goofy footers... even though Owen Wright scored a perfect 10 back in 2015 in big and perfect conditions and then only a couple of days ago Italo got an 8.17 on his 1st ever wave at the Box.
Italo’s 1st ever wave at the Box!!!
To me it splits the field, it allows the chargers to show off the barrel riding skills as well as showing how brave they are and it’s really exciting to watch. Connor Coffin got the wave of his life when he shared the Box with the local dolphins.
Connor Coffin sharing his wave with the locals
There might be only a few waves made in an entire heat but if you get the likes of John John, Zietz, Owen Wright and Local boy Jack Robinson you know you’re going to be entertained. Robinson missed his 1st heat due to travel troubles, got through this elimination round heat in average waves a Main Peak and then went on to surf his favourite slab with just Toledo out and score the highest heat total of the year so far. Toledo, who usually looks pretty comfortable in heavy waves, was no match for Robinson, who’s been surfing this wave since he was a grom.
Jack Robinson in his element
North Point combines the above, giving us a hollow slab with a long, heavy and multi lipped wall. Over the years North Point has seen some epic heats with ridiculous barrel sections and multiple ramps. But due to the wave needing the right conditions to work and the fact that it lies within a National Park the event can only be held on selected days of the event period. But to have it as a back up location once again gives us another reason to keep our eyes focused on the forecast to see if they’ll hold a few heats there just so we can see the worlds best go for it at one of the worlds best right hand points.
Zietz inside North Point
The semi finals have been drawn and we’ll be seeing John John take on Caio Ibelli and Kolohe Andino take on Julian Wilson. The forecast looks pretty big for Tuesday, maybe a touch smaller than what we saw when the Box was firing on Saturday but where they hold the finals day all depends on the winds. John John is looking to continue wearing the yellow jersey into the Rio event and this also gives Julian Wilson a chance to climb above his disappointing 19th position on the Championship Tour rankings. Kolohe Andino is currently sitting in the top 5 and is looking at being in the title race. Caio Ibelli is currently at the bottom section on the Championship Tour rankings and just being in the Semis will boost him further up the table.
Owen Wright on his 10 point ride in 2018
Fingers crossed we get to see the Box or North Point going off for the final.
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