Close Calls Determine Women’s Quarterfinalists at Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona

  • Hometown Hero Bronte Macaulay Eliminates World No. 2 Caroline Marks
  • WSL Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore Take Clutch Victories to Progress Into the Quarterfinals 
  • Tyler Wright and Isabella Nichols Bounce Back with Quarterfinal Entries
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
Pictured: Local favorite Bronte Macaulay (AUS) is through to the Quarterfinals at the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Miers

The Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona, the fourth stop on the 2021 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), continued today at Main Break, narrowing the women’s field to just eight competitors as the Quarterfinalists were decided in clean three-to-four foot surf.

Local Hero Bronte Macaulay Eliminates World No. 2 Caroline Marks 

The lone West Australian left in both the men’s and women’s draws, Bronte Macaulay (AUS), had the weight of the state on her shoulders when she came up against current World No. 2 Caroline Marks (USA) in the opening heat of the Round of 16. Marks, fresh of a win at the last event at North Narrabeen, got the matchup off to a flying start, posting her combination of scores early in the heat. Macaulay played the patience game and it paid off, posting her heat-winning total on her last two waves in what was an impressive back-and-forth between the two goofy-foots.  

“It’s always nerve-racking being in the first heat of the day,” Macaulay said. “It means so much to make it out of that round. I really need a decent result and it would be nice to get a good one here. Caroline is so solid, so I knew that was going to be a tough one and I kept telling myself ‘It’s your time.’ It’s nice to compete at home. I feel happy and content when I’m in a familiar place and surrounded by friends and family. I’m stoked to get through and think it would be the best thing ever to win this event.” 

Johanne Defay (FRA) will take on the local hero in the first Quarterfinal matchup after eliminating injury replacement Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN), Japan’s first female surfer on the CT in over two decades. 

WSL Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore Take Clutch Victories to Progress Into the Quarterfinals 

Current World No. 1 Carissa Moore (HAW) is through to her fourth Quarterfinal this season but the win to get there was not without an incredible fight from opponent Macy Callaghan (AUS) in Heat 5. Callaghan posted an excellent 16.17 combined score (out of a possible 20), with an excellent 8.67 and 7.50, but even with the second-highest heat total of the round, could not overcome Moore’s 16.93 two-wave total. 

Similar to Moore, seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) had to work hard in the slow conditions to overcome good friend Nikki Van Dijk(AUS). Both surfers posted mid-range scores, but it was the experienced Gilmore who pulled away with the lead, posting a 7.17 (out of a possible 10) with her trademark frontside style. Gilmore will look to break into the Semifinals for the first time in 2021 when she matches with 2017 event winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in Quarterfinal 4. 

“It’s always tough coming up against your friends,” Gilmore said. “Nikki actually came and lived at my place for three months last year and we surfed a lot together and formed a really good friendship. It is tough to meet each other in a heat, but you tend to meet friends in an event eventually and business is business. That was a hard heat as well with not too many waves, so I feel lucky to have gotten the win.”

Tyler Wright and Isabella Nichols Bounce Back with Quarterfinal Entries

Four-time finalist at Margaret River, Tyler Wright (AUS), has not surfed an event here without making it to at least the Quarterfinals and today she continued that trend, overcoming Brisa Hennessy (CRI) in Heat 4 of the Round of 16. Less than one point separated Hennessy from upsetting Wright’s event record but she could not find a scoring wave to advance. Hennessy exits in 9th place for the fourth time this year, still chasing a Quarterfinal breakthrough. 

After two 9th place finishes herself, Wright’s Quarterfinal entry puts her back into Final 5 conversation on the Road to the Rip Curl WSL Finals. Wright will match with Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) in Quarterfinal 2. 

“I feel like I made a few mistakes in that heat that I shouldn’t have made,” Wright said. “Strategically, my heats on the east coast were better than that, so I definitely need to tighten that up, that’s for sure. Other than a few mistakes particularly late in the heat, I’m glad to make the heat. Unlike the east coast events, Main Break is pretty straightforward with one take-off spot and generally two main sections to score from, so it won’t take too much to fix what needs fixing and move on.”  

In the closest heat of the day, CT rookie Isabella Nichols (AUS) narrowly got the win over Keely Andrew (AUS) in Heat 6. The heated exchange saw incredible commitment from the competitors as they navigated the shallow end-section. In the dying minutes of the heat, Andrew threw down a big closing maneuver, but the judges scored it 0.2 points shy of the requirement. 

Watch LIVE 
The Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona runs through May 12. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

For fans wishing to attend the event in person, event entry will be first-come, first-serve starting at 7:00 a.m. AWST on each ‘on’ day of competition. The venue capacity will be limited to a maximum of 2,500 people at one time, adhering closely to WA state government guidelines. There will be opportunities to enter throughout the day as spots will open when guests leave. 

The Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona is proudly supported by our partners Boost Mobile, Tourism Western Australia, Corona, Red Bull, Oakley, Hydro Flask, Rip Curl, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Dometic Outdoor, Bond University, Oakberry, Healthway and Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro Women’s Round of 16 Results: 
HEAT 1: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 15.43 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 14.00
HEAT 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.83 DEF. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) 5.87
HEAT 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.27 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 9.00
HEAT 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.83 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 11.13
HEAT 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.93 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 16.17
HEAT 6: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 12.83 DEF. Keely Andrew (AUS) 12.63
HEAT 7: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.67 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.36
HEAT 8: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.33 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.57

Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
HEAT 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
HEAT 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro Men’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
HEAT 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
HEAT 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
HEAT 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)
HEAT 6: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
HEAT 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
HEAT 8: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)

COVID-19 Updates
The WSL continues to work closely with the West Australian Government and WA Police Department to monitor the COVID-19 situation both in WA, where competitors and staff are currently located, and in New South Wales, where they have traveled from. The Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro is prepared to operate in a ‘bubble’ should it be required. As a result of the COVID-19 contingency plans, there is no option to run the event at a mobile location outside of the main event site of Main Break and The Box, such as North Point in Gracetown.

The WSL will implement a robust and thorough COVID-19 health and safety plan for each event during the Australian leg of the CT in accordance with federal and state guidance. The WSL’s health and safety plan includes enhanced high-touch cleaning at the event site, contact tracing procedures, sanitizer stations throughout the event site, and minimal personnel on-site. All traveling athletes and support staff completed the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine and received medical clearance from public health officials before entering the general community. 

Due to COVID-19, the Australian CT events will run based on state border closures, strictly adhering to federal and state government guidelines and restrictions. All tour stops and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.

About the WSL 
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. 
 
A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
 
The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  
 
Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com
 
WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
 
The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.  
 
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.