The best surfers in the world were no match for mother nature as a monster swell greeted surfers at Margaret River in Western Australia on Saturday in a day dubbed Super Saturday. Howling offshore winds and bone crunching waves towering four times overhead pounded the world’s elite surfers on the World Surf League Championship Tour at the Drug Aware Pro.
11 time surfing world champion Kelly Slater – USA who said he could not believe the power at Margaret River’s Main Break. Slater admitted he ate it big time in the huge swell, just days after he described Main Break as very repetitive, not a great wave, urging organisers to run more heats at other surfing breaks in the south west region of Margaret River to strengthen its future on the World Championship Tour.
There were 20 foot – faces. It’s powerful, Slater said after he was drilled several times by thunderous sets and bundled out of the competition by Australian Jack Freestone. On one wipeout I did not get a very good breath and I am going, You’re fine. You’re Okay. But I was getting hammered, I got smashed.
Surfing Western Australia chairman Mark Lane described the long period swell from an intense low pressure system as some of the bigger conditions that have been experienced for this event. The wave gods are smiling on this contest, it does not come much better.
Freestone said the waves were mountainous and he praised water safety officers on jet skis who came to his aid after a wipe out. Minutes later Australian surfer Julian Wilson lost his board after being caught by a behemoth wave that snapped his legrope.
Event Wildcard from Margaret River – Jacob Willcox, was fearless in the waves but was outclassed by current World Champion John John Florence from Hawaii, who said the conditions equalled his native Hawaii in punch.
Western Australia’s top surfing event has been under a cloud amid rumours it could be dropped from surfing’s World Championship Tour next year, but with Saturday’s pumping waves and epic conditions, combined with the ability of organisers to relocate the contest to surf breaks nearby including North Point and The Box add weight to calls for it to remain on the elite circuit.
A spokesman from the World Surf League said an announcement would be made in November of this year.