Locals Hold Their Own on Day 1 of Drug Aware Pro

MARGARET RIVER, Western Australia- Following Sunday’s solid conditions, monday’s men’s qualifying finalists enjoyed near on-perfect conditions with clean 1.8 to 2.5 metre waves on offer.

North Stradbroke’s Lincoln Taylor, Hira Teraniitoofa (Tahiti), Jay Davies (Yallingup) and Manuel Selman (Chile) blazed through their Final to earn berths in tomorrow’s main men’s event.

Taylor was in devastating form in the Drug Aware Pro trials today, claiming first place off the back of his combined 15.50 score. His aggressive backhand attack not only impressed the judges, but the spectators who congregated on the embankment at Surfer’s Point, Margaret River.

“I’ve never been to Margs before, so it was good to get out on the water and get some momentum going," Taylor said. "Tomorrow is going to be pretty hard with some good competitors lined up, but I just need to get out there and get some good waves and see how I go”.

Taylor is now tipped as a hot favourite for the main event which commences Tuesday 31 March.

Jay Davies put in a stellar performance and busted out some impressive righthand manoeuvres to take out the heat from Manuel Selman (Chile), Nick Vasicek (Coollangatta) and Jarrad Davies (Margaret River), with a combined score of 16.15.

“I really enjoyed today’s semifinal," Davies said. "With so many waves around, no one’s heckling on the peaks which puts everyone in a good mood out on the water. I played around with my equipment today, so if conditions change tomorrow, I’m covered.”

The seas rose to 2.0 – 2.5 metres when the girls took to the water in the first round of 60 mid-morning, with consistent 2.5 metre sets rolling in throughout the morning. Seventeen year old Hawaiian Carissa Moore blew her competition out of the water, setting the bar high for the rest of the field with a 8.00 and 6.35 in the first round women’s heat mid-morning.

Solid pre-event preparation from City Beach’s Claire Bevilacqua paid off when she made it through her first round heat in deteriorating conditions. Joining her in the next round is Jess Dobson from Maruya on the New South Wales south coast.

“The wind was really strong and the bigger waves snuck up a little," Bevilacqua said. "But I felt good out there and knew where to sit. I made it through somehow, so I am pretty lucky."

Drug Aware Pro Margaret River is the biggest ASP World Qualifying Series Six Star Prime Rated event in the world. Prize money totalling $US145 000 and essential prime rated points on the ASP World Qualifying Series ensures an outstanding field of the world’s best surfers. A field of more than 250 surfers representing countries such as New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, USA, Peru, Brazil, South Africa, France, Spain, England, Portugal, Reunion Island, Canary Islands, Japan and Israel will be competing with some of Australia’s best surfers across the week long event