It's been a busy couple of days getting the Cavalry moved and settled in to Western Oz for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Looking at the current forecast, there's a strong possibility that the majority of this event will be at the very reliable Margies right and occasional left. During Thursday's trials event guys were getting good scores going both directions. The Box is definitely in play but it's not looking obvious. So the players that surfed well at Bells Bowl will continue to take advantage of some heavy open-faced righthanders.
I'm going with youth and who's in form this week. Both my Tier A picks are a bit risky but come on, look at the Top 10 right now! The times are changing my friends! I was so impressed with Caio's surfing at Bells. He's in top form right now and his style and technique should continue to shine at Margies. He's got that Italo style of surfing where he attacks comfortably knowing he's going to stick it. Dude also never falls and seems to love the pressure. His Round One match looks a little more favorable than the obvious man in form right now, Matt Wilkinson, who has a tough heat.
Another sneaky pick is Conner Coffin. He will light up Margie rights and can navigate the haunted house that is The Box should we move there.
Everyone will pick John John here so there's no reason to state the obvious. I like Michel Bourez. Lest we forget, he terrorized this joint just a couple years ago, so we know he's got what it takes to surf well on these big tricky right handers. But I also like the current form he's carrying. His boards look fresh and he seems happy and fired up. He's coming off some decent results but he would be itching to get that winning feeling again after watching Wilko catch fire.
Others in this tier that I feel are solid picks are Kelly, Gabby, and Wiggolly. Kelly and Gabby are in a mental state of needing to get that confidence back by winning heats and Wiggolly is simply a strong player at this venue.
Dusty suffered from an ailing back at Bells, which is alarming, but he did say that he's feeling 100 percent again so I think he's worth the risk in this tier. He's won this event as a QS competitor not long ago and continues to have the type of surfing that seems more visible than most at this out-to-sea location. He showed some moments of typical Dusty brilliance at Bells, and I'm thinking he will flare - Doh! Bad choice of words…He's going to rip…You know what I mean. Ice that back buddy.