On a day when veterans were dominating on both the men's and women's side of things, Bronte Macaulay was the rare exception at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Bronte Macaulay, competing in her third CT event as a replacement for the injured Lakey Peterson, took down two giants: six-time World Champ Stephanie Gilmore and World No. 4 Johanne Defay, who has Semifinaled and Quarterfinaled so far this season. Macaulay looked confident and strong in her turns and she managed to catch Defay on an interference to solidify her victory.
Macaulay has made it past the dreaded, 13th-place finish in all three events. Now that she's basically on her home turf--she hails from Gracetown in Western Australia--she has a chance to make her first Quarterfinal.
The day started off business as usual with the top seeds winning heats with confidence and control. World No. 1 Courtney Conlogue was unfazed by the pressure of the yellow jersey, taking down Alessa Quizon and trials winner Felicity Palmateer. Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore--2 and No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard, respectively--both had 15-point-plus heat totals in their Round One victories.
It was in Heat 5 that things started to shift. Tyler Wright, who won the first event of the season, came tumbling over the lip, interfering with Nikki Van Dijk. The penalty eradicated her excellent 8.77 and dropped her to third position. Meanwhile, Van Dijk kept swinging, ultimately earning her second Round One win of the season.
Tune in to Dawn Patrol tomorrow at 8 a.m. AWST to see if the first elimination round will commence at Margaret River.