Bronte Macaulay is a second generation pro from Western Australia. Her father Dave Macaulay was a veteran campaigner of the Tour in the 80s and early 90s who finished No. 3 in the world twice. Bronte was raised in Gracetown, a neighborhood of about 300 people eight miles north of Margaret River, but she learned to surf in the warm waters of the East Coast of Australia while on a cross-country caravan trip with her family when she was nine. As her style developed back home she absorbed a lot of her father’s fundamental moves, most notably his inverted backhand attack and ferocious forehand snap. She began testing her approach in Qualifying Series events as early as 2011, but her first real stab at qualifying came in 2014, when she finished No. 14. The very next year she fell just one spot shy of making the Championship Tour cut, but that was close enough to earn her some replacement spots in 2016, and when Lakey Peterson broke her ankle, Bronte got six shots against the world’s best, and made noise by knocking out Sally Fitzgibbons at Snapper and besting Stephanie Gilmore and Johanne Defay at home in Margaret River. Meanwhile, she was leaving no doubt on the Qualifying Series, winning the Los Cabos open in Mexico on her way to finishing the season No. 2, and becoming an official Tour member in 2017. Her rookie season, however, was filled with hard knocks, and her confidence was shaken after a run of early exits. It wasn’t until the end of the season that she began to let go of the pressure she was feeling and started to have fun again, which was her biggest lesson learned. It paid off with a huge semifinal finish at Honolua Bay, where she eliminated Sage Erickson and Carissa Moore. While she finished the season at No. 15, she secured her 2018 slot on Tour by way of a strong finish on the Qualifying Series. With her optimistic outlook intact, Macaulay plans on making the most of every moment this year, and that’ll inevitably spell trouble for her peers.