The women completed Round 2 and most of Round 3 of the Margaret River Pro Monday in clean, sunny conditions at Main Break. With 8-point rides dropping regularly, contenders and underdogs showcased what they are capable of when the waves turn on.
Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore set the bar, earning massive heat totals. The Australian took possession of the yellow Jeep Leaders' jersey -- reserved for World No.1 on the rankings -- last week after winning the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach. Gilmore has made it known that she's focusing on consistency this year, which is holding true after today's performance.
"This year I told myself that I'm going to go on the attack from the very start," said Gilmore. "That's what I've committed to. The Jeep Leader jersey is what we are all chasing after. Once you get it in your hands and you put it on, it's a powerful feeling. But you can't let that feeling overwhelm you. You have to find a balance. Consistency is what wins you World Titles."
Gilmore will be moving onto the Quarterfinals, which is another solid result, after her Round 3 win today. She took down Tatiana Weston-Webb and rookie prodigy Caroline Marks in commanding form, while both athletes have posed challenges for her in the past (Weston-Webb, finishing in the second spot, also advanced to the Quarters). Gilmore's surfing was smooth and fluid -- earning her an 8.50 and an 8.60 for a massive 17.10 heat total.
"She smashed us," Marks said after their heat.
Whatever Gilmore's strategy is this season, it's working. Now that the 6x World Champ has hold of the Jeep Leader Jersey, she's intent on keeping it -- kicking into that higher gear for which she's known.
"I watched Carissa's heat right before mine," said Gilmore. "It's so nice to see her get comfortable because she starts throwing her fins and doing some spins. I was really inspired by that heat. It made me want to go out there and kill it. Especially now that Round 3 is an elimination round. It forces everyone to push themselves."
Carissa Moore also dominated today, making it known that she's chasing the Title. Her performance in West Oz, so far, has gone next level -- even when surfing the notoriously heavy reef break at North Point yesterday.
"The waves are pumping right now," said Moore. "This is the first day of the waiting period where there hasn't been too much wind. It's a great, playful size right now. I was so excited. The goal is to do something progressive like that whenever the section allows it. Luckily in that heat I was able to put up a few scores, so knowing that if I wanted to improve I had to do something big. It gave me the opportunity to let go a little."
Moore will also be moving onto the Quarterfinals, where she'll be matched up with Weston-Webb in Heat 1 once the event resumes. Although it's still very early in the season, both Moore and Gilmore are looking as dangerous as ever, poised for the top if they are able to keep their momentum going. Moore currently sits at No. 4 on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Check back Tuesday at 7 am local time for the call. Watch the Margaret River Pro live daily on the WSL and Facebook.