Locals will have plenty to cheer about when the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro presented by Corona kicks off in just a few days. Wildcards Jacob Willcox, Willow Hardy and Cyrus Cox all surfed their way through a tough-as-nails trials and have been confirmed for the main event.
Willcox is a name familiar to many with his previous appearances at Bells and Margaret River as a wildcard. In 2014, the Margaret River lad took Gabriel Medina out of the draw, handing the two-time World Champ a 25th-place finish and instantly creating the biggest upset of the event.
Since then Willcox has only grown in stature. Last year, he released his film project, "By Default," which left no doubt in the audience's minds that at only 23, he is one of Australia's best tube-riders. And he's no slouch when it comes to hucking huge airs with reckless abandon.
That combination will no doubt come in handy with either Margaret River Main Break or The Box as event options. Having proved he can perform at the highest level, Willcox will be a threat in the Seeding Round when he takes on another local favorite, Jack Robinson, and defending World Champ Italo Ferreira.
The other event wildcard in the men's draw is Margaret River up-and-comer Cyrus Cox. The goofy-footer battled Willcox in the Final of the Trials event at Main Break and will make his first CT appearance when he faces Brazilians Medina and Adriano de Souza, both World Champs, in the Seeding Round.
On the women's side, 14-year-old local phenom Willow Hardy will make her CT debut after winning the Trials. She's currently the WA under-18 State Champion and Rip Curl Grom Search National Champion.
"Still in complete shock. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to compete against my idols in the Margaret River Drug Aware Pro," wrote Hardy on Instagram
Willow comes from a well-known local surfing family, the Hardy men have been charging the West Australian coastline for decades. The youngster will take on reigning four-time WSL World Champion Carissa Moore and Nikki Van Dijk in the Seeding Round.
With Bronte Macaulay and Robinson also competing, the West Australian contingent will be tough to beat on home soil. Add that the prospect of a possible XL swell forecast to kick off the waiting period and the local heroes will be ready to go.