The charter plane has landed in Western Australia, surfers are warming up at Main Break and The Box, and there's an especially large swell on the way for the opening days of the event window for the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro presented by Corona.
While there was a classic day of surfing shortly after the Tour arrived in town -- solid swell, offshore winds and blue skies -- the weather has turned and the world's best are now braving a strong cross-shore winds and windy, wild Main Break as they prepare for the opening round of the event.
But that's Western Australia: rugged, raw and rewarding for those who brave the elements. And fortunately, the wind is set to swing offshore again just in time for the event window to begin. So, who has been ripping as we count down to the opening day?
Medina, Ferreira Ready To Roll
World No.1 Gabriel Medina has been dialing boards and getting set to surf big Main Break once the event kicks off.
"With boards I feel good, I'm ready for anything," he said. "It will be fun, and we're going to have waves which is good. Narrabeen was nice, we had a couple little waves, but finally everyone's going to have opportunities," he told the WSL.
"I like to surf whenever there's a lot of opportunities ... as long as we have waves and opportunities, I feel happy to surf."
Meanwhile, World No. 2 Italo Ferreira is looking hungry. He's been spotted surfing big, stormy Main Break solo, as he tries to reclaim the Yellow Jersey. Between Florence, who has a deep connect with this wave, and Medina and Ferreira, there's going to be a serious battle once the event kicks off.
John John Florence Right At Home Back In West Oz
It's not surprising that Florence is one of the standout surfers of the past few days. There's something about Western Australia that just clicks with the two-time World Champion. He's put in some of the most dominant wins in the history of surfing out at Main Break, and has boards very well dialed for the conditions on offer: Big, open water waves that will take all you can give them. Coming off two eliminations at the hand of Tour Rookie Morgan Cibilic, expect Florence to unleash once he gets in the water for the opening round of the event.
Moore And CT Women Getting Set For Some Sold Swell
Four-time World Champion Carissa Moore has already broken at least one board warming up at solid Main Break. Based on her previous results here, she's a clear favorite in this event, and while she may deflect some of this with her trademark smile and humility, she's the most powerful surfer on the women's Tour right now. If you want a preview of how she'll perform in WA, just take a look at some of the waves which won her the Digital Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Also keep a close eye on Bronte Macaulay, who is from Gracetown, just up the road from Margaret River. She's put as much time in at heavy waves as anyone and knows this area like the back of her hand. Tatiana Weston-Webb is also looking very hungry after her second-place finish at Narrabeen.
Time For A Session At The Box
Before the wind went onshore there was a solid session at The Box, with Tour surfers making the most of the warm-up time at one of the two competition venues on offer for the event. Of course, Florence was out there, with Narrabeen runner-up Conner Coffin and South Africa's Jordy Smith was also among the crew scoring the slab. It could turn out to be too big for The Box at times, but hopefully we see a round or two run out there.
Marks' Welcome To WA
Caroline Marks is coming off a win at Narrabeen, and will be looking to further catch up to Yellow Jersey holder Moore in this event. She's been warming up at Main Break, and had to swim in after breaking her board into four pieces.
"I got caught inside. I didn't fall but I got really caught inside, I had to do the swim in ... it's pretty far," she said. "I'm definitely trying to embrace it, obviously it's a powerful wave. I brought tons of boards here, every time you come to Margarets you know it could get really big," Marks told the WSL.
"I'm really excited, I feel like I have tons of momentum coming off an event win and it's super cool to be back in West Oz.
"I've been on step-ups since I got here," she said.
Don't Sleep On Jordy Smith
When it comes to wrangling big open-ocean right handers, few are able to make it look as easy as Jordy Smith. Smooth, precise, and effortless, his surfing is made for Margaret River. A few days ago, Smith was seen looking extra confident pulling under the lip at The Box.
The Tour Veteran has put in his time in WA, bagging some solid results, including 5th place finishes in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He also spent the majority of the offseason training in Hawaii, which is known for it's similar powerful, rugged conditions. Fellow South African Rosy Hodge even thinks Jordy Smith has what it takes to win the event.
"He wants to overtake the top five in the rankings at the moment, he's got some really solid results at the event, and his surfing on big, open-faced waves with a bit of lumber under his feet is really beautiful. And, again, if The Box goes, I think he has the ability to do quite well out there," Hodge told the WSL.
No Shortage Of Swell On The Way
There just might be a Tour surfer or two scrambling for some bigger boards, with a solid swell on the way for the opening days of the window. Are we about to see huge, classic Main Break firing on all cylinders? Surfline says this solid SW swell is expected Sunday and Monday, May 2nd-3rd. There's favorable wind both days and surf quality should be "good to excellent."