Bryan wins at Margaret River Pro, Robinson repeats

In Sports
April 21, 2024


Hawaiian surfer Gabriela Bryan shared a wave with a pod of dolphins as she won her first world championship tour event over Californian rookie Sawyer Lindblad in pumping surf at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro on Sunday.

Margaret River local Jack Robinson took out a spectacular men’s final against Hawaii’s two-time world champion John John Florence in a replay of their 2022 final of the same event. Robinson and Florence were the two form surfers of the event and traded huge carves on the double-overhead walls as the waves finally improved on last day of the 11-day competition window.

The decisive moment came midway through the final when Robinson scored an excellent 9.10 out of 10 for two giant turns on the biggest wave of the day and followed it up with a lofty frontside air on the very next wave for an 8.17. Florence kept battling and scored an excellent wave of his own but could not reel in the Western Australian, who finished with 17.27 out of 20 to Florence’s 16.04.

“That was the final I wanted, I wanted to throw everything at it. It’s always fun surfing against John – we’re going to have many more heats together,” said Robinson, who missed the event last year due to injury.

The world tour next heads to the thumping tubes of Teahupo’o in Tahiti, where both Robinson and Florence will be among the favourites battling for Olympic gold in just a few months time. Florence earlier scored the only perfect 10 of the event in his semi-final against Australian wildcard George Pittar, blowing his tail out and holding onto his board with the toenails of one foot before recovering for a couple more turns.

Both Bryan, 22, and 18-year-old Lindblad had to go deep at Margaret River to avoid the mid-season cut and secure their place for the remainder of the 2024 tour. Lindblad went into the final in top form, having dispatched two-time world champion Tyler Wright in their semi-final to secure her place above the cut line.

Bryan took a commanding lead with a 7.83 for two powerful turns on her forehand as a handful of dolphins swooped around her.

“When I kicked out, I was just wow! That wave was sent to me by someone, the dolphins in it. It was magical,” said Bryan, who scored an even better 8.10 on her second scoring ride.

“I’m just so happy we got good waves today and all the girls put on a really good show. It’s insane, I just won!” Both the men’s and women’s field will now be cut for the final four events of the world tour, with 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and Australian veteran Sally Fitzgibbons among those missing out.

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