Margaret River Pro presented by O'Neill

29 Mar 2006 0 Share

Margaret River Pro: Japanese surfer Masato Nakano was one of many international surfers to win through to Round Three

Margaret River Pro: Japanese surfer Masato Nakano was one of many international surfers to win through to Round Three

Margaret River Pro: Jason Duffy once again used his local knowledge to dominate his way into the Round of 96

Margaret River Pro: Jason Duffy once again used his local knowledge to dominate his way into the Round of 96

Margaret River Pro: Hawaii's Gavin Gillette moved into the Round of 96 behind Jason Duffy

Margaret River Pro: Hawaii's Gavin Gillette moved into the Round of 96 behind Jason Duffy

Margaret River Pro: Former junior star and big wave charger Clint Kimmins has been on a charge this event and easily moved into the Round of 96 this morning

Margaret River Pro: Former junior star and big wave charger Clint Kimmins has been on a charge this event and easily moved into the Round of 96 this morning

Margaret River Pro: Australia's Rhy Bombaci placed second behind Clint Kimmins to keep his title hopes alive

Margaret River Pro: Australia's Rhy Bombaci placed second behind Clint Kimmins to keep his title hopes alive

International surfers were the standouts on morning three of the Margaret River Pro presented by O’Neill, with good surf conditions surprising all and producing some excellent scores as the event progressed to Round Three heats, with the introduction of higher-seeded surfers from across the surfing world.

New Zealand surfer Bobby Hansen wasted no time in securing a big win in his Round Two heat. The talented 20-year-old surfer, who has been a strong world-rated junior surfer for the past three years, is tackling the open professional circuit with confidence this season. He opened his heat early with a strong seven-point ride, and by mid-heat added a 7.83 to notch up the day’s highest scoring heat win.

Satisfied with his performance today, Hansen said, “It was great to surf such good waves for an important event. That’s one of the good things about Margaret River, we generally always get decent surf. Hopefully there’s still a long way to go for me in this event. It’s still early days, but it’s good to open with a winning heat.”

American surfers Adam Virs, Dean Randazzo and Kellen Ellison all progressed through their heats this morning, with Virs the most impressive in his win over local surfer John Davies. The only American surfer from today not to progress was Californian surfer Jeremy Ryan.

Japanese surfer Nakano Masato continued the good form of the internationals, claiming a comfortable win over New South Wales surfer Rique Smith.

Of the Australians today, Gold Coast surfers Jarrah Tutton and Josh Dowthwaite were both impressive and moved through to Round Three. Dowthwaite (Florida Gardens / Gold Coast) looked particularly comfortable in the larger surf, which at times produced sets of up to 1.75 metres (3 to 6-feet).

The first four heats of Round Three were surfed as well today to take advantage of the excellent conditions.

Previous event champion Michael Campbell continued his great comeback form, posting another impressive heat win. The former world-number-two-rated surfer (1998) is gaining in confidence after each heat, and after his win today said, “I’ve hardly surfed a heat in two years and I was super nervous coming into this event, but I'm starting to feel more comfortable. The whole competitive side of the sport seems to be coming back to me and right now I’m feeling really good.”

Brazilian surfer Neco Padaratz also continued his great form today by winning his round three heat.

The event’s number one seed and Western Australia's favourite surfing son, Jake Paterson was at the event today for the official media conference and commented on the general feeling of the surfers here, saying, “All the surfers from around the world really love Margaret River because it’s such a beautiful region – the great surf culture, great waves. Living down this way makes it a great event for me and I'd love to win it again. I’ve spent quite a bit of time out here over the past month fully familiarising myself with the waves. I’m looking forward to my opening heat, which looks like will be in good waves.”

Paterson, along with the legendary Mark Occhilupo, who arrives in town tomorrow, and current event champion Troy Brooks (both Queensland) will most likely surf their opening Round Four heats on Friday or Saturday, with the event’s final rounds running across the weekend.

As well as spectacular competition between the world’s top surfers, the event showcases the unique virtues of the State’s beautiful South West, including Margaret River’s stunning beaches, breathtaking natural settings and premium Western Australian food and wine.

Major sponsors include Tourism Western Australia and new presenting sponsor O’Neill Australia, the world’s leading wetsuit supplier and a committed supporter of Australian surfing and ASP events worldwide. Other sponsors include Nova 93.7, Department of Sport & Recreation, SunSmart, Brownes Chill, Tooheys Extra Dry, Odyssey 2020, Surftech, Coca-Cola, Leeuwi

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