The Western Australia Margaret River Pro continued today for only a short run of competition, completing only the first three heats of the women’s Round of 16. With conditions slowing down significantly through the morning, the WSL Commissioner’s Office called the event off for the rest of the round. The next competition call will be tomorrow, Thursday, April 18 at 9:45 a.m. AWST for a possible 10:03 a.m. start.

As Stop No. 5 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), this event is the final event before the Mid-Season Cut. Despite the few number of heats completed, all three had major requalification and relegation scenarios on the line.

India Robinson Defeats World No. 2 Defay, Continues Chance of Advancing Above the Cut

India Robinson (AUS) has been in a no-lose situation all week as she came into Margaret River ranked four positions below the Cut at No. 14. The 23-year-old fell off the CT back in her rookie year of 2022 and is determined to give herself every opportunity to make it through this year. Up against World No. 2 Johanne Defay (FRA), Robinson locked in a 7.67 (out of a possible 10) and a 6.33 for a heat total of 14.00 (out of a possible 20). Although Defay fought back, it was Robinson who found herself on the better waves, allowing her to open up and display the surfing she’s been hoping to all year, leaving the Defay to leave Western Australia with an equal 9th place finish, her worst result of the 2024 season.

“It is really windy out there,” Robinson said. “It doesn’t look like it from the beach but it is. It was good to put all the strength and conditioning work to the test. When it’s like this, you have to be really selective where you place your turns. I feel really comfortable out here, and I feel like my turns fit the wave well. I’m not going to the lip too much, just keeping it on the rail, and that suits me. Let’s keep going.”

Two More Surfers Relegated to the Challenger Series with Mid-Season Cut

The second heat of the day was a must-win matchup for both Isabella Nichols (AUS) and Gabriela Bryan (HAW), with Nichols sitting just below the Cut line and Bryan just above it. The heat was bound to see fireworks as it was a replay of the 2022 Western Australia Margaret River Pro Final. After a long wait for the first waves, both women started strong, Bryan with an 8.00 point ride for three massive open-face turns and Nichols with a 7.33 for two vertical snaps. Bryan was able to back it up with a mid-range score to take a decent lead, whilst 2022 event winner Nichols was unable to find another wave in the inconsistent conditions, leaving Bryan to take the win. The loss will see Nichols return to the Challenger Series to try and regain a spot on the 2025 CT.

“The beginning of that heat was pretty gnarly,” Bryan said. “Isabella is such a fierce competitor. Going into it, I was like, ‘I’m not giving anyone an inch,’ and it ended up working out. I did make a few mistakes. I got sucked out a bit far and missed a good wave. It’s hard, though, because I’m really confident in my surfing, and I just want to get the good waves, but from the beginning of the year, I haven’t been playing the game that well, and that’s something I’ve been working on, so I’m glad that worked out. We were so far out of position in the beginning, but if there’s a good wave and your competitor isn’t on it, it doesn’t matter if you’re not on it.”

2024 CT Rookie Alyssa Spencer (USA) lost to World No. 3 Molly Picklum (AUS) in Heat 3 of the Round of 16. In a very slow heat, consisting of two heat restarts, it was a battle of wave selection to find the gems that would provide the best scoring opportunities. The Californian held the lead for the majority of the heat, but Picklum’s 7.33 (out of a possible 10) in the last few minutes closed the door for Spencer’s comeback story. Spencer will now head to the Challenger Series for the opportunity to re-qualify for the CT in 2025. Picklum advances to the Quarterfinals, where she will face Bryan in Heat 1.

For highlights from today’s competition at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro, please visit

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Round of 16 Results:
HEAT 1: India Robinson (AUS) 14.00 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.00
HEAT 2: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 12.67 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.33
HEAT 3: Molly Picklum (AUS) 13.43 DEF. Alyssa Spencer (USA) 11.10

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Women’s Round of 16 Matchups (Heats 4 – 8):
HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRC) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
HEAT 5: Caitlin Simmers (USA) vs. Sophie McCulloch (AUS)
HEAT 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
HEAT 7: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 8: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) vs. Sawyer Lindblad (USA)

Western Australia Margaret River Pro Men’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 3: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
HEAT 4: George Pittar (AUS) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS)
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)
HEAT 6: Jordy Smith (RSA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
HEAT 7: Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
HEAT 8: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)

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