Macaulay named Rookie of the Year on countdown to Margaret River Pro

South West surfer Bronte Macaulay added another trophy to the family’s ever-growing collection this month with her selection as the World Surfing League’s Rookie of the Year in her first full time year competing on the Championship Tour.

Surfing WA’s Mark Lane said Macaulay’s recognition was much deserved.

“I can’t help but feel immensely proud of Bronte who we’ve supported as she risen through the ranks,” Mr Lane said.

“It’s fantastic for her surfing career to be recognised as she competes at the sport’s top level.”

In just under a month the Championship Tour will wind its way around the southern end of the country to land in Margaret River, the 33rd incarnation of the competition.

Mr Lane said the Western Australian Trials, due to be held just before the start of Pro competition, provided a unique opportunity to local surfers.

“Three years ago, local surfer Jay Davies won the Trials and went all the way to the quarter finals, beating Mick Fanning who was world number one at that time and the reigning world champion Gabriel Medina in the heats,” he said.

“As part of our contract with WSL, we created an opportunity for two WA surfers to compete in the Margaret River Pro as wildcard entrants.”

Macaulay will join the world’s best surfers to compete for the Championship Tour points over 12 days of surfing across three potential breaks –  Mainbreak, The Box and North Point. 

John John Florence, Gabriel Medina, Joel Parkinson, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons are due to arrive in the region, but doubt hangs over 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, who today withdrew from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast event at Snapper Rocks with a foot injury.

“I think the best thing for me to do is withdraw from the event,” Slater said in a press release from the WSL.

“The looming excitement about a new year starting, my foot sort of magically allowing me to surf the past couple of days and a number of other factors had me talking myself back into jumping in as soon as possible against my better judgment.

“I feel I’ve had a couple of half-hearted attempts these past couple of years fighting injury and desire. The foot injury symbolizes a lot at this point in my career both as an ending and as a beginning.”

Mr Lane said the draw of the Margaret River region was strong for surfers, many of whom bring their families along for some vacation time between competition.

“The Margaret River Pro is one of the best surfing events in the world and it’s no secret that the surfers love coming to Margies for the surf, but also for the beautiful natural surrounds and the excellent food and wine,” he said.