Margaret River’s Jack Robinson had a solid day out at North Point on Friday where he joined some of the world’s top surfers in Round One of the 2018 Margaret River Pro.
After securing the position vacated by Brazilian surfer Caio Ibelli, who withdrew from competition after injuring his foot during a freesurf yesterday, Robinson faced fellow Margs surfer Jerome Forrest.
Robinson took charge in the 25 minute surf off, managing 18.23 points to Forrest’s 1.77 during the contest.
Seven heats were completed in the heavy six to eight foot conditions near Gracetown, where Hawaiian Keanu Asing put his stamp on the powerful waves with a combined total of 10.70 over Australians Matt Wilkinson (5.33) and Connor O’Leary (4.64) in Heat 1.
Heat 2 saw Jordy Smith (RSA) top Brazilian surfers Ian Gouveia and Tomas Hermes with a 12.17 combined wave score.
In Heat 3, Margaret River’s Jack Robinson faced fellow Australian Owen Wright and Miguel Popo (BRA).
The local was dangerous in familiar waters, winning the round with a score of 13.94 and moving straight through to Round 3 of competition.
Wright managed 4.03 and Popo just a 2.40 against the hometown favourite.
“It’s been a really crazy 24 hours for me,” Robinson said.
“I was actually up in Perth when I got the call about the surf off and thought I’d better get back home. It was all so unexpected and a little bit overwhelming, to be honest.
“I feel so at home here at North Point, so I wasn’t really worried at all. I just went out there and did what I’d do any other time I surf here. It was really cool to see the waves come up throughout the day. I’d say the good ones are eight out of ten for North Point, which is really good and so good for a contest.”
John John Florence (14.60) was in form against Australians Mikey Wright (11.87) and Wade Carmichael (8.50) in Heat 4 before Gabriel Medina (BRA) had to deliver a 10.16 combined score to keep Pro Wildcard Kael Walsh (8.96) and Frenchman Joan Duru (1.97) at bay.
“It’s really tricky out there and hard to find the good ones,” Medina said.
“I was lucky to find that longer one and make the barrel. There were a lot of air sections out there, so I was trying to go big, which is fun but not good for scores unless you land them. I’ve been having fun warming up here in Western Australia.
“There are always fun waves around. I saw Kael (Walsh) go for some big ones and knew he was going for it, which is good to see and pushes everyone.”
Julian Wilson (AUS) and Jesse Mendes (BRA) had a battle for top spot in Heat 6 with the pair scoring 10.56 and 10.00 respectively, WA Wildcard David Delroy-Carr managing 3.40.
The final heat of the day saw Filipe Toledo (BRA) narrowly edge out USA’s Conner Coffin with a 6.14 score.
Coffin managed a score of 5.87 while South African Michael February returned a combined 2.57.
Round One will continue tomorrow conditions permitting, with officials convening at 7.00am on Saturday to make a decision.