Celebrating 30 years of world-class surfing in WA
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Drug Aware Margaret River Pro logo
MEDIA RELEASE                             Surfer's Point, Margaret River 15 - 26 April 2015
Snapshot: 30 years of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
This year marks 30 years that world-class surfing has taken place in Margaret River. Champions Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, and Stephanie Gilmore and the rest of the Championship Tour (CT) male and female surfers will compete for CT points at the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro that starts on Wednesday, 15 April. 

Counting down, here's a snapshot of the last 30 years:

1985: International surfing, through the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), stages for Emu Bitter Thriller, Mark Occhilupo defeated four-time World Champion Mark Richards in one of his three wins on the Tour of the year.

1986: The Swan Premium Thriller was won by Tom Carroll. He defeated the reigning World Champion, Tom Curren in the first man-on-man final.

1987: Tom Carroll highlighted his excellent skills the following year with a back-to-back performance in the Drug Offensive Thriller (WCT-A).
1988: No event

1989: Body Glove took up the Masters naming rights. It was a WCT-AA rated event with $475,000 in prize money. Dave Macaulay met Tom Carroll and went on to become the first West Australian to win the Masters. World Champion Wendy Botha won the inaugural women’s event – the West Coast Wine Coolers.


1990: The Drug Offensive Surfmasters WCT for both the men and women was held. Barton Lynch defeated Jeff Booth in the final. The surf, in the six-metre range, was arguably the biggest contest surf in Australian surfing history to that point in time. South African Wendy Botha defeated WA’s Jodie Cooper in the final of the women’s event.
1991: No event.

1992: The Masters becomes a 4-Star WQS event for men and a WCT for women. Tom Carroll won his third Masters title by narrowly defeating Brazilian Flavio Padaratz. WA legend Jodie Cooper won the women’s final when she got past Vanessa Osborne in the last of the one-on-one finals.


1993: Manly’s Pam Burridge, the ‘Miss Consistent’ of women’s surfing, collected her fist WCT Drug Offensive Masters title. Meanwhile, with a solid swell raging and in wild onshores, three-time runner-up to the world title, Gary Elkerton became the first male natural footer to take the Masters title by defeating Michael Remmelese.
1994: No event.

1995: Coca-Cola and Quiksilver got behind the event and provided the support to restart the Masters. Barton Lynch again showed his liking of Margaret River and joined Tom Carroll and Wendy Botha as a multiple winner by taking out the 3-Star WQS event.

1996: The women returned after a two-year break with the QUIT Women’s Classic in 1996. Pam Burridge brought up her second win by defeating Jodie Cooper in the final. The 4-Star WQS Coca-Cola/Quiksilver Masters title left Australian shores for the first time when American Chris Gallagher beat Vetea David in the final.

1997: Lynette McKenzie won the QUIT Women’s Classic (WQS) from Hawaiian Megan Abubo. Yallingup’s Taj Burrow stole the show by defeating Todd Prestage in the Final. When Burrow took the $US 8,000 first prize in the Coca-Cola Rusty Masters, he became the youngest winner, at 18.

1998: Bondi’s World Number 11, Prue Jeffries shot to the top of the WQS ratings after winning the QUIT Women’s Classic from Melanie Redman. Coca-Cola took up full naming rights to the men’s $US 60,000, 4-Star WQS event. Yallingup’s Jake Paterson won the title from Michael Barry.

1999: It was a year of huge waves, the best surfers in the world, sharks, near drowning and close finishes. Kate Skarratt’s last wave took the NSW surfer past local star Melanie Redman in the final. The men’s 5-Star WQS Coca-Cola Masters final was epic, with less than two points separating first from fourth. Luke Egan defeated Taj Burrow by 0.5 of a point. The final featured a pack of reef sharks swimming underneath Burrow as he rode a wave and the rescue jet-ski came unstuck in the line-up.

2000: Wet Dreams became the new naming rights sponsor of the men’s 5-Star WQS event and SunSmart took over the women’s 2-Star event. Manly’s Dayyan Neve created history by surfing an incredible 10 times to make the final. NSW’s Mark Bannister created his own piece of history on his way to the title. He surfed from the Round of 96 – six surfs – to win a nail-biter from Taj Burrow. Melanie Redman finally collected that elusive title.

2001: The Wet Dreams Masters became the world’s first 6-Star WQS event to receive the ‘prime booster’ rating, making it the highest-rated WQS tournament on the planet. Melanie Redman went on to win back-to-back finals, while rookie Mick Fanning took out the men’s finals.

2002: Fans enjoyed an all-Australian final, with Joel Parkinson, Trent Munro, Mick Campbell and WA’s own Jake Paterson going wave for wave. Parko clearly set the pace clearly and took out the final in epic form. Melanie Redman-Carr made it a hatrick, winning the SunSmart women’s event from World Champion, Layne Beachley.

2003: In a huge week of waves and weather, Mick Campbell took out the Salomon Masters. With bad weather and big swells on the way, the SunSmart Classic was surfed off earlier in perfect waves. South African Heather Clarke won the women’s event from Melanie Redman-Carr.

2004: The Master’s jacket went offshore for the second time. In an absolute perfect week of epic waves, Brazilian Neco Padaratz was on fire. Nothing was going to stop him. In the SunSmart Classic, Dara Penfolds from Tasmania surprised everyone by winning the women’s event in picture-perfect Main Break conditions.

2005: This would have to go down as the year Margaret River didn’t deliver. Flat days and small waves made for a bunch of very frustrated surfers, not to mention the event organisers. That was, until the business end of the contest, when Margs turned it on. In the first man-on-man final, Troy Brooks (Aus) and Roy Powers (Haw) went wave for wave. Powers thought he had the money in the bag, only to watch Brooks launch into one of his famous superman rodeos, which clearly propelled him into first place to take out the title.

2006: The event’s rating may have dropped back to a 4-Star, but the surf pumped six out of the seven days. It was a year of the big names, great waves and huge crowds. The final was a true fairytale finish, with legendary Mark Occhilupo snatching the title from Jake Paterson to claim his second Margaret River victory after winning the inaugural contest more than 20 years earlier.

2007: With Drug Aware on board as the new naming rights sponsor, the event became known as the ‘Drug Aware Pro Margaret River.’ A 6-Star ‘Prime’ rating for both men and women, made it the biggest WQS contest on the planet. Former World Number 6 Kieren Perror (NSW) claimed his first-ever ASP victory. In the women’s event, Brazilian Jacqueline Silva defeated Jessi Miley-Dyer (NSW).

2008: ASP Tour veteran Tom Whitaker (NSW) and 17 year old Paige Hareb (NZ) created their own pieces of history, both sealing their maiden professional tour victories in style.


2009: Australia’s Daniel Ross defeated fellow North Coast NSW surfer Adam Melling in clean 3-4 foot surf. Melanie Redman-Carr won the event for an unbelievable fourth time, proving she really is the queen of Margaret River.


2010: In what could only be described as a freakish finish, Josh Kerr took out Taj Burrow in the last five minutes of the final by unleashing three highest degree difficulty aerial moves and scoring a perfect 10 followed by a 7.03 to take the win. Chelsea Hedges used her experience by taking out the 3-Star.

2011: Despite overwhelming hometown support, USA’s Damien Hobgood defeated West Australian Yadin Nicol in a wave starved final.

2012: Announcing his presence on the international stage, Hawaiian John John Florence is a popular men’s winner in front of a capacity crowd. USA’s Courtney Conologue matches the power of Margaret River with back-to-back victories.

2013: Dusty Payne and Carissa Moore continue a Hawaiian winning streak at Margaret River. Payne notches up his first ASP event win over Josh Kerr while Moore defeats Tyler Wright (AUS) in a close fought women’s final.


2014: Professional surfing makes its debut at ‘The Box’ for the first time. Carissa Moore goes back-to-back while Michel Bourez proves power surfing reigns supreme at Margaret River taking out his first World Championships event win.
2015:  After impressive win at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Mick Fanning and Carissa Moore are in form and will be looking to strengthen their campaign for 2015 World Champion. The forecast is for big surf.  Watch the live action at 

Past media releases

Tips to win the Pro - Past champions, surfing legends, sports identities, politicians and media give their tips on who will win the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

Surfers: What I love about Margaret River  - Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore and Laura Enever and more share what it is about Margaret River that they like, besides the waves. 

Joel Parkinson talks all things Margaret River - Joel Parkinson, winner of 2002 Margaret River Pro and 2012 WSL Champion chats with Chris Binns at Bells Beach about Margaret River.

Celebrating 30 years of world-class surfing in WA (note: caption correction: World Surf League reining World Champion Gabriel Medina (Brazil)

Media contact:  

Dianne Bortoletto, Pronto PR,, 0439 997 075



Notes to Editors

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro is proudly supported by the WA State Government through Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions. 

Photo banners, past event photos and copy in this media release can be downloaded here. Please credit Surfing WA

High res photos available for media use - download from Dropbox here. Please credit: Joli Photos, WSL or Surfing WA as identified
Official website:

A Fact Sheet with statistics is available on request.

Interviews with surfers require WSL approval - please send requests to 

The World Surf League Championship Tour was formerly the ASP World Championship Tour

The World Surf League Championship Tour will bring the top 34 ranked male (plus two wild card entries) and top 17 ranked female (plus one wild card entry) surfers to the extraordinary waves of Western Australia. Over 12 days, surfers will compete on the days producing the best conditions.

Media Accreditation:
Local media planning to attend the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro are required to apply for WSL Media Accreditation - click on the Credentials link on the right for the form.
Copyright © 2015 Pronto PR, All rights reserved.

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