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MEDIA                                               Surfer's Point, Margaret River 15 - 26 April 2015
Tips to win the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
Taj Burrow barrell
Taj Burrow surfing at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro - a popular choice to win this year's event
Past champions, surfing legends, sports personalities, politicians, acclaimed chefs and sports reporters share their tips on who they think will win the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro that begins on April 15 at Surfer’s Point in Margaret River.
Tom Carroll
Tom Carroll won 1986,1987 and 1992 Margaret River Pro and the 1983 and 1984 ASP World Champion.
Men's tip:  Hard to say, it's wide open and such a tightly contested competition. My feeling is that Gabriel Medina will have a good go at winning.
Women’s tip:  It’s hard to pick as there’s so much competition, but I have a feeling Tyler Wright might win it.
Barton Lynch
1988 World Champion Barton Lynch who spent 15 years on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) clocking up 17 WCT victories says the conditions will determine the winner.
Men’s:  It’s difficult to say because certain surfers are suited to certain conditions. My gut feel is that John John Florence and Gabriel Medina both have a good chance.
Women’s: I think Tyler Wright or Carissa Moore will be strong contenders.
Ian Cairns
Ian Cairns was a pro surfer instrumental in shaping the sport to the professional levels it enjoys today. He founded the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) in 1983.
Men's: I like the power surfers but think the goofy's have an advantage on either the lefts or the rights. My picks are Gabriel Medina or Owen Wright
Women's:  The top girls are amazing - Carissa Moore or Tyler Wright
Jake Paterson
A Yallingup local pro surfer who won the 1996 ASP World Qualifying Series tour, the Pipeline Masters in 1998 and the Margaret River Pro that same year.
Men’s: I think John John Florence has a good chance to win. He’s won it before and has all the bags of tricks to do it again.
Women’s: Stephanie Gilmore is my pick for the women’s
Dave Macaulay
Dave ‘Maca’ Macaulay is a local surfing pro and winner of the 1989 Margaret River Pro who finished third on the ASP World Championship Tour in 1989 and 1993. His daughter Bronte is now surfing in the WSL Women’s CT and youngest daughter Laura is competing in the WA Trials to win a wild card entry into the Pro.
Men’s:  Dusty Payne is my tip
Women’s:  I think Tyler Wright
Jacob Wilcox
Not many people can boast beating Kelly Slater in a Championship Tour heat, but Prevelly local Jacob Wilcox can. As a 16-year-old wild card entry in the CT event in Portugal, he beat the 11-time world champion in a the first round in 2013. Jacob won the ISA under 16 World Title in 2013 and won two junior tour events in 2014.
Men’s: It depends on the conditions. I’m going to have to go with one of my favourite surfers, Mick Fanning. It’ll come down to experience and knowledge of the wave. Jordy Smith and Michel Bourez could also do well. We’ll have to wait and see on the day.
Women’s:  Would love to see Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright or Sally Fitzgibbons take the win. Carissa Moore is surfing really well at the moment – but I’d love to see Aussie to win.
Danny Green
Danny Green is a four-time world champion boxer and proud Western Australian.
I love surfing but I’m no expert, I’m just a spectator. It’s difficult to pick because it’ll depend on the conditions. It would be awesome if the surf is massive. In Margs, the sets can come out of nowhere. I’d have to say whoever wins Bells would be in with a good chance.  I’ll be backing an Aussie that’s for sure.
Men’s: It’s impossible to predict but will be hoping the legend Mick Fanning, Parko (Joel Parkinson) or Owen Wright do well. Although you can’t look past John John Florence.
Women’s: Stephanie Gilmore or Sally Fitzgibbons. Steph is an incredible surfer and consummate professional, but again, it’ll depend on the conditions.
Colin Barnett
Colin Barnett has been the Premier of Western Australia since 2008. He lives close to the coast, enjoys the ocean and is an avid supporter of the Pro.
Men's tip: I’m backing Taj Burrow in the Men’s draw.
Women's tip: Stephanie Gilmore - if only because Margaret River is a favourite place for her to visit and surf!
I’m hoping a couple of young Western Australian surfers that get Wildcards into the Pro take a few scalps. Keep an eye on Bronte Macauley and Jack Robinson!
Mia Davies
Mia Davies is Western Australia’s first female Sports Minister. She’s loves the beach and is passionate about getting people of all ages, active.
Men’s: I agree with Premier – it’s got to be the local boy Taj Burrow but I am told that rising star Owen Wright is well suited to the conditions.
Women’s: Steph Gilmore is well overdue to take out the Pro but I will be more excited if one of the Macaulay girls – Bronte or  Laura - make it into the main draw and cause a few upsets. 

Russell Blaikie
Russell Blaikie is an acclaimed local chef, a partner of Must in Highgate and founder of the Surfing Chefs charity that fundraises for SurfAid.
Men’s:  Mick Fanning for sure. Word is he’s on fire
Women’s:  Sally Fitzgibbons. She’s been surfing really well and I think this is her year for a World Championship
Tony Howell
Tony Howell is an award-winning chef based in Margaret River, Executive Chef at Aravina Estate and a keen surfer and part of the Surfing Chefs charity that raises money for Surf Aid. Tony will be cooking for the world’s best female surfers at a special dinner when they are in Margaret River.
Men’s:  Taj Burrow is my pick. Cheering on the local lad.
Women’s: Stephanie Gilmore – Australian all the way!
Mike Best
Mike Best is a company director, Surfing WA Chairman, daily beachgoer, retired short boarder, novice long boarder, father of three body boarders and owner of a bodysurfing poodle.
Men’s:  Kelly Slater to win the men’s because he will be hungry after being knocked out before the quarter finals at Bells by current world champ Gabriel Medina.  He will also want to show everyone that he’s not actually retiring, after his April Fools Day post that Bells would be his last comp.
Women’s:  I think Steph Gilmore will win the women’s because she seems to like it here and she’s a bloody legend.
Glen Quartermain
Glen Quartermain is the Sports Editor for The Sunday Times.
Men’s:  The local boy, I’ll be cheering on Taj Burrow - he knows the break well, as well as anyone.
Women’s:  Bronte Macaulay because she’s a local.
Rick Ardon
Long standing Seven News presenter and dedicated wave rider, Rick Ardon, first wanted to pay tribute to Surfing WA for all they have done for Sean Pollard who survived a shark attack in Esperance in October 2014 where he lost both his arms.
“More than $100,000 has been raised to buy Sean – a dedicated surfer – prosthetic arms so he can get back out in the barrels again.  Surfing WA played a big part in that by donating a surfboard signed by all the top surfers including Kelly Slater and VIP access to the Pro that was auctioned at a recent event. It’s important we do this for Sean – only a surfer knows the feeling.”
Men’s:  Mick Fanning would be a top pick. But I would love Taj Burrow to win being a local – and I’d love him to win for his parents Nancy and Vance. Vance still takes on the big waves around Elephant and Bears. Big surf is in Taj’s pedigree and now’s the time for him to stand up on that barrel and take the title.
Women’s: Would love Stephanie Gilmore to win. Great competitor and great survivor – she’s just a wonderful person. Hopefully Stephanie will do for Australia
Tim Gossage
Tim Gossage is the sport presenter on Ten News and says he’s someone who can’t balance on a board that’s laying on the shop floor.
Men’s:  Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas to win the men’s  – is there a better name in world sport at present?
Women’s:  Carissa Moore to win the women’s – winning form is good form ahead of Margs.
Michael Thomson
Michael ‘Thomo’ Thomson is the sport presenter on Perth’s Nine News.
Men’s: It’s been a long time, but would love to see the Taj Burrow win. Local lad, huge following here in the West and would be popular win. Plus he deserves it.
Women’s: My pick is Steph Gilmore to win the women’s.
Russell Reid
Russell Reid is a sports reporter at The West Australian who has been a regular at the event since Dave Macaulay won in 1989.
Men’s: Kelly Slater
Women’s: Stephanie Gilmore
I will play it safe and go for Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore to notch break through wins at the Margaret River contest. Each has had rock solid starts in 2015 and with 17 world titles between them, and they have the experience to win at Surfers Point.
Daniel Mercer
The West Australian newspaper reporter Daniel Mercer has been a journalist for almost a decade, working across Western Australia covering rounds from politics to business to the environment. A surfing tragic, he is more comfortable in the water than he is hustling contacts.
Men's: Jordy Smith. Being a proud West Aussie I'd like nothing more than to watch local hero Taj Burrow bring home the win, but there's something about the way Jordy surfs that seems particularly well suited to a wave like main break. He's a big, powerful guy who's got an outstanding progressive repertoire - a combination that makes him a standout candidate given the wave's characteristics.
Women's: Carissa Moore. Once again, while I would dearly like to see a WA local like Bronte Macaulay pick up the gong I can't go past Carissa Moore. The way she surfed in the final of the Gold Coast event against Stephanie Gilmore was unbelievable. Stephanie surfed really well, but Carissa took her performance to another level. Carissa seems to have a lot of momentum.

Summary table   

Who Men’s tip Women’s tip
Tom Carroll Gabriel Medina Tyler Wright
Barton Lynch John John Florence / Gabriel Medina Tyler Wright / Carissa Moore
Ian Cairns Gabriel Medina / Owen Wright Tyler Wright / Carissa Moore
Jake Paterson John John Florence Stephanie Gilmore
Dave Macaulay Dusty Payne Tyler Wright
Jacob Wilcox Mick Fanning Stephanie Gilmore / Tyler Wright / Sally Fitzgibbons
Danny Green Mick Fanning / Joel Parkinson / Owen Wright Stephanie Gilmore / Sally Fitzgibbons
Colin Barnett Taj Burrow –watch for Jack Robinson Stephanie Gilmore – watch for Bronte Macaulay
Mia Davies Taj Burrow / Owen Wright Stephanie Gilmore / Bronte or Laura Macaulay
Russell Blaikie Mick Fanning Sally Fitzgibbons
Tony Howell Taj Burrow Stephanie Gilmore
Mike Best Kelly Slater Stephanie Gilmore
Glen Quartermain Taj Burrow Bronte Macaulay
Rick Arden Mick Fanning / Taj Burrow Stephanie Gilmore
Tim Gossage Wiggolly Dantas Carissa Moore
Michael Thomson Taj Burrow Stephanie Gilmore
Russell Reid Kelly Slater Stephanie Gilmore
Daniel Mercer Jordy Smith Carissa Moore
David Prestipino Gabriel Medina Stephanie Gilmore

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

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach update:

Australian Mick Fanning has taken the title of the 54th Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in an exciting finish that saw his score level with Brazilian Adriano Do Souza. Fanning's highest wave score meant he was awarded the title in what has been the closest final in Championship Tour history. 

The women's final should run tomorrow and start early in the day on the low tide at Bells.
Media contact:  
Dianne Bortoletto, Pronto PR,, 0439 997 075

Notes to Editors

High res photos available for media use - download from Dropbox here. Please credit: Joli Photos 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.

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

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.
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