Jack Robinson wins second CT event at home

Published on 22/04/2024

Jack Robinson has taken out the Margaret River Pro, Stop No. 5 on the WSL Championship Tour, in six-to-eight-foot waves at Main Break.

Robinson built through the day and, in the Final against John John Florence (HAW), posted the second-highest heat total of the event to claim his second win in front of his hometown crowd, friends, and family.

“I missed last year and went through so much to get back and get through that injury, so I felt like this year I was defending my title,” Robinson said. “I’m feeling good. That’s the Final I wanted, and I wanted to throw everything at it. It’s always fun surfing against John. We will have many more heats in the future, I’m sure. What a day. I’m super humbled to be here and win at my home, and I’m so grateful for this moment.”

The men’s Final saw local boy Robinson come up against Main Break standout Florence in a matchup of the two event standouts. Florence looked to be the man to beat coming in, but Robinson had other ideas, posting a 9.10 for three huge carves on one of the biggest waves of the event, then backing it up with an 8.17 for a massive frontside straight air with three turns to complete the wave. Robinson’s 17.27 heat total (out of a possible 20) was the second-highest of the event and left Florence needing a Perfect 10 to take the lead. Florence posted an 8.10 to lower the requirement but couldn’t find another set wave, leaving Robinson to take the win and equal Florence with two Main Break victories in what was one of the heats of the event. With this being his second CT win of the year, Robinson moves to second on the rankings heading into Tahiti, where he is the defending event winner.

“John John fires me so much, and I always look forward to heats with him,” Robinson continued. “There’s no one else I’d rather Final with than John. Watching him out here inspired me so much, he set the benchmark. It’s not just me who won, it’s everyone who supports me. It’s an incredible moment. To come back here after traveling all year is special. It’s my home, and it’s the best place in the world. And I’m grateful to be here right now.”

In the women’s final Gabriela Bryan (HAW) claimed her maiden CT victory. But the 22-year-old’s path to the final was a rocky one, with plenty of close results seeing her edge out her opponents, Costa Rica’s Brisa Hennessy and our own India Robinson. Bryan saved her best surfing for last against 2024 CT Rookie Sawyer Lindblad (USA) in the final, where she posted her best heat total of the week, a 15.93 (out of a possible 20), to claim her maiden CT victory and move up to No. 5 on the world rankings.

Event Wildcard George Pittar from Western Australia upset the competition with his big win over World No. 1 Griffin Colapinto (USA) in Quarterfinal 2. Pittar proved once again that his winning streak was not a fluke with another near-perfect score, this time backdooring a solid Main Break tube for a 9.50 (out of a possible 10).

Pittar went on to face eventual runner-up Florence in the Semifinals, where his dream run came to a close after the two-time World Champion posted the highest heat total of the entire event, which included his Perfect 10-point ride for a massive lay-back snap, which he backed up with two more huge turns.

Two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) dispatched World No. 1 Caity Simmers (USA) in Quarterfinal 3. Simmers leaves in 5th place and retains the yellow Leader jersey update. She will now have a few weeks to prepare for the Tahiti Pro, which starts May 22, 2024. 

Wright then came against Lindblad in the Semifinals. The rookie shut the door on the two-time World Champion with a near-perfect 9.50 for two huge backhand snaps on one of the biggest waves of the day. 

Best friends Molly Picklum (AUS) and Hennessy found themselves pitted against each other in Quarterfinal 2. With less than a one-point difference between them, it was Hennessy who emerged victorious with a total score of 12.50 points. Picklum stays at World No. 3 at the season’s halfway point.

Competitors who made and missed the mid-season cut

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), a 15-year CT veteran, needed to win the entire event to save herself from the cut. In a battle with 2024 CT rookie Sawyer Lindblad (USA), the two competitors played a patient game, with former Margaret River winner Fitzgibbons holding the advantage with only two waves surfed. With everything on the line, Lindblad threw everything at a medium set with only seconds remaining to earn a 5.50 and the win by just 0.50 of a point. For Fitzgibbons, it’s the second consecutive year she will be forced to return to the Challenger Series, a tour she dominated in 2023. 

Bryan won her heat against India Robinson (AUS) in the first Quarterfinal to make the cut and secure her position on the Tour for her third straight season. Robinson, who needed to win the entire event to avoid relegation, put up a strong fight, but she fell less than 2 points shy in the Main Break conditions. 

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