Who Will Win The Margaret River Pro in 2019?

You never know what you’re going to get at the Margaret River Pro in WA.

Last year, the event had to be cancelled and moved to Bali because two local surfers were mauled by sharks at nearby beach breaks. At the time, current reigning world champion Gabriel Medina said, "I don't think I'm going to surf here in the contest again. They're still talking about next year but I will probably not come.”

Conversely, the year before that we witnessed one of the best surfing performances in history from John John Florence when he clinched 1st place at the WA event.

So what will this year have in store and who will win?

We’ve broken down who we think will come 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in both the men’s and women’s events below.

 

3rd)

Italo Ferreira

Country: Brazil

Current Ranking: #3

Result at Margaret River in 2018: 13th

Italo has been one of the form surfers in 2019 with a win already under his belt at the Gold Coast. The only drawback for Italo is that he is often reliant on his big air reverses to score points. Margaret River is a powerful, open-ocean wave that offers up limited opportunity for airs.

Key Strengths:

  • Italo has already registered a win in 2019 at the Gold Coast;
  • He possesses one of the most consistent air reverses in the world which can be used to score extra points when the waves are small; and
  • His aggressive style means he stays busy all heat and catches plenty of waves.

Possible Weakness:

  • Italo was another surfer in the 2018 Margaret River event who was particular concerned about the presence of sharks.
 Italo FerreiraSource: Instagram

2nd)

John John Florence

Country: Hawaii

Current Ranking: #1

Result at Margaret River in 2018: 13th

John John is a real world title contender. His win at Bells Beach this year was a performance that looked scarily calm and professional. Despite claiming 1st prize at Margaret River in 2017, he only managed a 13th place position in 2018. 

Key Strengths:

  • John John has fully recovered from his serious ACL injury incurred last year and is surfing with more confidence than ever before, culminating in a win at Bells Beach in April.
  • Has won 2 world titles which were back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. The only Hawaiian to win back to back titles since the late, great Andy Irons.
  • Has everything in his repertoire including powerful snaps and cutbacks, as well as big airs.

Possible Weakness:

  • John John might struggle against the Brazilians if the waves are small.
 John John FlorenceSource: Instagram

1st)

Jordy Smith

Country: South Africa

Current Ranking: #6

Result at Margaret River in 2018: 5th

Jordy is a class act both in and out of the water. The perennial professional, you can never write Jordy off for any event on the world tour. His big frame and powerful carves are well suited to Margaret River conditions.

Key Strengths:

  • At 6 feet and 3 inches, Jordy can tear apart even the biggest ocean monster waves;
  • Was looking very strong during the beginning of the 2018 Margaret River Pro before losing momentum when the event was moved to Bali due to shark attacks.
  • Will be hungry for his first event win after finishing 3rd, 3rd and 17th in the first three events of the year.

Possible Weakness:

  • Hasn’t won an event since Bells Beach back in 2017 so hasn’t had that winning feeling in a while.
 Jordy SmithSource: Instagram

   

And in the women…

 

3rd)

Lakey Peterson

Country: USA

Current Ranking: #8

Result at Margaret River in 2018: 5th

Having a mum who was a former US national champion swimmer has meant that Lakey has been a fierce competitor ever since she was a small child. Without a win under her belt in 2019, Lakey will not rest until she is holding that 1st place trophy in her hands.

Key Strengths:

  • She possesses powerful snaps off the lip which are suited to the right-handers at Margaret River; and
  • Lakey finished 2nd in the championship tour last year (2018) and is super hungry for her first world title.

Possible Weakness:

  • May lack confidence after only finishing 9th in Bali.
Lakey Peterson Source: Instagram

 

2nd)

Caroline Marks

Country: USA

Current Ranking: #2

Result at Margaret River in 2018: 9th

At age 17, Caroline is the youngest competitor on tour. With two podium finishes already this year, Caroline is a clear contender for the world title in 2019.

Key Strengths:

  • Caroline is full of confidence after her inaugural WSL tournament win at the Gold Coast;
  • Being a goofy footer she may be able to show something a little bit different to the judges being on her backhand on the right-hand waves; and
  • At only 17 years of age Caroline is full of energy.

Possible Weakness:

  • Caroline’s lack of experience may cause her to make errors of judgement during her heats.
 Caroline MarksSource: Instagram

 

1st)

Sally Fitzgibbons

Country: Australia

Current Ranking: #5

Result at Margaret River in 2018: 9th

Key Strengths:

  • Being from Gerroa in southern NSW, Sally is accustomed to cold water and big, open ocean waves. So she’ll be very suited to the Margaret River conditions;
  • Sally hasn’t won a WSL event since Margaret River in 2017 and so is super hungry for another win; and
  • She will take confidence out of her 2rd place finish in Bali.

Possible Weakness:

  • Hasn’t won a WSL event since 2017 so currently lacks that killer instinct to close out an event.
 Sally FitzgibbonsSource: Instagram

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