April 11, 2008 : – – With epic conditions on Day Five of the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River presented by O’Neill, the surfing action which transpired was spectacular. As competitors revelled in the near perfect 3-metre conditions, high scores, big moves and electrifying surfing was plentiful.
None more impressive was ASP World Tour surfer Jay Thompson (Burleigh, QLD) who accumulated the highest heat score of the event, thus far, with an awesome 17.33 (out of a possible 20). “It’s pretty solid out there today, but it was really good and fun conditions,” he said. “I didn’t bring any big boards so I spent yesterday on the phone trying to scrounge around for a big enough board for my heat this morning.”
Thompson, who looked extremely polished throughout his heat, said he was using the event to help regain his confidence going into the rest of the ASP World Tour for 2008. “I haven’t had the best start to the year with a pair of 17th placings. I’ve made a few mistakes in my heats and have been made to pay,” Thompson admitted. “I’m just using this contest to iron out any mistakes and get some good heat practice. I can’t wait for the rest of the comp.”
Also in exceptional form was fellow Gold Coast competitor, Josh Kerr (Coolangatta, QLD) who looked extremely relaxed en route to securing a birth in Round 7. “I’m only surfing in eight qualifying events this year,” Kerr said. “There’s no pressure on me at all to qualify for the Tour this year. If I make it, I make it, if I don’t, I’m not phased.”
Reigning Drug Aware Pro Champion, Kieren Perrow (Byron Bay, NSW) was a shock elimination today in Round Six, as other fancied competitors Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), Tom Whittaker (Bronte, NSW) and Adriano De Souza (Brazil) progressed. Continuing to fly the local flag is Tom Innes and Yadin Nicol (both Margaret River, WA) who both dominated their heats, qualifying for the next round of competition.
Innes, who has now surfed six heats, including the Qualifying Trials, is hoping to better the fourth place he gained in the 2006 Margaret River contest. Nichol was rewarded for his aggressive and critical surfing, with a 9.33 (out of a possible 10), producing a heat total of 15.56.
As well as intense action in the surf, tomorrow features a massive ‘Party on the Point’. From 2.30pm, there is free entertainment overlooking the ocean at Surfers Point, with The Simon Kelly Band, Operation Beehive and The Remedials performing live on stage, plus vert ramp aerial demos by BMX rider Chris Jones and pro-skaters Darren Pryor and Cliffy.
Major sponsors of the 2008 Drug Aware Pro Margaret River include Healthway / Drug Aware, EventsCorp and O’Neill. Support sponsors include SupaShake by Brownes, Nova 93.7, Department of Sport & Recreation, Surftech Australia, Odyssey 2020, The Sunday Times, Margarets Beach Resort, Leeuwin Estate, Corona, Pump Water, MR Law, Tracks Magazine, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Tracks, Surfersvillage.com, Surfing WA and ASP Australasia.
Visit DrugAwarePro.com for further details and to view the live webcast. The event website will feature live scores, heat by heat results, daily news as well as photo and video galleries updated daily.