Gracetown’s Bronte Macaulay stuns judges at Snapper Rocks Gold Coast Pro alongside local Jacob Willcox

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Gracetown's Bronte Macaulay in action in Queensland on Monday.
Camera IconGracetown's Bronte Macaulay in action in Queensland on Monday. Credit: Cait Miers/World Surf League

Bronte Macaulay has quelled any talk about retirement by stunning judges in the opening heats of the Challenger Series event at Snapper Rocks.

With a lay day called on Wednesday because of incoming bigger surf, Macaulay was to go into the women’s round of 16 on Thursday facing off against fellow Australian Kobie Enright.

All the Gold Coast Pro competitors in the Challenger Series are vying for points to prepare for their assault on next year’s Championship Tour.

That includes surfers like Macaulay, who competed in the Margaret River Pro as a wildcard, as well as Margaret River athlete Jacob Willcox and others cut from the elite-level competition last month, with the local event hosting the World Surf League’s contentious mid-year cut.

So far Willcox has fared well at Snapper Rocks, and, like Macaulay, was poised to go into the round of 16 where he was to face Brazil’s Samuel Pupo, also a CT surfer.

But it was Gracetown surfer Macaulay who made headlines in the opening round of this week’s event by scoring the highest wave of the competition so far.

Against Japan’s Sara Wakita, Macaulay put on a clinic for all the competitors seeking a return to the top level, scoring a 9.5 on her first wave and an 8.33 for a two-wave total of 17.83 out of 20.

Rival Vahine Fierro from France was likewise lauded by the judges for similar “warning shots” to the competition at large.

Macaulay was praised for attacking right-hand waves “with clinical precision and plenty of variety”.

“The bank is so fun right now, I was fizzing to get out there,” she said.

“It’s such a treat to surf Snapper with only a couple of others out, and we were really lucky to get some good waves come through in our heat.

“I just really wanted to open up.

“That’s really the goal of this event. Regardless of the result, I just want to surf and open up.

“You never really know how many more events you’ve got or how the year is going to play out, so I was looking to surf and enjoy it.”

The women’s round of 32 on Monday had some of the biggest heat totals of the event in clean two-foot surf at Coolangatta.

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