After a less than stellar start to the Margaret River Pro, competitors will be hoping to get back into the water on Friday, with just one day’s surfing already held and none of the men’s competition decided. With conditions onshore for much of this week, local wildcard Mia McCarthy will learn her fate in the women’s elimination heats after faring poorly in a superstar match between Sally Fitzgibbon and world number 1 Carissa Moore on Monday. Local star Bronte Macaulay’s gutsy effort on day one of competition for the Pro stirred critics as the Gracetown surfer fights for her place on the Championship Tour. Macaulay snared attention with her sharp backhand attack in her opening round against fellow Aussie Tyler Wright and Hawaii’s Gabriela Bryan. Macaulay came in second on a total wave score of 9.67 in 4-6ft offshore surf. Bryan will head to the dreaded elimination round, while Wright, who is already in the CT’s top 5 after her win at Bells Beach, leapfrogs ahead to the final 16 in round three of the women’s comp. The first day of competition also saw other CT regular Aussies India Robinson (eighth), Steph Gilmore (ninth), Fitzgibbons, Isabella Nichols (equal 12th), Molly Picklum (16th) and Macaulay (18th) jump the elimination round. Fitzgibbons caused a stir by defeating Moore in their heat. The low-scoring affair saw Fitzgibbons cement her lead early and then secure it by catching a decent swag of waves, including a 7.00 ride which put her fairly ahead. Moore could only manage a 6.17 out of seven rides. The win has critics pondering the Australian’s return to form, with Fitzgibbons winning the women’s Pro in 2017 and scoring finishing places in other outings. But McCarthy — one of the region’s most accomplished and match-fit junior surfers — was the loser in that face-off. The Cowaramup-based McCarthy now pitches straight into the next round where she risks outright elimination from the Pro. In her second year in a row as a wildcard, McCarthy managed a couple of two-turn carves, but her highest score of 3.27 out of six waves just wasn’t enough. Robinson underwhelmed, coming second to France’s Johanne Defay, while Picklum and Gilmore were neck-and-neck in their contest which included US surfer Lakey Peterson. Malia Manuel was also centre of talk about her chances of winning a CT stop at Margaret River, where all but the top 10 women in the world face relegation to the challenger series — effectively forcing them to win back their places for next year’s world tour. Manuel was followed by Aussie Nichols in the round which pushed Brazil’s Tatiana Weston-Webb to the elimination heat.