John John Turns It On
Sunday and Day One of the Pro had been talked up to the point of never being able to meet the expectations placed apon it. With little wind and a building swell, women's heats started at 7.25am. Spectators who battled against the cold and rain saw some good surfing, with conditions getting better over the course of the morning as the swell picked up and waves started showing some size. As the men's heats started the wind stayed light, turned a fraction east, and the swell really started to show itself. Those prime conditions were the pick for the day as by about heat 4 the wind turned to a strong easterly offshore as forecast, making conditions difficult for surfers as the waves were showing 10 foot faces but with holding super strong offshores, making the face drop became suddenly very challenging. Many tried, and failed.
There was one moment that made the wind, the rain, the cold, the crowds, the buses, the lines, the restrictions, and all the rest worth it, and that was John John's perfect 10 in very difficult conditions. He makes it look so easy. A rare feat today as many other competitors struggled with the rawness of the swell and the strength of the wind - both combining to test even the best.
By lunchtime the limit to 2500 people on-site was met, and people were stopped at the gate and not allowed entry until others had left. A neccessary measure in these times - that combined with other covid measures including social distancing, some mask wearing, continual cleaning, and disinfectant stations - allowed spectators at the event, something which all were grateful for.
The call not to move to The Box was right - it looked like it had potential early in the day but with a rising swell and tide it started to max out and lost all shape by lunchtime.
Our tip is to get down and take a look Monday as with conditions deteriorating and not much else looking any good for the entire 12 days window, the comp could well be wrapped up by Tuesday night or possibly Wednesday by the latest. Hats off to the WSL, competitors and all locals involved in running this comp in a pretty challenging context - not only contending with mother nature but also covid and all that it brings to any international sporting event.
Our favoutrite pic of the day is on FB and there'll be a few up on Insta as well. Send in your favourites from the #MargiesPro to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, in the highest res you have and we'll do our best to get ém up on here. And of course, get your Surfing Margs Guide on this site - ebook or in print - to make sure you know which spots are worth a check. #margiespro #margaretriverpro2021 #surferspoint #WSL